SAULT STE. MARIE — The Ontario government is making it faster and easier for young people to connect to mental health and substance use support by launching a new Youth Wellness Hub in Sault Ste. Marie to serve the Algoma District and surrounding areas. This is one of the eight new hubs the government is adding to the 14 already created since 2020, bringing the total to 22 across the province.
“Expanding our network of Youth Wellness Hubs is another step our government is taking to ensure Ontarians of all ages have convenient access to the highest-quality mental health and addictions supports, when and where they need them,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “We will continue to invest in mental health and addictions care as part of the ongoing rollout of the Roadmap to Wellness, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to fix the long-standing issues facing the sector once and for all.”
In Algoma District, youth aged 12 to 25 and their families can visit the hub to connect to convenient and free mental health, substance use and primary care services in a safe, welcoming, youth-friendly space. Young people can drop in for counselling or peer support, book an appointment or access services virtually. There are also supports to help connect and support youth that have more specialized and intensive care needs to the right supports and services in the community, such as safe beds for detox.
“Our government is continuing to take action to improve mental health services for communities across Ontario, and support patients and families living with mental health and addictions challenges,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we continue to expand the number of Youth Wellness Hubs across the province, young people in Algoma will receive faster and easier access to the mental health care they need, in one convenient location, closer to home.”
With Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care, the government is significantly expanding the number of Youth Wellness Hubs across the province to make it faster and easier for young people to connect to mental health and substance use support, primary care, social services, and more.
- The Algoma Youth Wellness Hub is located at 124 Dennis Street, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. To see the hub’s monthly schedule of events, please visit: www.algomayouthhub.com.
- The eight new Youth Wellness Hubs funded by the Addictions Recovery Fund are located in Algoma Region, Kingston, London-Middlesex, Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation, Sarnia-Lambton, Sudbury, Toronto Thorncliffe Park and West Toronto.
- In 2023, the government also announced additional funding to expand pediatric services in communities across the province, which will support five additional Youth Wellness Hubs to help fill the gap in youth addictions services.
- In 2020, Ontario released a strategy to build a world-class mental health and addictions system – Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System. Supported by a commitment to invest $3.8 billion over 10 years, Roadmap is adding capacity to meet demand, filling gaps in the care continuum, and creating a provincial infrastructure for a mental health and addictions continuum of care that connects primary, community, and acute care to better wrap around the needs of people with mental health and addictions issues.
- In Budget 2023, Ontario is building on its historic $3.8 billion investment by providing an additional $425 million over three years. This investment will provide community-based mental health and addictions service providers funded by the Ministry of Health with a five per cent increase in base funding.
- Since 2019-20, the government has flowed $525 million in new base funding for mental health and addictions services and supports. This funding is supporting a range of services, including child and youth mental health, community-based addictions services, supportive housing, mental health and justice, and Indigenous mental health and addictions.
“I am proud of the work done by Algoma Family Services for the opening of the Youth Wellness Hub here in our community. This hub will not only help in providing integrated support services to youth in our region, but it will reinforce the importance of a holistic, wrap around approach to mental health; where both youth and their families can find support, healing, and growth.”
– Ross Romano
MPP for Sault Ste. Marie
“I am thrilled to welcome Algoma Family Services and their network partners into the Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) network. I am grateful to the Government of Ontario and the collaborative community partnerships that have made the development of this hub possible. This critical investment provides young people in Algoma with an inclusive, welcoming space where they can walk in and access a full range of integrated mental health, substance use, health, primary care, housing, employment, recreation, and other support services that meet their individual level of need.”
– Dr. Jo Henderson
Executive Director, Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO)
“The opening of our Youth Wellness Hub is one of the best gifts we can give as a community to our youth, and we thank Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo for their support in making this vision a reality. On almost every health and wellness indicator, youth in Algoma are not fairing as well as youth in Southern Ontario. This Youth Wellness Hub is an opportunity to change that. By making a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for youth by youth, youth 12 to 25 years of age will have a place where they can find help and most importantly find connection. A place that lets them know our community cares about them. That they matter.”
– Ali Juma
CEO, Algoma Family Service
SOURCE Province of Ontario