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Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan Included in Provincial Budget

Budget 2024-25 Invests in New Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Services 

A record investment of $574.0 million in the 2024-25 Budget supports mental health and addictions services with a $56.0 million, or 10.9 per cent, increase from 2023-24. This includes $34.0 million in new funding to expand services and improve mental health and addictions care for Saskatchewan people. The remaining $22.0 million is for increased utilization of hospital-based services, physician visits and prescription drug costs.

Under the new Action Plan for Mental Health and Addictions, the Government of Saskatchewan is adding 500 addictions treatment spaces across the province to double capacity for treatment. The 2024-25 Budget invests an additional $6.2 million to add 150 more addictions treatment spaces to the 183 that have already been announced, further advancing toward the total target of 500.

New funding of $1.0 million will support the development of a central intake system that patients can contact directly to self-refer for treatment, and an additional $1.0 million in new funding will support the development of a provincial opioid agonist therapy program to improve access to important services that help alleviate opioid dependency. 

The budget provides $200,000 in new funding to support recovery living spaces in partnership with Oxford House to help people sustain their recovery in a supportive living environment after they transition out of addiction treatment.

“Our focus is on helping more people overcome addictions and live healthy, safe lives in recovery,” Mental Health and Addictions Minister Tim McLeod said. “By making addictions treatment more accessible, we can save lives, heal families and strengthen our communities.”

New investments in mental health in the 2024-25 Budget include $1.0 million in new funding to further expand the Mental Health Capacity Building initiative to five more schools, $215,000 for the Bridgepoint Centre for Eating Disorders to provide virtual treatment services through the publicly funded health care system and $2.4 million to enhance psychiatric support services in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.

Prenatal Outreach and Response Teams through Sanctum Care Group will receive $150,000 in new funding to support the health and wellness of expectant mothers with complex life situations.

The 2024-25 Budget also annualizes funding for recent initiatives, including $6.9 million for addictions treatment spaces that were announced prior to the budget; and $1.2 million for other commitments, including residential homes for youth with chronic mental health and addictions issues, as well as Rapid Access Counselling for children and youth.

The Ministry of Health continues to support the Provincial Approach to Homelessness in the 2024-25 Budget with $5.7 million in wrap-around mental health and addictions supports for residents of supportive housing; and $7.7 million in operating funding for the Complex Needs Emergency Shelters to provide withdrawal management, primary care, brief counselling and referrals to other services, including inpatient addictions treatment, housing and income assistance.

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