Children’s Mental Health Ontario is pleased that the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine report, A Healthy Ontario: Building a Sustainable Health Care System has made recommendations to improve Ontario’s health care system which include building capacity and reducing wait times for mental health care and addictions. The report recognizes that families in Ontario are waiting too long to receive mental health care where and when they need it.
Child and youth mental health care has been underfunded for more than a decade resulting in long wait lists and unnecessary visits to hospitals in crisis. CMHO is pleased that the Premier’s Council report calls for making targeted investments in evidence-based community mental health and addictions services and supports, which we believe if enacted and directed to early child and youth mental health interventions, will improve the lives and health outcomes of thousands of families across Ontario now and for years to come.
CMHO’s Youth Action Committee has been calling for a more integrated approach to facilitate improved transition from youth mental health care to adult services. The need for an integrated health care system is identified in the report and recognizes the specific challenges faced by youth with mental health issues and outlines a goal for patients to leave their primary care provider with a clearly defined treatment plan.
If enacted, the Premier’s Council recommendations will respond to the need for children and youth – who typically have a connection to a primary care provider – to be easily connected to specialized community services, where and when required.