In an aim to provide more targeted support for specialized mental health and addiction treatment services to Ontario youth, the province is investing another $31 million towards youth mental health services, the Canadian Press reports.
The funding, according to CTV, includes $2.7 million for four new Youth Wellness Hubs across Ontario, which are geared towards patients 12-25 and would offer walk-in access to mental health care, substance use, primary care, education, training, amongst other community and social services.
"Our government continues to make mental health and addictions a priority by making critical investments to ensure children, youth and their families have access to the supports they need to stay mentally healthy during these challenging times," said Health Minister Christine Elliott. "We know the past year has been extremely challenging for children and youth, especially as we have had to adjust to remote learning. When children and youth are struggling, families and entire communities struggle."
Also included in the funding is $20 million for a five percent across-the-board increase for government funded youth mental health agencies increase support and decrease wait times for these services.
The $31 million includes $3.5 million towards the Step Up Step Down live-in treatment program for youth with complex mental health needs to help stabilize their transitions from hospital to community-based services and vice-versa, $2.1 million for a new Virtual Walk-In Counseling Program four youth and families, $2 million for youth that need additional one-on-one treatments to transition out of specialized live-in treatment, and $1 million to mainsail youth Tele-Mental Health service levels.
"Now, more than ever, it is critical that we make the necessary investments to support the mental health of our children and youth," said Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo.