The provincial government is shelling out some funds to advance mental health programs in the county.

Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott confirmed in an interview with MyHaliburtonNow.com that Ontario and the federal government are increasing funding for mental health by 3.8 billion of the next 10 years.

Although the billions are spread out over 10 years, Scott says the latest announcement is $174 million this year. The Minister of Labour says the goal of this particular investment is to reduce the gaps in coverage for Ontarians. Moreover, the hope is that it helps people that are struggling with mental health concerns and addiction.

Locally speaking, as part of this investment, Point in Time is getting “almost $30,000 for child and youth mental health.” Scott goes on to say the Haliburton Highlands Health Services will be getting an increase of about $5,000 for their rent supplement supportive housing program.

Another thing getting some of that money is Forecast, which Scott explains is a youth residential treatment and withdrawal program for the area which is getting an increase in funding by roughly $143,000. Scott explains that Chimo Youth and Family Services is getting an increase of $30,000.

According to the longtime MPP, the organizations that got funding are well known and do great work, but this investment helps them continue the work that they do to help the Haliburton Highlands. Scott says “we take mental health as just as much of a priority as physical health, in fact, it is equivalent to physical health and we want that recognition for the agencies that deliver the services. But also it helps raise awareness for everyone,” She goes on to say ” I think all of us have been touched by someone that needs those extra services.”

Scott emphasizes that we as a community need to know that those services are there and functioning. The impassioned Queen’s Park representative says that we need to tell those in need that these things exist and they are here to help.