Sault Ste. Marie’s mayor is reiterating the need for more mental health and addictions services in the city. In an open letter to the public, Mayor Matthew Shoemaker says the city, like many others, continues to grapple with a mental health and addictions crisis.
His letters comes in the wake of a troubling week, that saw Sault Police launching investigations into two violent incidents on the same day.
“We don’t know the exact causes of the the boardwalk attack or the apparent homicide on John Street that took place last week, but it is evident that there is a growing unease and a growing need for mental health services in our community that is not going away,” said Shoemaker.
He says the city is still making its way through the process of securing a supervised consumption site.
“I expect there will be a report on the council agenda on Sept. 18 detailing the next steps in the process, one of which will be determining which lead agency will submit the application to the Province and the Federal Government, and the community consultation process on a location,” he said.
Shoemaker also wants to see a return of Sault Area Hospital’s “Concurrent Disorders Day Treatment Program.” While declining a formal interview, hospital officials say the program was stopped due to “resource restrictions,” and that they are waiting on funding from the Province to reintroduce the program. Meantime, Shoemaker says there is no single solution to the complex issue of addiction and mental health.
“Every service that comes on board contributes to, I think, the overall betterment of our community’s health and mental health and addictions resources,” he said.
With regard to the Residential Withdrawal Management facility, hospital officials say an announcement regarding the grand opening will be coming soon.