Ontario’s Kids and Families Can’t Wait.
OUR PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION
An entire generation of kids is at risk if they don’t receive the mental health care they so urgently need. Prior to the pandemic, over 28,000 Ontario children and youth were waiting up to 2.5 years for mental health care.
The pandemic has exacerbated what we already knew—that kids are in crisis.
New investments of $131 million annually to expand front-line services will reduce wait times for counselling and therapy and help Ontario families access the critical mental health services they need. These investments will help expand treatment services for children with the most serious needs and will allow for 24/7 crisis support services to ensure kids and families don’t end up in hospital emergency departments for care.
NOW MORE THAN EVER, #KIDSCANTWAIT FOR MENTAL HEALTH CARE
of kids have reported a worsening in their mental health since the start of the pandemic
Every Ontario family should have timely access to the mental health care they need, at the right time and right place. Through the pandemic, Ontario’s child and youth mental health centres have experienced an increase in both need for service and severity of mental illness that children and youth are experiencing. Investments are urgently needed to ensure centres are equipped to meet the needs of Ontario’s children, youth and families in communities across the province.
The following two priority areas have been identified to ensure kids and families are able to access the mental health care they need, at the right time and in the right place.
New investments of $131 million to expand mental health services for Ontario's children and youth.
These investments will help reduce wait times for counselling and therapy, scale 24/7 crisis support services and build and expand intensive, specialized services for children with the most serious mental health needs. All to ensure that children and youth get the treatment they need, at the right time and in the right place.
Ensure better access by removing barriers to care, including wage restrictions and fragmented investments.
Without the availability of expert clinical staff, kids can’t get care and waitlists continue to grow. Wage restrictions imposed by Bill 124 and fragmented investments into other sectors, like schools, are a barrier to attracting and retaining clinical staff who can provide care for the most complex of mental illnesses.
OUR KIDS ARE OUR FUTURE
We know Ontario families have been pushed to their absolute limits. Every child should have timely access to the mental health care they need, at the right time and place. Investments of an additional $131 million a year in child and youth mental health care in a community setting will lead to better outcomes for over 140,000 infants, children, youth and their families. Our kids can’t keep waiting.