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Report urges 'radical' changes to mental health, addiction care in Ontario

A new report says a "radical transformation" of mental health and addiction care is needed in Ontario if people are to receive the help they need.

The all-party legislative committee that authored the report is urging the government to create a new umbrella organization to co-ordinate mental health and addictions systems.

It says having a single body called Mental Health and Addictions Ontario responsible for designing and co-ordinating the system will ensure that services are delivered consistently and comprehensively across the province.

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Members of the committee, which started its work more than a year ago, say they were changed by the stories they heard from families and people struggling with mental health and addiction issues.

They say they heard from parents who slept by their front door to stop their son from slipping out to buy drugs, and a daughter who dealt with more than 20 health-care providers and agencies on her mother's behalf.

The committee says Ontario residents are waiting too long for treatment and youth are caught in the gap between programs for children and those for adults.

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