MCYS System Transition Update
In November 2012, Ontario released ‘Moving on Mental Health’. An important part of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, the plan will transform the experiences of children, youth and families that need help for mental health issues. Wherever they live in Ontario, children, youth and 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.
Ontario is working hard to ensure children, youth and families are able to get mental health services in their communities that are:
- Responsive; and
- Based on the experiences of the children and youth who need help.
Strengthening the community-based system for delivering mental health services will bring people and organizations closer together locally and benefit children, youth and families.
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. Families may choose to access child and youth mental health services from whichever service area is most convenient.
In September 2013, the ministry released a draft Service Framework as a key part of its Moving On Mental Health plan. The framework provides direction to agencies and outlines core mental health services for children and youth that are to be delivered by ministry-funded agencies across Ontario. The framework is based on:
- Best and emerging practices;
- Reviews of other jurisdictions;
- The Canadian Centre for Accreditation’s pilot standards: Accreditation for Child and Youth Mental Health Organizations; and
- Discussions with sector leaders, experts, partner ministries and ministry staff.
Halton was involved in Phase 1 of System Transition and lead agencies were chosen in August 2014. ROCK Reach Out Centre for Kids was designated lead for Halton. The other lead agencies in our Central Region are Peel Children’s Centre for Peel Region, Lutherwood for Waterloo Region and Kinark for York Region.
The first phase one lead agency meetings took place in Toronto mid-October. Lead agencies will assume greater responsibilities in the child and youth mental health sector over a two to three year period. During the first year, all ministry-funded agencies that are delivering child and youth mental health services will continue to play an important role in delivering quality services for children, youth and their families. Agencies affected will be meeting in November for an orientation with the four lead agencies and MCYS staff of the Central Region.
The responsibilities of lead agencies will fall into two broad categories:
- Core Service responsibilities – ensuring core services are delivered by the community-based child and youth mental health sector 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.
During the first few months of operation, lead agencies will focus on leadership and planning. This includes:
- Building their leadership team;
- 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 children and youth mental health services; and
- Learning how to use data to support planning.
For further information: http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/specialneeds/mentalhealth/moving-on-mental-health.aspx