BRACEBRIDGE — The province is funding more than half a million dollars in mental health, drug and Indigenous services for Parry Sound-Muskoka.

The $564,000 includes $320,000 for opioids addiction treatment and services, $100,000 for early psychosis intervention, and $52,000 for programs for priority populations including First Nations.

MPP Norman Miller announced the support in a release Friday.

MPP Norm Miller made the provincial announcement Friday.

He said it is part of the additional $174 million in funding to address the critical gaps in Ontario’s system and to support patients and families living with mental health and addictions challenges. To ensure mental health and addiction service providers have stable, long-term funding, the government will be making this additional funding available every year.

He admitted Ontario’s mental health care system is disconnected, making it difficult for patients and families to get the care and services they need.

He said that “leaves many vulnerable Ontarians to navigate a confusing system on their own and access timely mental health care only when in crisis.

“Too many Ontarians wait too long for the mental health and addictions services they need. This fragmented approach to care is failing Ontario’s families and is simply not good enough.

In response, he said Ontario is adding desperately needed mental health and addictions services on the ground, in schools, communities and health centres across the province. Included in the overall investment of $174 million is nearly $30 million for child and youth mental health services and programs across Ontario, as well as more than $27 million to fund mental health supports in Ontario’s education system, which will directly benefit schools, teachers and, most importantly, students and their parents.

The release added: “Our government is keeping our promise to make mental health and addictions a priority,” said Miller.

“This additional funding will go directly towards services for patients and families to help reduce wait times, enhance opioid addictions services and fund housing for those living with mental health issues.”

“These investments are part of our government’s commitment to invest $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy,” said Miller. “Together, we will create a connected system of care with comprehensive wrap-around services to ensure that every Ontarian is fully supported in their journey toward mental wellness.”