June 2021

Breaking Free from Substance Use, Breaking Free Group’s clinically effective virtual care solution for Substance Use Disorder, has been commissioned by Ontario Health for scaling across the province of Ontario.

This initiative, which is being funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, enables every public and not-for-profit health service provider in Ontario to utilize the solution and provide access to all their clients. It also allows Ontarians seeking confidential help for problematic drinking or drug use to self-enrol on the Breaking Free program using their postal code without needing to present to services.

The rollout of the solution across Ontario is being supported by lead implementation organizations in each of the five regions: Health Sciences North and St Joseph’s Care Group (North Region); Addiction Services for York Region and Peel Addiction Assessment and Referral Centre (Central Region); CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services (West Region); Ontario Shores and The Royal, Ottawa (East Region); and Renascent (Toronto Region). 

To support implementation, a comprehensive Operational Toolkit has been launched to enable health service providers to integrate the Breaking Free solution into their care pathways; cascade training in the potential delivery models to their clinicians and practitioners; and promote the therapeutic benefits of the program to their clients. 

All organizations utilizing the solution in Ontario will receive an online dashboard allowing them to monitor in real-time the aggregated, anonymized data from the Breaking Free program on client engagement and clinical outcomes via a comprehensive set of 22 metrics.

To ensure equity of access, all components of the Breaking Free solution, including the Breaking Free from Substance Use Program, Companion App, Operational Toolkit and Outcomes Dashboard, have been made available in both official languages. 

The Ontario Ministry of Health will be commissioning a leading research institution to conduct an independent evaluation of the project. This will be supplemented by studies undertaken by Breaking Free Group to examine implementation and adoption of the solution by Francophone and First Nations and Indigenous communities.

In addition, Breaking Free Group will be actively engaging First Nations and Indigenous services with the objective of co-producing manuals to support practitioners in delivering the Breaking Free program as Computer-Assisted Therapy in a culturally sensitive way.  

Dr Jonathan Ward, Manging Director of Breaking Free Group, commented: “We are thrilled and honoured that our solution, which delivers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for substance use disorder at scale, has been selected by Ontario Health for this provincial rollout. As the Breaking Free Online program will be accessible to Ontarians via a direct-to-consumer route as well as supporting clients in the care of health service providers, this initiative greatly advances our mission to empower people to overcome their addictions by increasing their access to evidence-based behavioural support.”   

Glyn Davies, Service Development Manager at Breaking Free Group, commented: “We are very excited to be working with addiction treatment providers across Ontario. The versatility of the Breaking Free solution means they will be using it to manage their waiting lists, strengthen a wide range of treatment programs and services, reinforce their medication-assisted treatment, support their peer mentoring initiatives, and provide continuing care for their clients.”  

To see the Ontario Health Launch Webinar, click here

Pour voir le webinaire de lancement de Santé Ontario, click here

To see the Ontario Health Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence website, click here.

Pour voir le site du centre d'excellence pour la santé mentale et la lutte contre les dépendances de Santé Ontario, cliquez ici.

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