Moving on Mental Health

Sign up for e-mail alerts when this page is updated.

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 ensures children, youth and families are able 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 ensure children, youth and families across the province have access to the same core services, we have identified 33 geographical service areas. Within these service areas lead agencies will ensure core child and youth mental health services are available to the communities they represent.

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 Pathways for Children and Youth
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 agencies identified in December 2015.
** Further work related to lead agency identification continues in Cochrane/Timiskaming.
*** An interim planning process is underway in the Niagara service area.


Lead agencies will assume greater responsibilities over time. During the first year, all funded agencies delivering child and youth mental health services will continue to play an important role in delivering quality services for children, youth and their families.

The responsibilities of lead agencies will 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.

In their first year, lead agencies will focus 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 will ensure core, community-based child and youth mental health services are available in their service area and will collaborate with other community partners, such as schools and hospitals.

  2. What will lead agencies do in the first year?

    In their first year, lead agencies will focus on leadership and planning. This includes planning with other core service providers to ensure core services are available in their service area. They will also collaborate with schools, hospitals and other community partners to define how different sectors will work together to address child and youth mental health needs.

  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. What authority will lead agencies have over other agencies?

    When lead agencies become fully operational they will be responsible for core service delivery within their own agency and other core child and youth mental health service providers in their service area. Before then, lead agencies will be required to demonstrate the capacity to carry out these responsibilities.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.