Parents for Children's Mental Health

Parents for Children's Mental Health

March 10, 2011 06:00 ET

Ontario Families Anticipate Budget Will Tackle the Crisis in Child and Youth Mental Health

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) - Parents for Children's Mental Health and their membership, for the first time in many years, are anticipating good news from the Provincial Budget. On the heels of recent reports from the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions, The 10-year Mental Health Strategy from the Ministry of Long-Term Health Care, and the Auditor General's report, PCMH believes child and youth mental health has finally secured a place among the government's budget priorities. "There is an overwhelming consensus that the crisis of child and youth mental health cannot be ignored any longer and this recognition is greater than it has been in decades", states Sarah Cannon, Executive Director of Parents for Children's Mental Health. "While funding is short, we are confident that government will not once again neglect the funding of our system."

Of particular interest to families have been the common recommendations from reports referring to the significance of, and need for more, meaningful peer support programs. The Select Committee report highlights the importance of Family and Peer Support, and navigation services, as does the Mental Health Strategy. PCMH is extremely optimistic that the government will not ignore its own recommendations and will indeed make allowances for these issues to be addressed in the upcoming budget. Sylvia Naumovski, President of Parents for Children's Mental Health notes that, "In the past there has been an almost exclusive focus on funding agencies alone, and we are now confident that government recognizes the importance of creating and funding meaningful partnerships with families who remain the key to establishing effective connections between communities, agencies, and children and youth."

The Ministry of Child and Youth Services has recently shown their support and belief in placing families at the core of services by funding an innovative partnership that created a model for families to provide peer support. Families are considered key partners in this unique collaboration between families, agencies, and government, and the result is a model of support provision created out of the need of families, directed by the expertise of families, guided by best research, through a meaningful partnership. For Parents for Children's Mental health, this initiative was ground-breaking, and truly underscores the recognition and importance of the expertise of the family voice and the benefits this expertise can provide.

"For the first time in a long time I feel hopeful that our system is at the tipping point, and that our government will provide funding in the budget to address the issues of service and partnership, and that for myself and many families like mine, is the definition of hope," Ms. Cannon concludes.

Ms. Cannon and Ms. Naumovski are both mothers of children living with mental illness and are two of the leaders of Parents for Children's Mental Health, an organization that advocates on behalf of more than 600,000 families currently dealing with these issues in Ontario.

Children's Mental Health is EVERYONE'S Business.......

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