1 in 5 Ontario children are struggling with a mental health concern. Mental health issues often begin at a young age — about 70 per cent of mental health challenges have their onset in childhood and adolescence.
Finding mental health services for children and youth in Ontario can be difficult, confusing and time-consuming.
This is why Ontario is strengthening the community-based child and youth mental health system, so that parents and youth will know what child and youth mental health services are available in their communities and how to access them.
The ministry has identified 34 geographical service areas to ensure that children, youth and families across the province can access the same core services, and have clear pathways to care.
The ministry has identified lead agencies in 14 of the 34 geographic service areas. They will work with their community partners to strengthen the community-based child and youth mental health system to ensure families, children and youth have access to the services they need, when they need them, as close to home as possible.
The priority for lead agencies in their first year will be to engage in leadership and planning activities to set the stage for system change. There will be no abrupt changes to core service delivery in the service area.
Creating a more responsive and integrated system for children and youth is part of Ontario’s ongoing commitment to helping children and youth with mental health issues through its Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.