The provincial government has released an action plan to build on Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, focusing its first investment on children and youth. “Moving on Mental Health: A system that makes sense for children and youth” outlines areas of system transformation over the next three years. The goal is to define clear pathways to care for parents and young people through a coordinated, responsive system.
The action plan includes:
- Creating and supporting pathways to care: streamlining and clarifying roles of care for the supports and services (primary care, schools and community support) for children and youth.
- Defining core services: core mental health services will be available in communities across Ontario with specialized services available regionally or provincially.
Supporting the above are actions for more coherence and accountability:
- Establishing community lead agencies: these will be responsible for providing core services and collaborating with other services, such as schools, hospitals, those working in primary care and child welfare authorities.
- Creating a new funding model: this will recognize individual community population and need, so agencies can respond to local demands.
- Building a legislative and regulatory framework: this will enshrine the accountability of lead community-based mental health agencies so that all are held to same standards of care, regardless of where they are in the province. Implementation will be guided by advisory groups made up of parents, youth and service providers to allow opportunity for advice and feedback as system changes are made.
See “Moving on Mental Health” available on the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services website.