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Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium

2021 Provincial Priorities Report (PPR), Better Together: Strengthening the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions System for Children, Youth and their Families

June 29, 2021

The Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium (LAC) has released its 2021 Provincial Priorities Report (PPR), Better Together: Strengthening the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions System for Children, Youth and their Families.

COVID-19 has amplified long-standing issues as mental health needs are becoming greater, more serious and more complex. The system struggled to keep up with demand before the pandemic, and now these challenges have been both unearthed and exacerbated.

The report highlights the importance of continuing to make progress on the four provincial priorities of the LAC in child and youth mental health. Better Together is about tangible, systems level quality improvements that can be led and advanced by the sector that will improve services and outcomes.

Together, we have solutions to ensure children, youth and families can access high quality care.

Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium

Lead Agency Consortium Applauds Annualized Funding to Deliver Province-wide Virtual Walk-in Counselling

June 1, 2021

(June 1, 2021 TORONTO, ON): Children and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium (LAC) co-chairs Karen Ingebrigtson and Linda Dugas, applaud the Government of Ontario for its announcement today of annualized funding to support the delivery of province-wide virtual walk-in mental health counselling for children, youth and families.

For the past five months, members of the LAC, led by Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) and Strides Toronto, have been moving forward with launching a province-wide model to deliver virtual counselling services to children, youth and families. The provincial program, planned to launch in 2021, will offer rapid access virtual walk-in counselling, plus an entryway into ongoing mental health services.

“During the pandemic, children, youth and families responded favorably to connecting virtually with clinicians and mental health services. For many families —in particular, those living in remote and underserved regions of Ontario— virtual access to mental health services eliminates the burden of travel and wait times while enhancing service levels,” said LAC cochairs Ingebrigtson and Dugas.

Strides Toronto CEO Janet McCrimmon and HDGH President & CEO Janice Kaffer added, “The pandemic revealed the child and youth mental health sector’s ability to pivot quickly and to tailor our services to support virtual connections with youth and families. The children, youth and families we serve will benefit immeasurably from the availability of one-number, virtual access to mental health counselling —regardless of where they live in Ontario.”

Given the funding announced will be annualized, LAC will redouble its efforts to implement a new innovative and connected virtual walk-in counselling program, affirming the pledge of Ontario’s child and youth mental health service providers to meet clients and families in a manner best for them.

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For more information, please contact LAC executive director Patrick Dion, executivedirector@lac-car.ca, 613.297.4028

Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium

Statement by Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium

May 5, 2021

Young couple and their son meeting with headmistress at school

May 3, 2021
Toronto, Ontario

Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium co-chairs Karen Ingebrigtson and Linda Dugas, today issued the following statement for Mental Health Week:

“We are using this week to add our voice to the call for governments to make additional investment in mental health supports for children, youth and families. During Mental Health Week, communities across Canada are underscoring the urgent need for improved access to mental health supports and services.”

“The pandemic has emphasised the vulnerability of children and youth to mental illness. Children and youth have faced increased mental health struggles, magnified by province-wide lock downs, school closures and virtual learning. Parents —in particular, those raising school-aged children— have faced similar challenges.”

“As Ontario moves toward a time when vaccination levels reduce the daily threat of COVID-19 and the resumption of normal life returns, mental health supports and services to lift the wellbeing of children, youth and families will not lessen —but redouble.”

“The long-term and lasting effects of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of children, youth and their families cannot be underestimated. Lead Agency Consortium members urge the Government of Ontario to begin to plan and invest now. Ontario’s future leaders are depending upon all of us.”

Should you need to access child and youth mental health services in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts, please contact Compass at 1-800-815-7126.


The Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium, representing the lead agencies from 33 service areas across Ontario, is committed to the goal of continually improving child and youth mental health services in Ontario so children and youth and their families receive the right services for their unique needs at the right time and in the right place.

Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium

Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium Applauds Investment to Help Respond to COVID-19 Pressures

December 18, 2020

On behalf of the 31 members of the Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium (LAC), consortium co-chairs Karen Ingebrigtson and Linda Dugas applaud the Government of Ontario’s announcement today of $29.5 M in one-time core services funding and $300,000 for secure treatment to address anticipated COVID-19 related pressures as Ontario moves into wave two of the pandemic.

The pandemic has made the safe delivery of mental health services to children, youth and families increasingly more difficult for the child and youth mental health sector. Lead Agency Consortium cochairs Ingebrigtson and Dugas said, “The one-time investment will help core service providers of mental health services and secure treatment to properly support Ontario children, youth, and families, as well as provide safe workplaces for the many mental health workers who deliver their care.” “Ontario’s lead agencies welcome all new investments that support the delivery of community-based mental health services,” said Ingebrigtson and Dugas.

The new investment —part of the Government’s overall investment of $147 M in mental health services across the lifespanwill help address the growing list of funding pressures as a result of COVID-19. The current pandemic serves to underscore how the level of annualized funding to support child and youth wellness is inadequate. As health care system planners, lead agencies are also reviewing what additional investments are needed to adequately support the mental health needs of Ontario children and youth through and beyond the pandemic.

To read the press release from the Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium (LAC), click here:

Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium

Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium Response Following the Release of the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Roadmap to Wellness

March 3, 2020

March 3, 2020

Statement from Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium Following the Release of the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Roadmap to Wellness

The 31 members of Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium (LAC) acknowledge the Ontario Ministry of Health’s effort to begin the process of redesigning Ontario’s mental health and addictions system with the release today of Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System.

Following a careful review of the strategy, LAC members are concerned that Roadmap to Wellness contains little to nothing new for children’s mental health nor does the strategy propose the level of additional funding investment needed to meaningfully enhance the delivery of improved services for children and youth living with mental illnesses and addictions. Further, LAC members believe that implementing the measures proposed in Roadmap to Wellness will not result in creating equitable and immediate access to mental health and addiction services.

Lead Agencies have urged the Ontario government for new funding to support a comprehensive strategy for Ontarian children and youth and their families in need of mental health and addiction services and supports. Given the imminent tabling of the 2020 Ontario budget, the LAC calls upon the Ontario government to uphold its election commitment to invest in new, annualized funding for mental health and addiction services, particularly in the areas of reduced wait times and the expansion of overall supports and services for children and youth, including the care and treatment made available to Indigenous and Franco-Ontarians children and youth.

The Lead Agency Consortium is committed to the goal of continually improving child and youth mental health and addiction services in Ontario so that children and youth and their families receive the right services for their unique needs at the right time and in the right place. Lead Agencies have both the capacity and the expertise to act quickly and effectively so that new funding investments will deliver a system of high quality, timely, evidence-based, cost-effective child and youth mental health and addiction services that are locally-responsive and client centered.

To read the press release from the Ministry of Health, click here: https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2020/03/ontario-unveils-plan-to-build-mental-health-and-addictions-system.html

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