“1 in 5 children and youth in Ontario will experience some form of mentalhealth problem.” (reference) Out of those children 85% of them will not seekthe help that they need. (reference) There is a variety of reasons for not seeking help, which ranges fromshame to embarrassment, or even because of the stigma surrounding mentalhealth. Many organizations are working towards creating a society that destigmatizesmental illnesses and provides easily accessible resources.Organizations like Children’s Mental HealthOntario are working towards a society that will create equitable opportunitiesand resources for children. Children’s Mental Health Ontario was established in1972.

The organization began to advocate for policies, programs, and funds toimprove the resources available for children’s mental health in Ontario. Theagency has a large emphasis on children-focused resources and treatment thatare responsive to the needs of children, youth and families. The primary goal for CMHO is to promote a quality care system thatputs the focus on children, youth and families.            This organization offers a widerange of programs and services to make treatment and help    easily accessible for children from allbackgrounds.

Their programs are designed to meet the diverse needs ofindividuals at risk, since each individual will be at different stages in theirlife. CMHO offers many programsand resources like targeted prevention, early intervention, short- andlong-term counselling and therapy, addictions services, and intensiveservices such as residential care. Childrens Mental Health Ontarioaddresses issues that effect individuals with mental health struggles at micro,mezzo and macro levels. In order to create social change to adjust societalnormalities and expectations, work must be done at all levels, especially inthe macro level to further raise awareness. CMHO is the leading researchfacility for mental health and addictions.

A number of programs are offered atthis organization as their goal is to cater to as many vulnerable populationsas possible, this includes work being done towards the LGBTQIA+ , indigenous,           This organization operates on all three levels of social work. Which primarilyincludes work done on both micro and mezzo levels.  The micro levelof social work is clearly displayed in this organization as they offer a numberof programs that deal with individuals one on one. Some programs include individualcounselling, trauma response,rehabilitation and day treatments. On the mezzo level, the organization offersa wide range of programs that opporates in group environments.

Some of themezzo level services include Family Therapy, Group Therapy, school-based treatment, Parent Groups,and Children’s skills building groups. The CMHO mission is toprovide every child and youth in Ontario with mental health access to care andresources, so that every child can grow up mentally healthy. Mental HealthOntario is the primary catalyst in both strengthening Ontario’s child and youthmental health agencies and enhancing mental health services for children, youthand their families in Ontario. Children’s MentalHealth Ontario is committed to working toward a positive change in the mentalhealth system. Children who deal with MentalIllness need resources like Hospitals, psychiatrists, therapists and children’smental health centres to be far more accessible.  All these centres play and extremely vitalrole in ensuring that children are mentally healthy. This organization plays alarge role in striving towards a health care system that prioritizes and makescare readily available for children and youth. In order to achieve this We muststrive toward a system where we ensure that schools, family doctor’s, andchildren’s mental health centres support children and provide preliminarycautions, to prevent mental health struggles.

CMHO addresses the needs of allchildren and families, including those of at-risk populations who face thehighest rates of mental illness and suicide. In order to achieve this, thegovernment must act, by putting significantly more mental health professionalsat schools and in children’s mental health centres, to reduce wait times andget kids and their families the help they need. A variety ofbarriers have been put in place that has made services for children extremelydifficult to be readily available. A large barrier has been service providersbeing forced to cut programs due to chronic underfunding; hospitalization rateshave increased severely due to lack of capacity at Children’s Mental HealthCentres; and wait lists for treatment that continue to grow.

CMHO membercentres are committed to providing the best possible mental health treatmentand services for children, youth, and their families. However, demand forservices 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 youthengagement a large part of their team. By working directly with youth, they areable to articulate issues that are of importance to youth, tell us what needsto change, vet our solutions, and help us advocate for change. The child and youth mental health system hasevolved organically over decades in the absence of a provincial strategy orplan, and so the specific programs and services delivered ateach CMHC vary. CMHO works with all children from manydifferent backgrounds, and offers programs for children dealing with self harm,trauma, family conflict, grief and loss, gender identity, mental illness, andpeer and social problems.Depending on thetype of service your child or youth is receiving, initial appointments focus onassessing the problem and needs and aim to help the mental health professionaland the child, youth and/or family determine what treatment and support will bemost helpful.

The assessment process aims to look at, take into considerationand accommodate your unique circumstances such as your culture, religion,language and ethnicity. With all of this collected information, a treatmentplan will be developed and proposed. Parents, caregivers and other familymembers play an important role in the lives of children and youth, and can helpand support in the child’s treatment, as they seek to   reach theirgoals and maintain positive mental health. Children have theright to mental health treatment and support services that are accessible, safeand effective, and delivered in the context of their family, culture, communityand school. We believe that meeting the mental health needs of children andyouth requires significant and sustained investment in human, technological,and physical resources. We believe that children and youth have the right to beengaged in decisions regarding their own treatment and the design and deliveryof child and youth mental health services. We believe that children and youthbenefit 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 childrenand youth.

We believe that mental health services for children and youth must be evaluatedbased on outcomes, accreditation standards, and ethical stewardship.  

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