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Appendix: Child and Youth Mental Health

Mental health services for children and youth are currently delivered through more than 260 child and youth mental health agencies, 17 hospital-based outpatient programs, one directly-operated child and youth mental health centre, as well as on-site clinical supports at six directly-operated youth justice secure custody/detention facilities, and by a number of multi-service agencies, who provide services to children and youth with multiple needs (e.g., youth justice and mental health).

Through Ontario's Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, the ministry and its partners continued to build a system that delivers what children and youth need, when they need it, as close to home as possible. The Strategy is strengthening services for children and youth, creating a more integrated and responsive system, and building awareness and capacity within the education system to support students and their families.

New supports and services across Ontario continued to focus on three key areas:

  • Faster access to high quality services so kids with mental health needs receive the right type of services, at the right time, when they need it;
  • Identifying kids with mental health needs earlier and getting them the right help sooner to support them to stay in school, graduate and lead fulfilling and productive lives; and
  • More services and supports to meet the unique needs of vulnerable kids, Aboriginal children and youth, and those living in remote communities.

Children and their families were able to access mental health services closer to their home due to more than 770 new mental health workers in schools, courts and communities. More than 80 new mental health and addictions workers are helping almost 4,000 Aboriginal children and youth get better access to culturally appropriate services.

Ontario's new Tele-Mental Health Service is providing more than 3,500 psychiatric consults this year to benefit children and youth in rural, remote and underserved communities. All publicly funded mental health professionals are now able to refer young people to the new Tele-Mental Health Services.

As part of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, Ontario's youth suicide prevention plan is helping communities to respond better to young people in crisis. Through the plan, the ministry has:

  • Provided funding to communities across the province to strengthen their local youth suicide prevention efforts;
  • Organized annual community mobilization forums to bring together professionals working with young people at risk or in crisis - in Ottawa, Toronto, London, Sudbury and Thunder Bay - to support continued cross sector mobilization on youth suicide prevention;
  • Partnered with the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health to develop a web-based guide and coaching supports to help communities mobilize their youth suicide prevention efforts; and
  • Provided additional targeted supports to First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and urban Aboriginal partners to develop culturally-appropriate, community-driven solutions to youth suicide prevention.

Building on the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, ‘Moving on Mental Health – a system that makes sense for children and youth' is the next step in transforming the child and youth mental health system. Moving on Mental Health is transforming the experience of children and youth with mental health problems and their families so that regardless of where they live in Ontario they will know what mental health services are available in their communities and how to access services and supports that meet their needs. Moving on Mental Health transformation includes establishing lead agencies in every Ontario community that will be responsible for the planning and delivery of service, and identifying core services. In 2013-14, the ministry identified core services, announced service areas across the province, and began the process of identifying lead agencies. In 2014-15, MCYS identified 16 lead agencies and launched the identification process for the remaining service areas. Identified lead agencies have begun the planning process in their service areas with community-based agencies and broader sector partners.

The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health continued its work to improve the quality and effectiveness of child and youth mental health services by promoting evidence-based practices and knowledge transfer to front-line service providers.