Province Putting More Funding into Youth Mental Health Services

am800-news-covid-19-student-school-mask

Ontario is putting another $31-million towards mental health services for children and youth as demand increases due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Lead of Children and Youth Mental Health at Hotel Dieu-Grace Healthcare Terra Cadeau says the funding is going to be a big help for services locally and across the province.

"The children and youth mental health sector has been chronically under funded and with the added pressures of the pandemic all of our services are really stretched to the limit," she says, "So the increase to base funding is going to help improve access to our core services both within Windsor-Essex and across the province."

Windsor is getting a portion of nearly $3-million and Cadeau says it will go towards a new youth wellness hub.

"We're in the early stages of planning. We're really excited," says Cadeau. "So we'll have to be working really hard over the next few months in engaging our community to really develop a hub that will help children and youth, not only within Windsor, but also in the county."

According to Cadeau, a new virtual walk-in counselling program is also in the works.

We're hoping to launch it in the fall and it will mean that no matter where a child or youth is they'll be able to pick up the phone or text and get immediate access to clinical counselling. It really will be a game changer for access to mental health services for children, youth and families."

The province plans to spend over $2-million a year on programming which should reach about 14,000 young people on an annual basis.