CMHO'S 2019 Pre-Budget Submission
Ontario’s child and youth mental health (CYMH) centres provide mental health services to more than 120,000 kids and their families annually. But, across the province thousands of infants, children and youth are waiting up to 18 months for the treatment they need. And many families have a hard time knowing where to go for help, or finding our services at all. As a system and as a province, we are failing these kids and families. And our hospitals, schools, justice systems, colleges and universities and economy are feeling the impact.
With $1.9 billion in new mental health funding from the provincial government and a matched federal commitment over the next decade—totaling $3.8 billion—there is finally an opportunity to address the crisis in child and youth mental health.
70% of mental health and substance use problems begin in childhood. By implementing our First Point Plan we can drive better lifelong outcomes and bring desperately needed relief to families and overcrowded hospitals. Strategic investments of an additional $150 million a year will enable us to hire and train 1,400 front-line professionals to:
- Ensure access to counselling and psychotherapy within 30 days
- Expand specialized youth mental health and addictions services to ensure that children and youth get the treatment they need
- Scale 24/7 crisis support services to ensure kids and families don’t have to go to the emergency department
OUR KIDS ARE OUR FUTURE, AND OUR FAMILIES CAN’T AFFORD TO WAIT ANY LONGER.
At CMHO, we envision an Ontario where kids and families can access the mental health treatment and services they need, when and where they need it. It’s not impossible. An annualized investment of an additional $150,000,000 into the community child and youth mental health sector would help over 30,000 more children, youth and their families annually — and avoid $1 billion over the next five years in additional hospital costs.