“1 in 5 children and youth in Ontario will experience some form of mental
health problem.” (reference) Out of those children 85% of them will not seek
the help that they need. (reference) There is a variety of reasons for not seeking help, which ranges from
shame to embarrassment, or even because of the stigma surrounding mental
health. Many organizations are working towards creating a society that destigmatizes
mental illnesses and provides easily accessible resources.

Organizations like Children’s Mental Health
Ontario are working towards a society that will create equitable opportunities
and resources for children. Children’s Mental Health Ontario was established in
1972. The organization began to advocate for policies, programs, and funds to
improve the resources available for children’s mental health in Ontario. The
agency has a large emphasis on children-focused resources and treatment that
are responsive to the needs of children, youth and families. The primary goal for CMHO is to promote a quality care system that
puts the focus on children, youth and families.

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           This organization offers a wide
range of programs and services to make treatment and help    easily accessible for children from all
backgrounds. Their programs are designed to meet the diverse needs of
individuals at risk, since each individual will be at different stages in their
life. CMHO offers many programs
and resources like targeted prevention, early intervention, short- and
long-term counselling and therapy, addictions services, and intensive
services such as residential care. Childrens Mental Health Ontario
addresses issues that effect individuals with mental health struggles at micro,
mezzo and macro levels. In order to create social change to adjust societal
normalities and expectations, work must be done at all levels, especially in
the macro level to further raise awareness. CMHO is the leading research
facility for mental health and addictions. A number of programs are offered at
this organization as their goal is to cater to as many vulnerable populations
as possible, this includes work being done towards the LGBTQIA+ , indigenous,

          This organization operates on all three levels of social work. Which primarily
includes work done on both micro and mezzo levels.  The micro level
of social work is clearly displayed in this organization as they offer a number
of programs that deal with individuals one on one. Some programs include individual
counselling, trauma response,
rehabilitation and day treatments. On the mezzo level, the organization offers
a wide range of programs that opporates in group environments. Some of the
mezzo level services include Family Therapy, Group Therapy, school-based treatment, Parent Groups,
and Children’s skills building groups.

The CMHO mission is to
provide every child and youth in Ontario with mental health access to care and
resources, so that every child can grow up mentally healthy. Mental Health
Ontario is the primary catalyst in both strengthening Ontario’s child and youth
mental health agencies and enhancing mental health services for children, youth
and their families in Ontario. Children’s Mental
Health Ontario is committed to working toward a positive change in the mental
health system. Children who deal with Mental
Illness need resources like Hospitals, psychiatrists, therapists and children’s
mental health centres to be far more accessible.  All these centres play and extremely vital
role in ensuring that children are mentally healthy. This organization plays a
large role in striving towards a health care system that prioritizes and makes
care readily available for children and youth. In order to achieve this We must
strive toward a system where we ensure that schools, family doctor’s, and
children’s mental health centres support children and provide preliminary
cautions, to prevent mental health struggles. CMHO addresses the needs of all
children and families, including those of at-risk populations who face the
highest rates of mental illness and suicide. In order to achieve this, the
government must act, by putting significantly more mental health professionals
at schools and in children’s mental health centres, to reduce wait times and
get kids and their families the help they need.

A variety of
barriers have been put in place that has made services for children extremely
difficult to be readily available. A large barrier has been service providers
being forced to cut programs due to chronic underfunding; hospitalization rates
have increased severely due to lack of capacity at Children’s Mental Health
Centres; and wait lists for treatment that continue to grow. CMHO member
centres are committed to providing the best possible mental health treatment
and services for children, youth, and their families. However, demand for
services continues to rise while funding levels have remained largely unchanged.
As a result, many Children’s Mental Health Centres have insufficient capacity to keep up with demand.This organization strives towards making youth
engagement a large part of their team. By working directly with youth, they are
able to articulate issues that are of importance to youth, tell us what needs
to change, vet our solutions, and help us advocate for change. The child and youth mental health system has
evolved organically over decades in the absence of a provincial strategy or
plan, and so the specific programs and services delivered at
each CMHC vary.

CMHO works with all children from many
different backgrounds, and offers programs for children dealing with self harm,
trauma, family conflict, grief and loss, gender identity, mental illness, and
peer and social problems.

Depending on the
type of service your child or youth is receiving, initial appointments focus on
assessing the problem and needs and aim to help the mental health professional
and the child, youth and/or family determine what treatment and support will be
most helpful. The assessment process aims to look at, take into consideration
and accommodate your unique circumstances such as your culture, religion,
language and ethnicity. With all of this collected information, a treatment
plan will be developed and proposed. Parents, caregivers and other family
members play an important role in the lives of children and youth, and can help
and support in the child’s treatment, as they seek to   reach their
goals and maintain positive mental health.

Children have the
right to mental health treatment and support services that are accessible, safe
and effective, and delivered in the context of their family, culture, community
and school. We believe that meeting the mental health needs of children and
youth requires significant and sustained investment in human, technological,
and physical resources. We believe that children and youth have the right to be
engaged in decisions regarding their own treatment and the design and delivery
of child and youth mental health services. We believe that children and youth
benefit from close collaboration and shared responsibility among families,
caregivers, service providers, communities, educators and other professionals,
and governments.
We believe that community services, including agencies, schools and hospitals,
must work as integrated networks to meet the mental health needs of children
and youth.
We believe that mental health services for children and youth must be evaluated
based on outcomes, accreditation standards, and ethical stewardship.




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