by Susan Pigott
It is with great pride that I present to you the third and final report of Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council.
The Council was established in 2014 to provide the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care with strategic advice to fulfill the vision outlined in Open Minds Healthy Minds (2011), the government’s ten year strategy to build a comprehensive mental health and addictions system in Ontario.
We are pleased that many of our previous recommendations have been accepted, and are currently being implemented.
This year, we offer our final recommendations while also highlighting the conditions we believe will be critical to success, and providing potential directions for future consideration by the ministry.
While there is still much to be done, we believe that we have set in motion strategies and service initiatives which will go a long way toward meeting the needs of Ontarians.
The success of the Council model also leads us to strongly recommend that the government establish a permanent body to carry on this important work. Previous advisors have made similar recommendations, which unfortunately were not acted on. The case is even stronger today and, we believe, critical to achieving government’s vision.
The people of Ontario want and deserve a mental health and addictions system that is on par with the larger healthcare system, and in line with the vision of Open Minds Healthy Minds: “An Ontario where every person enjoys good mental health and well-being throughout their lifetime, and where all Ontarians with mental illness or addictions can recover and participate in welcoming, supportive communities.”
Together, we can realize this vision.