Mental health issues are the single largest health problem facing young people in Canada today. With one in five children and teenagers struggling with conditions such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and schizophrenia, the demand for services is higher than our health system can accommodate.
There is a critical need for more specialized services. Notably, families are asking for less-institutional options that could increase young people’s willingness to access care.
The new Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health will be wholly dedicated to serving children, adolescents and their families in need of urgent and intensive mental health care and will be located in the beautiful northwest community of Hounsfield Heights. Its three new services will augment and integrate with the overall continuum of care currently provided through the AHS Child & Adolescent Addiction, Mental Health and Psychiatry Program (CAAMHPP) and other important community agencies.
The new Centre will provide families with greater access to timely assessments, intervention and therapy and ultimately reduce admissions and lengths of stay in hospital for children and teens.
INTEGRATING RESEARCH AND TRAINING
The Centre will be the most robust research-intensive community-based mental health care facility for young people in Canada. It will integrate research and education into its programming to ensure families benefit from and contribute to advancing evidence-based best practices. Just as research is key to moving medicine forward for physical illnesses, it is a crucial part of identifying new and better therapies for mental health issues. At the same time, this innovative one-stop Centre will provide an ideal training ground for the next generation of mental health professionals while creating additional capacity in terms of resources.