One Year Later - More Than 20,000 Kids Helped
McGuinty Government Making Progress On Ontario's Mental Health Strategy
More than 20,000 kids and their families now have quicker and easier access to the right mental health services.
Ontario launched its Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, in June 2011, to deliver more high quality and timely services and support for kids and families, and to build awareness and support around mental health issues by reducing stigma and discrimination, identifying problems and intervening early.
One year later, more young people are getting the help they need in their communities. New services and supports for kids include:
- More than 400 new mental health workers in communities, schools and courts helping to provide more timely access to services
- 144 nurses working in schools to support early identification and intervention of students with potential mental health and/or addiction issues
- Expanded eating disorders services for severely ill children and youth
- New resources and supports for educators to better-support students with mental health needs by September
- New Aboriginal mental health workers to work in high-needs Aboriginal communities to provide kids with culturally-appropriate services, beginning this summer
- Expanded telepsychiatry (video counseling) services for kids in remote, rural and underserviced communities to provide more kids with consultations with child psychiatrists, beginning this fall.
The McGuinty government is committed to creating a more co-ordinated and responsive mental health system for Ontario's kids and their families.
- Approximately one in five Ontario children and youth has a mental health challenge, and 70 per cent of mental health challenges begin in childhood or adolescence.
- Over 50,000 kids and their families will benefit from Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, which includes investments totalling $257 million over the next few years.
- The strategy targets three key areas: fast access to high-quality services, early identification and support, and helping vulnerable kids with unique needs.
- Children's Mental Health Week, May 7-13, aims to decrease the stigma that young people experience and to increase awareness of mental health.
“Our government is building a mental health system that delivers the services our children and youth need, when they need it, and as close to home as possible. This year, during Children's Mental Health Week, let's celebrate the progress we've made together with all our partners and let's renew our commitment to improving the lives of kids and their families with mental health needs.”
Dr. Eric Hoskins
“We are taking steps to strengthen and improve services for children and youth experiencing mental health challenges. This initiative is part of our Action Plan for Health Care, which focuses on providing the right care at the right time - and that means early interventions to help youth with mental health problems when they first appear.”
“I am proud of Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, which is getting support to children in schools and in their communities. The progress we have made over the past year has made a real, positive difference in the lives of kids and their families, and is helping more students succeed.”