Children’s Mental Health Ontario recently hosted its 5th Twitter chat, along with parenting author Ann Douglas and Toronto Police officer and anti-bullying advocate, Laurie McCann.

Approximately 300 youth, parents, community support workers and advocates participated in the hour-long chat, sharing ideas and tips to help one another coping with children’s mental illness and the impacts it has on families. Many people sent messages to Premier Kathleen Wynne to urge her government to increase funds for children’s mental health programs to ensure that kids get the help they need, when they need it.

For the Twitter chats, we use #kidscantwait because we want @kathleen_wynne and other government leaders to know that kids/youth can’t wait for mental health care. Some kids are waiting +18 months. That’s not right. If you agree, click here to send the Premier a message.

 

Here are some highlights of last night’s chat. For more, follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #kidscantwait.

 

Be advocates for our kids and each other. Parents need support too- if you've found a

great resource, share the news. Scary tho the lack of integration and long term support. Bandaids don't cure cancer! - @mckenziesandra

 

Agencies need to stop worrying about fundraising to make up for government funding shortfalls and focus on expanding programs to support children, youth, & families. -@nycyouthcentre

 

There were those that told me that I should quit my job to look after my child properly.  Argg.  We know that is not a reality if we want to feed them. - @c_todd

 

Days wait in an ER, same day or even week appointments are rare, even if you do have a family doctor and there is over 365 days, + 8760 hours, waiting lists just to SEE someone to start to get out of survival mode. #kidscantwait and making them is cruel. - @caraquilts

 

Every person I know in post secondary education has had to miss class due to the struggles they've had with their mental health #kidscantwait #theymattertoo - @uhhhmanduhhhhh

 

I almost feel as though there is no “easy help” when there are no services in some parts of Ontario, and very little help in most other parts! This needs to change #kidscantwait - @uhhhmanduhhhhh

 

I can't tell you how hard it is to have to tell a parent/caregiver they have to wait anywhere from 12-18 months to get into an early intervention program like #StopNowAndPlan @SNAP_CDI ~ we have to do better #kidscantwait nor should they! - @LeenaAugimeri

 

I would ask they examine how much funding is tied up in infrastructure and administration.... let's get the service happening for families on the ground...in schools...in culturally responsive ways #KidsCantWait - @mcassidy905

 

Youth tend to turn to each other and their peers before they go to service provides. -@tnm

I turned to the internet and friends. It's what helped me survive while it took me 7 years to get traditional services #kidscantwait - @asraimun