News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 2, 2022

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT INVESTING $390,000 TO SUPPORT EXPANSION OF RAPID ACCESS TO ADDICTIONS MEDICINE CLINIC SERVICES

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Increase in Operating Hours, Staff Will Help Meet Growing Demand: Guillemard

The Manitoba government is investing $390,000 to expand services and increase capacity at Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinics across the province to help keep communities safe, Mental Health and Community Wellness Minister Sarah Guillemard announced today.

“As our province continues to contend with a rise in problematic substance use related to the COVID-19 pandemic, our government is taking concrete action to help meet the growing demand for addictions services and ensure Manitobans have access to a wide range of supports,” said Guillemard. “RAAM clinics have proven to be a successful model of care for addictions treatment, and this investment will increase their capacity to help those in need of services.”

RAAM clinics bring together addictions treatment with health services to give patients access to a variety of supports in one place including addictions medicine specialists, primary-care providers and community services. The RAAM clinical team connects patients to treatment programs and physicians in the community and provides wraparound supports including assessment, counselling and the prescription of appropriate medication such as opiate agonist treatment (OAT).

There are currently six RAAM clinic locations in Manitoba including two in Winnipeg and one in Brandon, Thompson, Selkirk and Portage la Prairie. Between September 2018 and August 2022, more than 12,500 Manitobans registered for services at RAAM clinics.

The minister noted the new funding will support an expansion of operating hours at a Winnipeg RAAM clinic located at the Mental Health Crisis Response Centre to include Saturdays, as well as additional staff at the other Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie and Thompson clinics. In addition, earlier this year, the Manitoba government invested $538,000 to expand OAT services at the Selkirk RAAM clinic, increasing its hours to five days per week from one day per week.

“RAAM clinics provide much-needed care for Manitobans living with substance use disorders,” said Dr. Erin Knight, RAAM medical lead, Shared Health. “With demand for addiction services on the rise, increasing hours and staffing of RAAM clinics throughout the province will allow us to better meet the needs of the people reaching out for help every day.”

The Manitoba government has made significant investments in mental health and addictions services since October 2019 including more than $62 million in over 47 projects and initiatives.

The Manitoba government has invested more than $10 million in RAAM clinics across the province since 2018 including the implementation of a provincial RAAM hub that provides executive oversight and co-ordination of RAAM services, reporting and evaluation, as well as training and education opportunities. In addition to in-person RAAM clinic services, the Manitoba government is working with health authorities to increase access to virtual services such as in the Southern Health-Santé Sud region including the Morden-Winkler area.

The minister noted today’s announcement aligns with the strategic priorities set out in A Pathway to Mental Health and Community Wellness: A Roadmap for Manitoba. To read the five-year plan for improving wellness, mental health, substance use and addictions services and programs, visit https://gov.mb.ca/mh/docs/roadmap.pdf.

For more information on RAAM clinics in Manitoba, visit https://sharedhealthmb.ca/services/mental-health/raam-clinic/.

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