Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions tours Akwesasne, SD&G, and Cornwall

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By Nick Seebruch
Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions tours Akwesasne, SD&G, and Cornwall
Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo (centre) prior to a tour of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA)'s Healing Centre in Cornwall. He is pictured with MCA's Grand Chief Abram Benedict (left of Tibollo) and Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell (second from right) on Thursday, July 15, 2021 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Provincial Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo toured Akwesasne, SD&G and Cornwall on Thursday, July 15 to see how different local governments are responding to issues of mental health.

“All Ontarians will receive immediate access to direct help and care supports when they need it most,” said McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. “This pandemic has had a toll on everyone and it is important that to ensure Minister Tibollo is aware of the challenges people are facing.”

Among the stops made by Tibollo was the soon to open Healing Centre created by the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne at the former Cornwall General Hospital on Second St. in Cornwall.

“The statistics surrounding homelessness and drug addiction are troublesome and continue to rise in and around our community. Our programs continue to work tirelessly to offer services and expand them to ensure we meet the present needs. Having the support politically and financially to provide these important services is much needed. The Akwesasne Healing Centre will go a long way in helping those who may have fallen through the cracks of public services,” said Benedict, Grand Chief of the MCA.

The entire region has seen a marked increase in homelessness, opioid overdoses, and general mental health issues.

READ MORE: A look into the region’s homeless problem

Local crisis organizations concerned for mental health pandemic

EOHU and CPS warn of rising number of overdoses in Cornwall and area

The province of Ontario recently announced an investment of $12.8 million to support mental health and addiction services in Indigenous communities. This investment is a part of a larger $350 million spending plan to support addiction and mental health services across the province that was announced by the Ontario government in 2020.

“For far too long, Indigenous peoples and communities across Ontario have been faced with gaps and barriers to accessing effective mental health and addictions supports that meet their unique needs,” said Associate Minister Tibollo. “By expanding access for Indigenous communities to higher-quality and culturally appropriate mental health and addictions services, we’re taking another important step in building a mental health and addictions system that fully supports people of all ages in their journey towards mental wellness.”

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