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Helping Young People with Mental Health Challenges

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Helping Young People with Mental Health Challenges

McGuinty Government Continues to Make Progress on Mental Health Strategy

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Ontario is supporting 600 new mental health workers across the province who are helping children, young people and their families get quicker and easier access to the right mental health services and supports in schools, communities and courts.

These new workers include:

  • 144 nurses working directly in schools to support the early identification and treatment of students with potential mental health and/or addiction issues.
  • 260 new workers in community mental health agencies to provide kids access to services closer to home.
  • 21 new workers in the court system to keep youth out of the justice system and refer them instead to community-based services.
  • 175 additional new workers in schools, who will provide kids support to address their mental health needs.

Ontario also is enhancing supports to prevent youth suicide with a focus on early intervention and peer-to-peer support.

Helping kids get the supports they need is part of the McGuinty government's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy that is delivering high-quality, timely services and supports to kids and families while building awareness of mental health issues and reducing stigma.

Quick Facts

  • Approximately one in five Ontario children and young people have a mental health challenge, and 70 per cent of mental health challenges begin in childhood or adolescence.
  • An estimated 20,000 more kids and their families are benefitting from the support and services provided by these new mental health workers.
  • Over 50,000 kids and their families will benefit from Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.

Additional Resources


Dr. Eric Hoskins

“Our mental health strategy has led to an unprecedented investment in mental health services for young people and their families. These 600 new mental health workers are already helping more than 20,000 kids get quicker and easier access to the services that will help them succeed. We are also enhancing our focus on preventing youth suicide by supporting early intervention and peer-to-peer support.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

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 providing 600 new mental health workers 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

“We want all of our students to have every opportunity to succeed in school and in life. By providing more resources in schools to identify and treat mental health issues at an early age, parents will know their children are getting the support they need to reach their potential.”

Laurel Broten

Minister of Education

“The significance of the Ontario government’s investment in children’s mental health is not just monetary. Most important, the investment recognizes the critical relationship between positive mental health and healthy relationships, success in school, at work and within the community. It also underscores the effectiveness of programs and services in making life better for kids”

Heather Sproule

Executive Director, Central Toronto Youth Services

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