TORONTO -- Doug Ford says his Progressive Conservatives would spend $1.9 billion on mental health care over the next decade if elected this spring.

Ford says the party would use the money to bolster mental health, addictions and housing supports across the province.

The pledge closely echoes one made by former Tory leader Patrick Brown in his platform launched last November.

Ford, who was elected party leader in March, says his plan will help address growing frustration with capacity issues within the current mental health system.

He says it will also help cut wait times for youth who need treatment.

The Tories say they would work with agencies across the sector to ensure value for money.

"This money will help build community capacity," Ford said. "It will provide evidence-based care and support. It will reduce pressure on the hospitals."

Ontario heads to the polls on June 7.