Province investing in mental health programs targeted towards youth and children

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Published June 1, 2021 at 4:28 pm

The Province has announced it’s allocating funding for mental health initiatives targeted towards children and youth.

The announcement comes after a source from within the Ontario Government said the Province is leaning towards not reopening schools this year, despite the fact many health officials have suggested students should return to the classroom immediately.

The pandemic has been especially taxing for young residents—particularly students—many of whom have had to adjust to constantly moving back and forth between in-person and remote learning for much of this academic year, which has taken a toll on their mental health.

On Tuesday (June 1), the Province announced it will be investing $31 million to help improve access to specialized mental health treatment services, and reduce waitlists and wait times for children and youth.

As part of this initiative, the Province will be providing $20 million which will be used to implement a five-per-cent increase in funding for all public-sector children and youth mental health agencies that provide core mental health and addictions services.

Additionally, 3.5 million will be used to fund programs targeted towards children and youth with complex mental health needs who require short-term supports to step down from hospital care to less intensive community-based services, or step up from less intensive supports to provide stabilization through intensive interventions.

Further, 2.1 million will be used to fund a new Virtual Walk-in Counselling Program which provides children, youth and families across the province with virtual counselling sessions with a clinician via telephone, video conferencing, or text or chat.

“Our government continues to make mental health and addictions a priority by making critical investments to ensure children, youth and their families have access to the supports they need to stay mentally healthy during these challenging times,” Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, said in a news release.

“With today’s funding, we continue our important work through Roadmap to Wellness to enhance existing services and build a treatment network that will support children and youth, families, and communities across Ontario on their journey to wellness,” she continued.

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