New data released by Canadian Institute for Health Information Shows Kids With Mental Illness Turning in Desperation to Hospitals At Alarming Rates

Too many children and youth are experiencing a mental health crisis because they can’t get the treatment they need, when and where they need it. On May 1st, 2017, CIHI released new figures which demonstrate that children and youth with mental health disorders are increasingly seeking treatment in hospitals because they cannot access treatment in their communities. Since 2006:

  • Emergency department visits for mental health disorders has risen by 63% and hospitalizations by 67% in Ontario – rates are higher than the national average.
  • Prevalence of mental health issues has stayed the same
  • During the same time hospitalizations for all other conditions fell by 18%
  • Kids are also being re-admitted at alarming rates – kids with mental health disorders are readmitted more than twice as often as those with other conditions.

Services at community-based children’s mental health treatment centres have been eroding in the last decade because funding has not kept up with demand. Service providers are increasingly required to do more, with less. Investments in the community sector could save the government $1 billion over the next five years.

For more information, see this background document.