Better Access to Mental Health Services for Children and Youth

News Release

Better Access to Mental Health Services for Children and Youth

Ontario Government’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Benefitting More Young People

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Ontario continues to strengthen mental health services for children, youth and their families while reducing stigma and raising awareness of mental health issues.

Since launching the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy in 2011, the province has supported the hiring of 770 new mental health workers in schools and communities. These workers provide timely and high quality services and have already helped approximately 35,000 kids and their families.

Starting this fall, the government will also provide 800 more children and youth in rural, remote and underserved communities with access to mental health consultations through videoconferencing. All publically funded mental health professionals will be able to refer young people to the new Tele-Mental Health service.

Improving access to mental health services for children, youth and their families is part of the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy and supports the Ontario government's efforts to build a fair society for the benefit of all.

Quick Facts

  • Approximately one in five children and youth in Ontario have a mental health challenge, and seven in 10 of all mental health challenges begin in childhood or adolescence.
  • Since 2011, Ontario has added 175 new mental health workers in schools, 80 Aboriginal workers to help young people in First Nation communities, and 144 nurses who work in schools to help provide early identification and treatment for students with mental health challenges.
  • In the 2013-14 school year, Ontario will invest $8.6 million to fund a mental health lead for each of the province’s 72 school boards.

Quotes

“We want all of our young people to have every opportunity to succeed in school and in life. That is why we’re focusing on early identification of mental health needs through awareness and open dialogue, as well as, investing in a mental health system that delivers what young people need, when they need it, as close to home as possible.”

Teresa Piruzza

Minister of Children and Youth Services

Deb Matthews

“Investing in mental health services for children and youth is an investment in our future. That’s why our government is investing in mental health workers and new telemedicine services to provide supports and services to kids and their families. By identifying these issues early, we can protect young Ontarians from the personal and economic costs of mental health problems and give them the tools they need to thrive in the future.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“This is an exciting time to be working in child and youth mental health. The initiatives supported by the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, including the hiring of mental health practitioners at the school and community levels, and the expansion of Tele-Mental Health are helping children and youth access supports and services where they need them.”

Gordon Floyd

Children’ Mental Health Ontario

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