|Solving Mental Health Housing Crisis|
Steve Lurie, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto Branch, guest blogs on The Agenda, discussing the lack of progress of more supportive housing for those living with mental illness.
"Thirty years ago when a group of mental health service providers published a report calling for more supportive housing in Toronto for people living with mental illness, there were 110 supportive housing units in all of Toronto. Most people discharged from psychiatric facilities who couldn't return home went into substandard boarding homes and rooming houses.
Today there are over 4,400 supportive housing units available across the city, and a coordinated wait list of over 5,000. Most people on the wait list will have to wait two or more years to get the housing they need.
Why have we not been able to solve this problem despite 30 years of effort? There are a number of reasons:
1) The bulk of mental health service funding still goes to doctors, hospitals, and drugs instead of community supports.
2) Provincial spending on community mental health services and supportive housing accounts for 1.31% of health spending.
3) The lion's share of new investments in health care funding has not gone to community mental health – of the $16.5 billion invested in health care in Ontario only $220 million was invested in community mental health and housing."
Read the rest of the article at The Agenda.