Ontario promises $36 million for Indigenous mental health supports

·1 min read

Ontario plans to spend $36 million on mental health and addictions supports in Indigenous communities.

The province says $20 million in programs will go to supporting survivors of residential schools.

It says the money is for trauma-informed and culturally appropriate supports as Indigenous organizations search for burial sites near former residential schools in Ontario.

Another $16 million is being earmarked for mental health and addictions supports for children and youth, victim healing services, and an Indigenous-led response to opioid use and related deaths.

The province says it recognizes that recent discoveries of burial sites found near residential schools around Canada have increased the demand for services.

Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare says the opioid crisis, the pandemic and recent burial-site discoveries add up to a “perfect storm” of mental health needs.

He says the funding announced Friday will help offer Indigenous-focused support as residential school survivors, families and communities heal from intergenerational trauma.

He says he needs to discuss with the government how the money will be distributed to and accessed by communities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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