The Ontario government is providing $24.3 million in targeted mental health services for children and youth.
On Wednesday, the provincial government said the investments will go towards hiring additional staff, increasing access to counselling and therapy, creating new programs to help manage stress, depression and anxiety, and address eating disorders and other challenges facing children and youth.
This funding is part of the government’s $176 million investment in the Roadmap to Wellness.
“I know this has been a challenging period for many of our kids and young people, but by making these targeted investments our government is making it easier for them to access the mental health and addictions services they need,” said Premier Doug Ford.
“As Premier, I want to make sure there is always someone there ready to listen and provide expert help. We need to support and help each other in order to get through this pandemic and start us down the road to recovery together.”
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According to the province, the investments include $11 million for over 80 children and youth mental health service providers to enhance capacity and access to critical frontline child and youth mental health services.
There will also be $5.8 million for youth wellness teams at 10 Youth Wellness Hubs across Ontario.
The government is also pledging $3.7 million for a new eating disorders program. This early intervention program will help prevent and support children and youth up to the age of 25 that may be struggling with an eating disorder. Additionally, $800,000 to support the creation and operation of Eating Disorders Ontario, which will help with quality improvement across the whole eating disorders sector.
There will be $2 million set aside for the implementation of an Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program for families, children and youth and $1 million for child and youth mental health services in congregate settings.
“Our government continues to make critical investments in the mental health and addictions sector to ensure children, youth and their families have access to the supports they need, especially during these unprecedented times,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott.
“Our government is determined to build a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system that will benefit people in every corner of the province.”