Ontario recognizes Bell Let’s Talk Day, supports mental health initiatives in Quinte region



Bay of Quinte – Approximately 30 per cent of Ontarians will experience a mental health and addictions issue at some point in their lives. Every year, two million Ontarians go to their family doctor for a mental health or addictions challenge.

Today on Bell Let’s Talk Day, Canadians across the country are joining in on the conversation about mental health. Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte is encouraging Ontarians to come together to take action on mental health and help create positive change.

“Mental health affects all of us,” said Smith. “Everyone in our communities can get involved in the important conversations that are taking place on Bell Let’s Talk Day and take action to help those who may be struggling.”

Whether by phone, email or text, there is no better time than today for those in Bay of Quinte to reach out to one another, talk about mental health and how each member of this community can work together to help those who are struggling.

Ontario is committed to creating a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system that works for all Ontarians. That is why the province invested an additional $174 million to expand community-based mental health and addictions services this past year, including supporting people and families in Bay of Quinte by enhancing peer support programs, opioids addiction treatment and services, youth mental health supports, and supportive housing.

“I encourage everyone to take part in Bell Let’s Talk Day and help to create positive change,” said Smith.And I urge you to continue these important conversations not just today, but throughout the year so that together we can make a difference in our communities.”

Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to create new mental health and addictions services and expand existing programs. Locally, the Quinte region stood to benefit from $1,273,045 in new funding through the $174 million announcement last spring.  Service providers welcomed the investment.

"This funding is completely dedicated to front-line addictions and mental health clinical support for people who are seeking clinical recovery from the challenges associated with opioid use and to enhance clinical case management and counselling for both addictions and mental health,” said Addictions and Mental Health Services – Hastings and Prince Edward chief executive officer Gary Laws. “Many thanks to the Province for recognizing how imperative these supports are here to the citizens of Hastings and Prince Edward because this will create more opportunity to serve more clients.”

The Quinte Healthcare Corporation’s mental health program director Kerry-Lynn Wilkinson said the investment should also help limit hospitalization and re-hospitalization.

“Making additional investments in mental health in the region will strengthen services available to help individuals receive the care they need in the community, helping to reduce the number of individuals seeking mental health services at the emergency departments of QHC hospitals,” she said.

Also, the Province recently committed $900,000 toward a skills training program offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association to help people facing barriers find stable employment. 

“This is an incredible project that will help those who face barriers when it comes to finding work,” said Smith. “This will have a transformative impact not only on these individuals, but also on the public services that support them, and on our broader Quinte region economy.”

If you are in need of mental health supports, consider reaching out to service providers in our region...

Addictions and Mental Health Services - Hastings-Prince Edward - 613-976-4734

Canadian Mental Health Association - Hastings and Prince Edward - 613-969-8894

Children's Mental Health Hastings Prince Edward - 613-966-3100/613-476-8252

Peer Support South East Ontario -  613-969-0122