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Ontario Expanding Mental Health and Addictions Support for Youth

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Ontario Expanding Mental Health and Addictions Support for Youth

Six New Youth Wellness Hubs Will Help Up To 12,000 Youth

Ontario is investing in six new youth wellness hubs to help more youth access the mental health and addictions services they need, close to home.

Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, made the announcement today at the Mississauga-based Malton Neighbourhood Services, the network lead for the Malton Youth Wellness Hub.

Youth wellness hubs are walk-in centres where young people ages 12 to 25 can get one-stop access to the mental health and addictions services they need. Services include mental health assessments, treatment for addictions and substance use, therapy and counselling, peer and family support and referrals to health care providers, including psychiatrists. Primary care, education, employment and housing services are also available, all under one youth-friendly roof.

Through these new integrated hubs, up to 12,000 young people who are experiencing mental health or addictions challenges will get the support they need. The hubs also provide seamless access to more specialized care and treatment, if needed.

This investment is part of a historic new $2.1 billion investment that will make it easier to access mental health and addiction services through a local school, family doctor's office or community-based organization. In addition to these six new youth wellness hubs, the 2018 Budget also commits to creating 15 additional youth wellness hubs across the province. 

Ontario will also hire additional mental health workers in secondary schools, who will support mental health and addiction issues early on and provide a bridge to community services so students can get the services they need when they need it. Every secondary school in Ontario will have access to an additional mental health worker, with about 400 new positions being added within two years. Other supports will include new permanent funding for professional development for educators and staff and the inclusion of social-emotional learning skills throughout the curriculum.

Expanding access to mental health and addictions services is part of the government's broader plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.

Quick Facts

  • Six new youth wellness hubs will be located in Eastern Champlain (Cornwall area), Haliburton, Kenora, Malton, North Simcoe and Niagara Region. The province is already supporting four youth wellness hubs, including three in Toronto and one in Chatham.
  • If passed in the 2018 budget, the province will make a four-year investment of $2.1 billion in mental health and addictions services for people across Ontario.
  • Of the government’s total funding commitment to mental health and addictions services, $570 million is dedicated to the child and youth mental health system, to help more young people get the help they need faster and closer to home.
  • One in five young people will experience a mental illness at some point in his or her life. Around 70 percent of adults with mental health issues say their symptoms began in childhood or adolescence.
  • Providing Ontario’s young people with these mental health and addictions services responds to recommendation made by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s provincial Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council. The Council was formed in 2014 and consists of representatives from diverse sectors, including mental health and addictions experts, and people with lived experience.

Additional Resources

Quotes

Michael Coteau

“Youth wellness hubs will play an important role in early intervention, which we know is crucial. The hubs will be a complement to the work already underway to help young people get the mental health and addictions supports they need faster, closer to home and under one roof.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Children and Youth Services

Dr. Helena Jaczek

“Often times mental health issues first begin to surface during the teenage years. Youth wellness hubs will help ensure thousands of young people in Ontario get the support they need, and will give them the tools they need to live healthy lives and achieve their dreams.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“As the lead of a unified network of service providers in Peel Region, Malton Neighbourhood Services is proud to be chosen as one of the youth wellness hubs. Our aim is to bring together all the services and supports that youth and their families require to improve access to mental health services. Above all, our hub will be co-designed and driven by the ideas and interests of young people and their families.”

Jacquie Lewis

Executive Director, Malton Neighbourhood Services

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Ontario government in this initiative to provide our province’s youth with timely and convenient access to integrated mental health and addictions services.”

Ian Boeckh

President, Graham Boeckh Foundation

“Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario represents the culmination of years of consultation with youth, family members, clinicians and others about system and service changes to improve services for youth. Through collaboration and partnership, communities have come together to move forward with new ways of working that support youth in the ways they need and want to be supported. Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario puts youth at the centre and is an exciting step forward for our communities and our province.”

Dr. Joanna Henderson

Executive Director, Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario

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