Ontario investing in De Novo addictions treatment for construction workers


Ontario Construction Report editor

The Ontario government is investing an additional $517,700 in the De Novo Treatment Centre, which provides addiction treatment to the organized construction industry, employer administrative staff, and their families.

The funding will ensure more patients get the world-class care they deserve and support the Centre’s ongoing research into substance abuse treatment. In 2022, over 2,500 people died from opioid-related causes in Ontario. Of those employed, more than one in three worked in construction.

“Construction workers and skilled tradespeople are highly valued members of our communities across Parry Sound-Muskoka. It’s imperative that we do what we can to make resources and research available to them should they encounter mental health or addictions challenges,” said Graydon Smith, MPP Parry Sound-Muskoka. “I’m proud that our government has made this commitment to invest in De Novo.

“These funds will go a long way in helping those in our community who work in construction and are in need of support.”

In partnership with the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO), and the Ontario Erectors Association, funding will also support research to better understand the correlation between mental health treatment and long-term substance abuse, the prevalence of anxiety and depression, and the addiction severity among De Novo clients.

“The De Novo Treatment Centre thanks Minister McNaughton and MPP Smith for their support in helping us develop the strategies, tools, and support systems needed to assist clients in the organized construction industry,” said Patrick Dillon, Chair of De Novo Treatment Centre Board of Directors.

In 2022, more than 2,500 people died from opioid-related causes in Ontario and of those employed, more than one third worked in construction.

“No matter who you are or where you live, we all know someone impacted by mental health and addiction,” said Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Minister Monte McNaughton. “Ontario’s construction workers are everyday heroes and our government is proud to invest in the De Novo Treatment Centre so we can save lives, remove the stigma of addiction and ensure workers get the help they need and deserve.”

The provincial Skills Development Fund supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home.

DeNova’s research will identify best practices for implementing depression and anxiety screening and treatment, developing resources to address the needs of clients in recovery, and increasing the quality of life for Ontario’s construction employees suffering from addiction.

“The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario have always made the health and safety of workers a key priority – and this includes mental health, addiction and substance abuse,” Marc Arsenault, the council’s business manager and secretary-treasurer, said in a statement. “We are proud of our continued partnership with De Novo Treatment Centre. The government’s support will mean more skilled tradespeople will get the help and the assistance they need and deserve.”


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