Addressing Urgent Workforce Challenges in Child and Youth Mental health
In the Fall of 2021, CMHO surveyed its member agencies to gather data about the serious workforce challenges facing the community child and youth mental health sector amid growing demand and need for services.
It is critical to recognize the commitment of mental health care professionals in community child and youth mental health centres across Ontario who have been providing front-line mental health supports throughout the pandemic. At the same time, high rates of vacancies in the sector create access barriers to the community mental health services that children, youth and families rely on.
Urgent support is needed from government to support and stabilize health human resources in the community child and youth mental health workforce and address shortages.
A strong and supported community child and youth mental health workforce must incorporate strategies, investments and initiatives that build capacity and prevent any further staffing shortages.
Based on the findings of the survey, this paper puts forth a set of recommendations to address staffing shortages in direct services, prevent system fragmentation and build capacity across the child and youth mental health sector.