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Media Release | CMHA TVAMHS Calls for Increased Funding

JULY 9, 2024

CMHA Thames Valley Addiction & Mental Health Services Calls for Increased Funding to Community-Based Mental Health & Addiction Care

London, ON – Canadian Mental Health Association Thames Valley Addiction & Mental Health Services (CMHA TVAMHS) is raising the alarm about financial constraints that may impact its future ability to provide vital mental health and addiction services. The agency’s financial difficulties underscore the critical need for increased funding and equitable compensation for its dedicated staff.
To address these challenges, CMHA TVAMHS has had to make difficult decisions, including restructuring services and reducing staff positions. Despite these measures, the agency has ensured that the impact on service provision has been minimal. Maintaining this level of service, however, will become increasingly difficult without additional funding.
“While our financial constraints have minimally impacted service provision to date, we foresee greater impacts in the future,” CEO Pam Tobin emphasized. “We continue to work with funders and partners to advocate for permanent, adequate funding. Without additional investment in community-based care, we risk longer wait times, increased pressure on emergency services, and reduced service delivery during a worsening opioid crisis.”
CMHA TVAMHS offers vital services to the region served – including those that help alleviate pressures on first responders and other health care settings. Services include education, peer support, wellness programs, crisis supports, phone-based programs, police-response partnerships, and community-based treatment services. The CMHA TVAMHS Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Centre in London also facilitates police and ambulance drop-off for those in crisis, which diverts individuals from the emergency department.
In a typical year, CMHA TVAMHS sees over 15,000 clients through in-person services, which includes treatment, case management, peer support, and wellness programs. Additionally, last year CMHA TVAMHS provided almost 20,000 crisis response interactions. The agency also recorded over 43,000 phone-based interactions to those calling crisis and support lines. In addition to mental health and addiction treatment and services, CMHA TVAMHS also supports over 1000 individuals with supportive housing.
“We know our services are needed,” says Tobin. “Not only by the individuals we serve, but by the community at large. Our services lessen the strain on other systems and we are working diligently to ensure our low-barrier access is not disrupted and quality of care remains high.”
In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, CMHA TVAMHS recorded a $2.6 million deficit on total revenues of $52.5 million, marking the first deficit in the agency’s history. This shortfall highlights the chronic underfunding of the community-based mental health and addiction sector. Despite a 5% increase in base funding last year—the first substantial boost in a decade—the financial support remains insufficient to meet growing operational costs and service demands.
“Community-based care is often paid up to 30% less than other healthcare settings,” said Tobin. “Our staff are performing increasingly complex work with a growing demand for services, and they deserve fair compensation.”
CMHA TVAMHS calls on the government to increase funding in the mental health and addiction sector. The agency invites community members and supporters to join in advocating for the necessary resources to ensure the stability and sustainability of community-based care.


About Canadian Mental Health Association Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services

Media Contact:
Jillian Driessen | Communications Coordinator
CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services
519-673-3242 ext. 1293

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