Mental health care for children and young people in every corner of the province

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The Government of Ontario is investing $4.75 million to expand the “One Stop Talk” virtual walk-in counseling program to connect children, youth and their families with easier and faster ways to access mental health care, wherever they live.

“Our government is making it easier and more convenient for children and young people in every corner of the province to access mental health services,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health. “This program provides modern, convenient options for young people to connect to help in ways they are used to communicating.”

The “One Stop Talk” service provides convenient ways to talk to a clinician via phone, video conference, text and chat without an appointment. The program started as a pilot in November 2022 with six participating mental health organizations and is now being expanded to other organizations and their patients on the waiting list. When fully implemented, the program will eventually be available to all children, young people and their families.

The government is also significantly expanding the number of youth welfare hubs across the county to make it faster and easier for youth to connect to mental health and substance use assistance, primary care, social services and more. Through the Addiction Recovery Fund, the government is adding eight new youth wellness centers to the 14 established since 2020, bringing the total to 22 across the province.

These hubs help fill the gap in youth addiction treatment and also provide children and young people aged 12 to 25 with a range of other services such as vocational support, education, housing and recreation and welfare.

“Through our Roadmap to Wellness, we are focused on solving our complicated and disjointed mental health and addictions care system once and for all,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Significantly expanding our network of Youth Wellness Hubs is one more way we are creating a system where Ontario residents of all ages have easy access to the highest quality mental health and substance abuse treatment when and where they need it.”

Ontario’s Roadmap to Wellness plan – the province’s strategy for mental health and addictions – has so far raised $525 million to use innovative solutions to improve the quality of and access to mental health support, while reducing wait times and gaps in services are eliminated. The plan is based on four central pillars – improving quality, expanding existing services, implementing innovative solutions and improving access – designed to work together to support the delivery of the services people need, where and when they need it.

Mental health care for children and young people in every corner of the province

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