THUNDER BAY – Ontario is spending an additional $111,300 annually to improve mental services for children and youth in Thunder Bay. This funding is part of a province-wide investment of $6 million to hire approximately 80 new workers to help approximately 4,000 more children, youth and their families in Ontario each year.
“The Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy is making real differences in our community. This is direct and meaningful investment in the health and welfare of young people in our communities here in the North, and will help kids and their families in a very tangible way,” states Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North.
“Our government recognizes the importance of addressing mental health in children, youth and their families. I am pleased this additional funding for mental health workers will provide assistance right here in Thunder Bay as well as in our rural communities,” said Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan.
Approximately one in five children and youth in Ontario experience a mental health challenge and roughly 70 per cent of mental health challenges have their onset in childhood or youth. Early identification and intervention can lead to improved achievement in school and better health outcomes in life.
The new mental health workers in Thunder Bay will be hired by North of Superior Counselling Programs to develop and implement a mobile response service in rural communities for children and youth in crisis or distress.
Lead agencies for child and youth mental health led local planning for the additional $6 million in funding supports, in 33 service areas across Ontario. This funding has been allocated to, and supports the work of, local, community-based, mental health services for children and youth. Lead agencies work directly with schools, hospitals, and other community partners to make sure mental health services meet the needs of those who need them, close to home.
Every child and youth deserves the opportunity to thrive and have the best possible start in life. Increasing mental health supports for children and youth is one way Ontario is working to support families and create positive environments so all of our children and youth can reach their full potential.