Wendy Prieur was excited about the tour she was able to give to some high profile government officials today.
The North Bay Recovery Home’s executive director took Christine Elliot, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health along with Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and MPP for Nipissing, and Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga Centre, for a look around the local Recovery Home, which concluded with a media event where they discussed the importance of supporting those facing addictions challenges.
There was no funding announcement but the visit reassured Prieur that financial will be on the way.
“That is the excitement that we have all the ministers here is exciting and I think it shows their commitment to the area but I am also feeling very encouraged that it is not going to be a cookie-cut approach across the province because Northern Ontario has different issues than southern Ontario,” she said.
Prieur says support and funding are key to help bring down the recovery home’s long wait times.
“They recognize that is has been significantly underfunded and the importance of putting money and making services fit clients and I think that is what is really key with all of the additional funds and recognizing when a client is in need of services that their services are available and unfortunately that is not a reality for us right now,” she stated.
“I can speak for the recovery home, we are at a nine-month waitlist and we recognize that that is completely unacceptable for services.”
This September, the government says it is building awareness, challenging stigma and recognizing the role that recovery plays in improving the lives of individuals, families and communities dealing with addictions.
"Our government is making mental health and addictions a priority and we are investing in services that directly help individuals and families struggling with addictions," said Elliott.
"During Recovery Month, our government is working with our partners like Addictions and Mental Health Ontario to build awareness, reduce stigma and support more Ontarians in their journey toward mental wellness and recovery."
This year the provincial government made an additional investment of more than $1.3 million to support people, families and caregivers in the North Bay and Nipissing area living with mental health and addictions challenges.
Fedeli feels this will help enhance opioids and addictions treatment, crisis services and supportive housing in the region.
"This increased funding to our communities is part of our government's additional investment of $174 million this year in addictions and mental health services," said Fedeli.
"We will continue to work with local frontline care providers and dedicated organizations like Addictions and Mental Health Ontario to ensure effective treatment and support is available to those who need it."