Province expands mental health, addiction services

15 new addiction treatment beds available to workers, Ontarians in Sudbury, surrounding region

Province expands mental health, addiction services

Workers in Sudbury, Ontario and the surrounding region now have access to more addiction treatment beds in the area.

The provincial government has announced a $2.5-million through the new Addictions Recovery Fund to immediately enhance access to addictions treatment supports at Monarch Recovery Services, located in Sudbury. The funding provides 15 new addictions treatment beds to help hundreds of workers and residents in Sudbury and the surrounding region access specialized addictions treatment, according to the government.

“Investing in mental health and addictions services in Northern Ontario, like those offered at Monarch Recovery Services, is just one more way our government is ensuring all Ontarians have access to the high-quality mental health and addictions care that meet their unique needs and have opportunities for treatment and recovery,” said Michael Tibollo, associate minister of mental health and addictions.

The funding will provide workers and locals access to six new withdrawal management services beds, four new addictions treatment beds and five new supportive treatment beds.

"Monarch Recovery Services recognizes that the need for addiction services continues to escalate in our community and this funding will allow us to not only facilitate access to services, but it will also increase our capacity and help fill the gaps in the continuum of care that we provide to individuals who are struggling with substance use,” said Roxane Zuck, CEO, Monarch Recovery Services.

Recently, Ontario said it is investing $1 million to help provide better mental health supports for first responders. Earlier, the province invested $1.7 million to support Workplace Safety North (WSN) in developing and delivering mental health training and resources for mining and forestry workers in Northern Ontario.

Opioid-related deaths surged by 79 per cent during the first two waves of the pandemic, with rates being three times higher in Northern Ontario, according to the provincial government, citing studies. To address this, the government launched the Addictions Recovery Fund, which will support almost 400 new addictions treatment beds across the province and provide care for approximately 7,000 clients per year.

Addictions Recovery Fund investments in other addictions services and supports across the province include:

  • Two new Mobile Mental Health Clinics to provide a full suite of mental health and addictions services directly to individuals living in remote, rural and underserved communities;
  • Three new police-partnered Mobile Crisis Response Teams to support individuals in a mental health or addictions crisis;
  • Support for Indigenous-led land-based healing services; and
  • Additional community supports, including day/evening intensive treatment, mild to moderate intensive treatment, and after-care programs.

“Every year, more than one million people in Ontario experience a mental health or addictions challenge,” said Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health. “That’s why our government is continuing to fulfill our commitment of making mental health and addictions a priority by investing in targeted addictions services.”

Before 2021 ended, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) released a free online course to help workplaces better understand the impact of stigma toward employees who use substances.

Previous investments

The $90 million Addictions Recovery Fund complements, but is separate from, the $175 million Roadmap to Wellness investment announced in the 2021 Budget, and is being invested over three years. Investments of $7.2 million are being made in 2021-22, and $41.39 million in each of 2022-23 and 2023-24.

Ontario has also made several million-dollar investments for mental health and addictions supports in the past couple of years.

As part of Budget 2021, Ontario invested $32.7 million in new annualized funding for targeted addictions services and supports, including treatment for opioid addictions. This funding is part of the government’s commitment to invest $3.8 billion over 10 years to implement Roadmap to Wellness.

As part of the $32.7 million investment, the provincial government committed $18.8 million towards bed-based addictions services for adults and youth who need intensive supports. This investment included $7.85 million for a total of 90 new treatment beds determined through an Ontario Health-led provincial call for applications in summer/fall 2021.

In 2020-2021, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the province invested up to $194 million in one-time emergency funding for mental health and addictions services.

The Ontario government is also investing $2.5 million in Breaking Free Online, an innovative therapy tool that makes it faster and easier for Ontarians to access safe and effective addictions supports. Ontarians can register at and have free access to programming and resources for two years. Mental health and addictions service providers can also register their patients for this service.