The Ontario government is investing over $4.2 million in additional funding annually to support the expansion of 30 new youth treatment beds for Pine River Institute’s mental health and addiction treatment program for youth. This will help to address the demand for mental health and addictions supports and services for youth and families across Ontario.
“The devastating impacts of mental health and addiction challenges are felt by people of all ages, and we are committed to ensuring every Ontarian has access to the safe and effective supports they need, no matter their age or where they live,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Investing in youth mental health and addictions services like those offered at Pine River Institute is just one way our government is continuing to build a modern, connected mental health and addictions system that meets the unique needs of all Ontarians.”
Pine River Institute is a not-for-profit facility for youth aged 13-19 living with addictive behaviours and often other mental health challenges. Youth and their families have tailored, individualized plans that combine therapy, a structured environment and life skills with an educational program, and are grounded in best practices for addiction treatment for youth and based on their developmental needs. This investment brings the total number of youth treatment beds at Pine River Institute to 59 and will ensure the dedicated team of health care workers and staff have the resources and tools they need to provide high-quality care to even more patients.
“This September is Ontario’s first Recovery Month and our government’s critical investments to expand mental health services is an important step to address urgent gaps in mental health and addictions care, reduce waiting lists and address extensive wait times,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Through the expansion of Pine River Institute’s addiction treatment centre, youth living with addiction challenges will have better access to high-quality supports that meet their unique needs, in a specialized setting where they are cared for and fully supported.”
This funding is part of the $32.7 million to expand addictions services and the $175 million investment announced in the 2021 Budget under the Roadmap to Wellness, an increase of $525 million in annualized funding since 2019-20, to implement expanded services for children and youth, justice-related services, mobile crisis teams, supportive housing and programs supporting at-risk populations.
The government’s commitment to expand mental health services will help address gaps in care and reduce wait times to improve access to care across the province.
“I am very pleased to see Pine River Institute expand its services for residential addictions treatment for youth,” said Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones. “This new dormitory was a project of the Pine River Foundation with generous donations, and because of the operational funding from the province, we have new beds to help youth with their recovery from addiction. It’s a great example of a partnership between private donations and government investment.”