Last week the Region of Peel and the Ministry of Health hosted a joint roundtable discussion on the topic of Peel’s mental health and addictions system.

Peel’s request to the ministry to support improvements in the mental health and addictions sector is in part because 276,000 people in the Region of Peel (or about 20 per cent of the region’s population) are expected to experience a mental health and/or addiction disorder in their lifetime.

The roundtable also stemmed from an August discussion between the region and the ministry on mental health and addiction systems. At that time it was identified that per capita funding for mental health and addiction services in Peel is the lowest in Ontario, despite the region’s rapidly growing population.

Topics discussed at the roundtable were related to funding, service integration, technology, and access as well as cultural sensitivity in the mental health and addiction services sector.

Among the attendees were Ontario’s Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, the Hon. Michael A Tibollo, Peel Regional Chair Nando Iannicca, Peel Regional Police, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and many other organizations.

In the wake of local successes and solutions, Peel will be preparing a report on the sector to share with the Ontario government. Tibollo announced that the government will continue to work with health groups and with individuals with lived experiences, and will continue to invest more into these services to serve the people who are impacted the most.