NEWS March 29, 2016
Ontario is spending an additional $214,300 annually to improve mental services for children and youth in our community. This funding is part of a province-wide investment of $6 million to hire approximately 80 new workers to help approximately 4,000 more children, youth and their families in Ontario each year.
Approximately one in five children and youth in Ontario experience a mental health challenge and roughly 70 per cent of mental health challenges have their onset in childhood or youth. Early identification and intervention can lead to improved achievement in school and better health outcomes in life.
With the increased funding, The Good Shepherd will create a new service for LGBTQ youth facing mental health challenges and expand mobile mental health services for homeless youth. As well, Centre de Santé Communautaire will reduce waitlists in Hamilton’s francophone community by offering expanded mental health services to francophone youth. Thrive Child and Youth Trauma Services also received one-time funding to expand counselling to refugee and immigrant children and youth, including recently-arrived children and youth from Syria.
Lead agencies for child and youth mental health like Hamilton’s Lynwood Charlton Centre led local planning for the additional $6 million in funding supports, in 33 service areas across Ontario. This funding has been allocated to, and supports the work of, local, community-based, mental health services for children and youth. Lead agencies work directly with schools, hospitals, and other community partners to make sure mental health services meet the needs of those who need them, close to home.
Every child and youth deserves the opportunity to thrive and have the best possible start in life. Increasing mental health supports for children and youth is one way Ontario is working to support families and create positive environments so all of our children and youth can reach their full potential.
“Our government wants to make sure we’re giving children and youth the best opportunity at a bright future. By having our local agencies identify where the need is most, we’re making the right investments to support young, healthy minds”
-Ted McMeekin, MPP Ancaster Dundas Flamborough Westdale
“This new funding for Hamilton will help address and tailor services to local needs. Ontario’s vision is to provide services when and where they are needed – right in the community.”
-Tracy MacCharles, Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services
“The Ministry’s “Moving on Mental Health” initiative and the designation of Lead Agencies has created an invaluable opportunity for Hamilton community partners, including children, youth and families, to influence and shape a better, more accessible children’s mental health service system for everyone.”
-Alex Thomson, Executive Director, Lynwood Charlton Centre, Lead Agency for the Hamilton Service Area
For further information, please contact Ted McMeekin MPP 905-690-6552
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