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Health & Wellness

Outcomes 1, 2, 3

Ontario wants youth to:

Health and wellness during childhood and adolescence forms a foundation for lifelong well-being. Government ministries have developed and implemented strategies specifically for youth, and strategies for all Ontarians that have youth-specific programs and services.

This year, Ontario continued to invest in strategies that support outcomes of health and wellness for youth, including:

Strategies and Programs Supporting Outcomes

Healthy Kids Strategy

Lead: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario’s Healthy Kids Strategy aims to reduce childhood obesity and improve children’s health and well-being.

New in this report:

Related:

Immunization 2020

Lead: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Immunization 2020 is a first-of-its-kind road map for Ontario that will help the government and its partners achieve a high-performing, integrated immunization system. It builds on Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care and includes a combination of routine and high-risk immunization programs.  

New in this report:

Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy

Lead: Ministry of Community and Social Services

Under the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, Ontario supports First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals, families and communities. Key goals include reducing family violence and violence against Indigenous women and children, and improving health, healing and wellness through culturally appropriate programs and services. The strategy’s programs are for Indigenous peoples of all ages, including children, youth and young adults.

New in this report:

Ontario First Nations Health Action Plan

Leads: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and Ministry of Children and Youth Services

New! The Ontario First Nations Health Action Plan was announced in May 2016. The plan includes Indigenous youth life promotion and crisis coordination and support components such as:

Open Minds, Healthy Minds—Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy

Lead: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Open Minds, Healthy Minds—Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy is the government’s plan to support mental health for all Ontarians. Phase 1 of the strategy focused on mental health supports for children and youth and was led by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Now in Phase 2, and led by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the strategy’s focus has expanded to include improved transitions between youth and adult services and a broader focus on addictions and mental health across the lifespan.

New in this report:

Related:

Moving on Mental Health

Lead: Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Through investments in Open Minds, Healthy Minds—Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy and the Moving on Mental Health action plan, the province is fundamentally changing the way mental health services are delivered to children and youth. These programs help young people, their parents and caregivers know where to go for help and how to access the right services when they are needed.

New in this report:

Smoke-Free Ontario

Lead: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

The Smoke-Free Ontario strategy combines programs, policy, laws and public education to help smokers quit smoking, protect people from exposure to second-hand smoke, and encourage young people to never start smoking.

New in this report:

What the Data Says

Data from the Profile of Youth Wellbeing

Case Study

Kristin Legault-Donkers and the Children’s Mental Health Series

Kristin was inspired to write because of her personal experience.

Kristin Legault-Donkers lives in St. Thomas, Ontario, and is an undergraduate student at Western University. Kristin was inspired to write and publish a series of children’s books about depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder because of her personal experience with mental illness and navigating Ontario’s mental health system.

Kristin’s goals in writing the Children’s Mental Health Series were to help other children, youth and families feel less alone with their mental health challenges, learn healthy coping strategies, access community mental health services, and build an awareness and understanding of mental health and mental illnesses.

Her books describe the symptoms of mental illness in ways that children and parents can easily identify with. The books normalize mental illness by comparing it to a physical illness or an injury, like the common cold or a broken arm. The books also provide kid-friendly coping strategies, recommend ways that family members and friends can respond, and stress the importance of getting professional help. The series has been endorsed by local social workers and psychiatrists. Kristin has also partnered with a local teacher to create an educational package for classroom use.

“I just purchased your book Zack, The Very Busy Kid for my nine-year-old son. He thinks he has a lot in common with Zack. We are using the book to talk about his feelings and find some solutions. Your book has already made a difference in my son’s life and I’m sure other children are benefiting as well.”Mother from Woodstock, Ontario

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