Pathstone calls for community support as demand surges

CKTB - NEWS - Pathstone Mental Health children

Pathstone Mental Health is seeing a 35 percent increase in people reaching out for help.

Since April of last year almost 9,500 children and youth have accessed Pathstone services, compared to just over 7,000 the year before.

Director of Strategic Initiatives, Standards, and Practices Bill Helmeczi further crunched the numbers and says some therapy programs for individuals and families saw demand increase by more than 200 percent.

Kids between 6 - 10 represented the largest growth segment, accounting for 43 percent of clients compared to 25 percent pre-pandemic.

Pathstone officials say this age group is less likely to use social media to the same extent older children might, and therefore feel further isolated from their friends and peers.

The Brief Services Program, defined as six sessions or less of mental health support, is now trying to cope with a growing wait list as Pathstone has exhausted  Ministry of Health funding to provide the necessary care.

The organization is now turning to the community, asking for help to fund the services and continue chipping away at the wait list.

Officials believe it will take 18 months or more to fully clear the list.