1 in 5 children may need mental health services

    Recognizing the need for services during Children's Mental Health Week

    TORONTO, May 4 /CNW/ - As Ontario celebrates Children's Mental Health
Week, May 2 to 9, Children's Aid Societies (CASs) recognize the needs of
children and youth for timely access to much-needed mental health services.
    Many children and youth in the care of Ontario's Children's Aid Societies
suffer from a diagnosable mental health problem. In 2008, a review of
Ontario's Crown wards showed a high percentage of children and youth were
identified as having special needs related to behavioural, developmental,
physical or mental issues:

    -   82 % of children were identified as having special needs
    -   39 % were identified as having a psychiatric disorder, Attention
        Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    -   45 % have a demonstrated need for behavioural supports

    In Ontario, research shows that more than 500,000 children and youth will
struggle with his or her mental health and may potentially suffer from
depression, anxiety, bullying or an eating disorder.
    "There is a great need in Ontario for the mental health services our
children and youth so desperately need to achieve their full potential.
Ontario's child welfare and children's mental health agencies work together to
ensure mental health services are available for vulnerable children and youth
when they need it most," said Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director, Ontario
Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS).
    Of 51 member agencies providing mandated child welfare services, 10 are
multi-service agencies providing both child protection and children's mental
health services to children, youth and families in communities across Ontario.
OACAS and member agencies acknowledge the dedication of mental health
practitioners and professionals in providing quality care and service to
children and youth during Children's Mental Health Week.
    For more information, visit www.oacas.org.

For further information:

For further information: Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern, Communications
Director, Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, (416) 987-9648,
mgomez-wiuckstern@oacas.org, www.oacas.org

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Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

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