Children's Mental Health Ontario closely following recommendations of School Community Safety Advisory Panel

    TORONTO, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - Children's Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) welcomes
the School Community Safety Advisory Panel's Interim Report on C.W. Jefferys
Collegiate and will be closely following its progress towards a Final Report.
    In its Interim Report, the Panel recommended that additional human
resource support be made available to schools in Toronto's northwest area to
address the complex needs of the community. CMHO is highly supportive of
increased infrastructure and human resources in all schools in Ontario that
help serve mental health needs of Ontario's children and youth.
    "For far too long, the mental health needs of Ontario's young people have
been overlooked," said Heather Elbard, President of CMHO. "With additional
psychologists and social workers in our schools, we can provide young people
in Ontario with the support and resources they need to be as healthy and
successful as possible."
    Increased mental health support in schools can provide students with
early treatment to problems like conduct, behavioural, and anxiety disorders,
potentially reducing the need for school transfers and promoting a positive,
safe school environment.
    One in five children in our province struggles with his or her mental
health and these problems can affect any child regardless of age or
circumstance. Research has shown that early diagnosis and intervention is
critical to providing young people with a hopeful and healthy future.
    Left untreated, children and youth may suffer needlessly and turn to
drugs and alcohol, drop out of school, become violent or withdraw into silence
and isolation. Increased support in schools as well as timely access to
programs in our community will help children and youth succeed.
    CMHO looks forward to making a submission to the School Safety Panel and
will be closely following conclusions made in its Final Report.

    CMHO is an association that promotes, supports, and strengthens a
sustainable system of mental health services for children, youth and their
families. Established in 1972, CMHO's membership has grown to more than 85
accredited children's mental health centres that serve over 150,000 children
and youth in Ontario. CMHO and its member centres are committed to improving
the mental health and well-being of children, youth and their families. For
more information, please visit:

For further information:

For further information: Camille Quenneville, Director of Policy &
Communications, Children's Mental Health Ontario, Tel: (416) 921-2109, ext.

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