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Moving on Mental Health

Program Guidelines and Requirements (PGR): Core Services and Key Processes have been released. Learn more about PGRs.

Moving on Mental Health is an important part of Ontario's Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. The plan will help children, youth and families to get mental health services in their communities that are accessible, responsive and meet their needs. Strengthening the community-based system for delivering mental health services brings people and organizations closer together locally and benefits everyone. All children and youth with mental health problems in Ontario, and their families will know:

  • what mental health services are available in their communities; and
  • how to access the mental health services and supports that meet their needs.

To support children, youth and families across the province having access to the same core services, we have identified 33 geographical service areas. Lead agencies will plan to support the effective delivery of core child and youth mental health services within the communities they represent.

Cochrane Timiskaming Lead Agency Identification Process

The period to send in a submission to be considered for the lead agency role in the Cochrane-Timiskaming service area has now closed. We would like to thank those that sent in a submission. To find out more about the process to identify the Cochrane Timiskaming lead agency, please read the Guide to the Cochrane Timiskaming Lead Agency Identification Process, or view a presentation entitled Lead Agency Roles, Responsibilities and Identification Process for the Cochrane Timiskaming Service Area.

Please contact movingonmentalhealth@ontario.ca if you have any questions.

Please note a separate identification process was recently held for the Niagara service area. Both lead agencies are expected to be identified by April 2018.

Service Areas and Lead Agencies for Child and Youth Mental Health

Mental Health Lead Agencies
MCYS Region Service Area Lead Agency
Central Dufferin/Wellington Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington Dufferin Branch
Halton Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK)
Peel Peel Children’s Centre
Simcoe New Path Youth and Family Counselling Services of Simcoe County
Waterloo Lutherwood
York Kinark Child and Family Services
East Durham Kinark Child and Family Services
Frontenac/Lennox and Addington Maltby Centre
Haliburton/Kawartha Lakes/Peterborough Kinark Child and Family Services
Hastings/Prince Edward/Northumberland Children’s Mental Health Services
Lanark/Leeds/Grenville Children's Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville
Ottawa Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa
Prescott & Russell Valoris for Children and Adults of Prescott-Russell
Renfrew The Phoenix Centre for Children and Families*
Stormont/Dundas/Glengarry Cornwall Community Hospital
North* Algoma Algoma Family Services
Kenora/Rainy River FIREFLY – Physical, Emotional, Developmental and Community Services
Nipissing/Parry Sound/Muskoka Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca
Sudbury/Manitoulin Child and Family Centre/Centre de l'enfant et de la famille/Ngodweaangizwin Aaskaagewin
Thunder Bay Children’s Centre Thunder Bay
Toronto Toronto East Metro Youth Services
West* Brant Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services
Chatham/Kent Chatham Kent Children’s Services
Elgin/Oxford Oxford-Elgin Child & Youth Centre
Essex Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare - Regional Children's Centre
Grey/Bruce Keystone Child, Youth & Family Services
Haldimand/Norfolk Haldimand Norfolk Resource, Education and Counselling Help (H-N REACH)
Hamilton Lynwood Charlton Centre
Huron/Perth Huron Perth Centre for Children and Youth
Lambton St. Clair Child & Youth Services
Middlesex Madame Vanier Children’s Services

* Lead agency identification processes were recently held for the Niagara service area and the Cochrane Timiskaming service area, and interim planning processes are currently underway. Lead agencies for these service areas are expected to be identified by April 2018.


The responsibilities of lead agencies fall into two broad categories:

  • Core Service responsibilities – ensuring core community-based child and youth mental services are available in every service area.
  • Local System responsibilities – ensuring the community-based sector works together with health care providers, schools, and other organizations so young people get the support they need.

Lead agencies will build the knowledge and understanding of their service area over time – with initial activities focusing on leadership and planning. This includes:

  • building leadership teams
  • beginning local engagement activities
  • raising awareness of the role of the lead agency
  • working together with partners to determine planning processes
  • documenting the status of core child and youth mental health services
  • learning how to use data to support planning

We will provide clear direction to lead agencies and core child and youth mental health service providers through a suite of program guidelines and requirements. These are based on the draft service framework.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do lead agencies do?

    Lead agencies provide leadership at the local level, and are responsible for planning for the effective delivery of core, community-based child and youth mental health services. Lead agencies are also responsible for working with community partners, such as schools and hospitals, across the broader continuum of child and youth mental health services and supports.

    In addition, they play a key role at the provincial-level providing input into broader provincial activities and supporting ongoing accountability and continuous quality improvement of the child and youth mental health system.

    At the core of the lead agency function is their development of a Core Services Delivery Report and a Community Mental Health Report.

  2. What is a Core Services Delivery Report and a Community Mental Health Report?

    Child and youth mental health lead agencies are required to develop a Core Services Delivery Report. The report will be multi-year in focus, with an annual cycle that aligns with the ministry’s annual contracting process. The focus of the Core Services Delivery Report is on identifying and responding to local child and youth mental health needs through the identification of priorities, activities and proposed resource allocations.

    The Community Mental Health Report describes how services and supports across the mental health continuum work together to meet the needs of children and youth, and identifies broader priorities, with an emphasis on supporting clear pathways to, through and out of care.

    Both of these reports will be a key input into the ministry’s annual core service resource allocations, as well as serve a key role in supporting community-level engagement, dialogue and implementation of service area priorities and broader cross-sectoral alignment with Local Health Integration Networks, school boards, etc.

  3. Is the lead agency the best service provider in every community?

    Lead agencies were identified based on excellence in leadership, partnership, service expertise and infrastructure. They have clinical and service expertise across a broad range of agencies and professionals in the community-based mental health sector.

  4. How were the service areas created?

    Service areas are based on census divisions, or multiple census divisions in areas of low population. This approach was taken in order to support a system that makes strong use of population and service data. In most of the province, census division boundaries mirror county or municipal boundaries, which align with public health units, school boards and municipal service.

  5. What are the core services and key processes?

    Core services are funded child and youth mental health services that lead agencies will, at full implementation, be responsible for making available in their service area. Learn more about the core services and key processes.