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Record Investment in Mental Health and Addictions Services in Budget 2023-24

To assist individuals, children, and families impacted by mental health and addiction issues, Saskatchewan plans to increase funding for established programs and introduce innovative programming. In the upcoming fiscal year, the budget will provide a record level of financial support with $518 million, including an increase of $12.4 million for targeted initiatives. Approximately 7.5% of the overall Health budget will be directed towards mental health and addiction initiatives, with $438.4 million allocated to mental health and $79.2 million to addictions.

The new funding will prioritize expanding supports for children and youth, increasing financial support for partnership programs with other human services ministries, and creating additional addictions treatment spaces. Mental Health and Addictions Minister Everett Hindley emphasized that the government is committed to ensuring that Saskatchewan people can access necessary mental health and addiction services. To achieve this goal, the government is investing $518 million in mental health and addictions services in Budget 2023-24, with a particular focus on new initiatives that cater to children and youth, address the needs of vulnerable populations, and increase addictions treatment spaces.

The $12.4 million in funding for new, targeted initiatives includes:

  • $5.3 million for addictions services and supports for vulnerable populations including:
    • $2.3 million to support the second phase of a 150 additional addictions treatment spaces commitment;
    • $1.0 million to support the continued actions of the Provincial Drug Task Force such as overdose outreach support teams;
    • $900,000 for continuation of the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s Opioid Stewardship program;
    • $586,000 for housing supports through Phoenix Residential Society;
    • $300,000 for the Saskatoon Tribal Council mobile services in Saskatoon and area; and
    • $250,000 for a new program to provide grants to community-level peer support groups.
  • $3.5 million for new children and youth mental health and addictions supports, including:
    • $1.7 million for expansion of the brief counselling program offered by Family Services Saskatchewan to children and youth;
    • $1.2 million to partner with the Ministry of Social Services for the operation of three new  residential homes to support youth with significant mental health and addictions issues; 
    • $436,000 for Sanctum to support the Prenatal Outreach Resource Team (PORT). This builds on the 2022-23 investment; and
    • $160,000 to the SHA improve access for children and youth through a new navigator in northwest Saskatchewan, consultant nurse for psychiatry at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, and therapist for the Saskatoon Children’s centre for children who witness or experience abuse.
  • $2.9 million to fund the annualized costs of initiatives commenced in 2022-23, including 14 post-treatment spaces in Estevan operated by St. Joseph’s.
  • $640,000 for other mental health initiatives, including:
    • $240,000 for expansion of Police and Crisis Team (PACT) to two more provincial locations to be confirmed; and
    • $400,000 in additional funding for the University of Regina’s Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (ICB-T) program.

Over $100 million has been provided for targeted mental health and addictions initiatives since 2018-19.

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