Did you know that as many as 1 in 5 children and youth in Ontario will experience some form of mental health problem? And 5 out of 6 of those kids will not receive the treatment they need. For those who do seek help, many have to wait well over a year for the mental health treatment they need.
To truly make a difference in the lives of children, youth and families struggling with mental health issues, we must work together. Here are some of the many ways you can help.
- Tell the Ontario Government how you feel
- Speak to the media
- Pass it on
- Make a donation to support Children's Mental Health Ontario
- Register for our newsletter
You can educate decision-makers and help influence child and youth mental health policies by speaking to our elected officials. In fact, they often prefer to hear from ordinary citizens rather than organizations. Resources you can use to speak up:
- Template Letter that you can email to the Minister of Children and Youth Services.
- Meet with your MPP - This is one of the most critical advocacy activities available. See our Tips and sample script for meeting with your MPP. If an MPP hears a story directly from a family or youth it is more likely to move them to act. See our tips and sample script.
- Share CMHO's most recent Report Card on Child and Youth Mental Health with your MPP.
- Tips for successfully advocating for better child and youth mental health care.
Speaking to the media is a great way to educate people in your community, raise awareness and get the attention of decision-makers. CMHO's Key Messages can serve as a helpful starting point as you craft your message.
Speak up for child and youth mental health:
- Write an Op-Ed. An op-ed is an opinion piece by a guest writer (the term is short for “opposite the editorial page").
- Write a Letter to the Editor. They can be used for different purposes such as responding to a previously published letter, editorial or article, sharing a point of view, or carrying a message forward.
- Call in to a television or radio talk-show: this is a great way to get your message to thousands of listeners. If they're covering a topic that's relevant to child and youth mental health, make an effort to call in and share short, concise statements about current issues. Or, try contacting the program's producer to urge him/her to cover a specific child and youth mental health-related issue.
- Share resources about child and youth mental health issues to a friend who may be worried about their child.
- There may be an event that someone you know would like to know about.
Children’s Mental Health Ontario uses research, data and statistics to make a strong case to governments to take action to build a strong children’s mental health system. Only a strong system of prevention and intervention will prevent youth suicides. Join us as we make a strong case to government to build an exceptional children’s mental health system.