Crown Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett

Investing in mental health and distress centres

eAwaz Local News

Distress centres are experiencing a surge in demand with the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health

Toronto – Distress centres are life-saving resources in our communities which have seen a surge in demand for their crisis services since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced an investment of $3,775,000, with $2 million going towards the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and $1,775,000 going towards 13 distress centres in Canada. These centres operate across the country, including in rural and remote areas providing vital mental health support and resources to those in need including 24 hour crisis support, professional counselling, peer support and referrals.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) will support the development of resources to assist distress centres in meeting the diverse needs of key populations, including:

  • older adults
  • youth
  • parents
  • LGBTQ2+ populations
  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis people
  • first responders
  • healthcare providers
  • racially and linguistically diverse groups
  • people with disabilities

This funding is part of a $50 million investment first announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement to support distress centres across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All people in Canada, including those living in rural and remote areas and especially people with existing health inequalities, need access to critical health and mental health resources and services. As we work with provinces and territories on expanding virtual services, we are making sure that people in Canada can use emergency supports when they need them.

The federal government is committed to supporting people in Canada and their mental health and wellbeing through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. If you or a loved one is struggling, you can access the Wellness Together Canada portal, or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults) or 686868 (youth).

“The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted Canadians’ and for many, this has affected their mental and physical health, relationships, employment and other aspects of life. The distress centres being invested in today offer very important assistance across the country, connecting people to appropriate supports and resources that will have substantial benefits and will help those in crisis. We want people to know, if they need help, that they are not alone and that there is support available to them.” – Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health