Expanding Access to Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Niagara Region

The Province of Ontario is working to improve access to mental health and addiction services that will help an additional 165 people each year in the Niagara region.

“This additional funding for mental health and addiction services will make an important difference in the lives of many Niagara families, providing the best possible care close to home.”                        — Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines

St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley

News from the Constituency Office of St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley

Posted  February 26th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Four organizations in the Niagara Region are receiving funding over the next three years to improve access to mental health and addiction services. The organizations are located in St. Catharines, Welland and Grimsby.

  • Arid Group Homes provides addictions support for individuals recovering from substance use disorder. Arid Group Homes is receiving funding that will support six new beds at the Women’s Interim Support Home in Welland, which will serve 20 women every year with an average stay of 180 days. The services provided by Arid Group Homes are critical for the continuum of care that is required for recovery from addictions.
  • The West Niagara Mental Health (WNMH) program in Grimsby is run by a multi-disciplinary team that provides assessment and treatment for individuals living with mental illness. WNMH is receiving funding that will enable them to connect with patients admitted to the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital’s emergency department and inpatient units in order to bridge the hospital’s mental health treatment with their community program. The additional resources will allow the program to serve at least 75 individuals a year.
  • Wayside House of St. Catharines provides residential support for long-term treatment of substance use disorder for men ages 18 and up. Wayside is receiving funding to increase their number of treatment beds from 20 beds to 26 beds, which will enable 50 more people to be served annually by this program. Wayside House is suitable for individuals who don’t require acute treatment, but rather who need a safe and supportive environment to help them recover from their substance use disorder.
  • Gateway Residential and Community Support Services in Welland provides supportive housing and case management for people living with mental illness, concurrent disorders and dual diagnoses. They recently received funding to double their supportive housing units from 20 to 40. The new funding will also allow flexibility for Gateway staff to provide evening and weekend coverage across all 40 supportive housing units.

Over the next three years, Ontario is investing more than $222 million province-wide to combat the opioid crisis in Ontario, including expanding harm reduction services, hiring more front-line staff and improving access to addictions supports across the province.

Also, as announced in fall 2016, Ontario’s comprehensive Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose is ensuring people in pain receive appropriate treatment, increasing access to holistic treatment for those with opioid use disorder, and improving the safety and health of people who use opioids, including access to the life-saving drug naloxone.

Expanding access to mental health and addictions services is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.


“The devastating impact of opioid use disorder and overdose has reached every community in Ontario, and crosses all demographics. Our government has been working closely with partners across the province to combat this urgent issue for more than a year, and we are continuing to strengthen our strategy and increase harm reduction, addiction treatment and other supports. It is through this collaborative, evidence-based and comprehensive approach that we will be able to effectively address this crisis and save lives.”— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“This additional funding for mental health and addiction services will make an important difference in the lives of many Niagara families, providing the best possible care close to home.”Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines

“This new funding means we will be able to help patients with substance use disorders throughout the West Niagara region and assist them in breaking the grip that addictions have on their lives.”Christopher Conley, Supervisor, West Niagara Mental Health and Addictions Program, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital

“This funding represents a significant investment that will enhance services for Niagara residents faced with mental health and addictions challenges.  It will close service gaps and address specific population needs, helping to ensure that people have access to the supports and services they need to get and stay well.” Janine van den Heuvel, HNHB LHIN Board Chair

“At Gateway we understand the importance and need for supportive housing for people who face many barriers in accessing services by providing them with affordable, stable and secure housing while offering the supports they require. This funding will help to support some of communities most vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens in obtaining permanent housing and the necessary supports services they require to live independently in their own community. A place to call home.”John Osczypko, Executive Director, Gateway Residential and Community Support Services

“ARID Group Homes is very happy to be a recipient of the increased funding from Ministry of Health and the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).  This has assisted and expanded our Residential program services to support our 6 bed home for women, ARID’s WISH, (Women’s Interim Support Home).  This is the first Addiction Recovery Home for Women of its kind in the Niagara Region.

“If you have any further questions or would like to take a tour of the Women’s home or any of the homes we would be happy to have you visit.”Ken MacKenzie, Executive Director, ARID Group Homes


  • Ontario, through the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN is investing $923,819 over three years to the four projects in order to improve access to mental health and addiction services in Niagara Region.
  •  Ontario is establishing an Opioid Emergency Task Force that will include a province-wide representation of front-line workers and people with lived experience to strengthen the province’s coordinated response to the opioid crisis.
  • Naloxone kits are distributed for free across Ontario. Find the location nearest you.
  • Approximately 30 per cent of people in Ontario will experience mental illness and/or substance abuse at some point in their lifetime. Ontario is the first province in Canada to commit to developing a province wide, publicly funded psychotherapy program. As a first step, the government is funding initiatives that will help 100,000 people access treatment for common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.


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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


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