Taking action to improve child and youth mental health in Ontario

OTTAWA, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - The Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO (the Centre) applauds the provincial government's recommendations in "Navigating the Journey to Wellness: The Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Ontarians." One in five Ontario children and youth suffer from a mental illness or disorder. Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness start by age 14 years and 75 per cent by age 24 years.

"It is critical for us to highlight child and youth mental health in any plan that hopes to address the mental health of Ontarians across the lifespan. Focusing on mental health early and having access to effective services for those in need will help our young people grow more fully into their adult years," says Ian Manion, Executive Director, the Centre. "The members of the Standing Committee have heard the heart-wrenching stories of young people and families who are suffering and recognize the need for us to do better in child and youth mental health."

The challenge is to provide those gateways or opportunities to improved mental health at every point in a child's life - in their families and communities, at their schools and activities, and throughout the healthcare system. "The government's Action Plan, together with the Centre's commitment to working collaboratively with leaders across all sectors, will help achieve far better outcomes for those who suffer from mental illness," explains Simon Davidson, MD, Chief Strategic Planning Executive, the Centre. "It is rewarding to see that the Select Committee recognizes the value of centres of excellence, such as ours. Yet much more work is needed to create a collaborative mental health system."

The Centre is a cornerstone of Ontario's commitment to equipping front line workers with the practical tools and evidence they need to improve the overall mental health system for the province's two million children and youth. Launched in 2004, the Centre works with thousands of social workers, child and youth workers, psychologists, nurses, educators, as well as youth, parents and caregivers to build a better mental health system for children and youth in Ontario.


For further information: For further information:

Jennifer Lavoie, Communications Specialist,  613-737-7600 x 3332              
Dr. Simon Davidson, Chief Strategic Planning Executive,  613-737-7600 x 2723
Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health
401 Smyth Rd   Ottawa, ON   K1H 8L1,  www.onthepoint.ca

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