THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is investing over $3.6 million through the new Addiction Recovery Fund to immediately enhance access to addictions treatment supports in the city of Thunder Bay.
“Our government remains steadfast in our work to provide Ontarians in the North with access to safe and effective mental health and addictions services as close to home as possible,” said Tibollo.
“Investing in mental health and addictions services in Thunder Bay is just one more way our government is continuing to support vulnerable populations across the province with high-quality mental health and addictions care that addresses their unique needs on their journey to recovery.”
The funding will allow St. Joseph’s Care Group and Dilico Anishinabek Family Care to expand access with 34 new treatment beds.
“This new investment will provide a safe space in the local continuum of addictions treatment for Indigenous young people to address personal difficulties related to substance misuse,” said Darcia Borg, Dilico Anishinabek Family Care executive director.
They will be able to engage with other young people transitioning into adulthood in a supportive living environment that is inclusive and provides other on-site support services such as cultural and land-based activities, life skill building, coping skill development, as well as access to individual and group counseling, and supports with entry to education and employment opportunities.”
Opioid-related deaths surged by 79 percent during the first two waves of the pandemic with rates three times higher in Northern Ontario than the rest of the province.
“There is urgent and immediate need in Thunder Bay for people living with addiction and the pandemic has added to what can only be described as a crisis,” said Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro.
“Today’s investment of $1.1 million dollars through the Addiction's recovery fund recognizes and helps meet that need. With our partners, we will ensure that funding is put to use by expanding access to care right now, and adding new withdrawal management and addiction beds.” It means we can offer more to people who are struggling with addictions and their families.”
The new Addictions recovery fund will support almost 400 new addiction treatment beds across the province, including northern rural and indigenous communities.
Addictions Recovery Fund investments in other addictions services and supports across the province include:
- Eight new youth wellness hubs offering developmentally tailored primary care and mental health and addictions treatment for youth ages 12 to 25.
- Two new mobile mental health clinics to provide a full suite of mental; health and addictions services 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.
- Additional community supports including day/evening intensive treatment, mild to moderate intensive treatment, and after-care programs.