Keystone to receive funding through Roadmap to Wellness program

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker has announced that Keystone Child, Youth and Family Services will receive $121,100 in funding through the provincial government’s Roadmap to Wellness plan.

The Ontario government is providing $24.3 million in targeted investments to hire additional staff, increase access to counselling and therapy, create new programs to help manage stress, depression and anxiety, and address eating disorders and other challenges facing children and youth.

The funding is part of the government’s $176 million investment in the Roadmap to Wellness, a comprehensive plan to build a fully connected mental health and addictions system across the province.

“I’m very pleased that Keystone Child, Youth and Family Services is receiving this investment from our government,” said Walker. “This new annualized funding will provide tremendous benefits to children and youth and their families in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. I’m looking forward to Keystone using this additional funding to continue to do their excellent work to support our youth.”

“This funding could not have come at a better time as the pandemic has resulted in a surge of mental health needs in our community. This new funding will be dedicated to our residential program which manages our most high risk youth in Grey and Bruce to allow it to operate 365 days 24/7,” said Keystone Child, Youth and Family Services Executive Director Phil Dodd. “This is truly a historic day for Grey and Bruce counties to now have this resource available year round to meet the needs of our most vulnerable suicidal and depressed youth. On behalf of our Board of Directors, our staff and especially the children, youth and families of Grey and Bruce Counties we are tremendously grateful.”

The province is making targeted investments in community-based mental health supports and services for children and youth with a focus on evidence-based and innovative programs including:

·   $11 million for over 80 children and youth mental health service providers to enhance capacity and access to critical frontline child and youth mental health services, including:

  • Hiring additional staff
  • Purchasing and developing additional resources to increase access to services such as counselling and therapy, intensive and crisis services
  • Supports for families and caregivers of children and youth with mental health and addictions challenges. 

·   $5.8 million for youth wellness teams at 10 Youth Wellness Hubs across Ontario. These youth-friendly service locations are designed for youth, and offer walk-in access to primary care and mental health and addictions services for people between the ages of 12 to 25;

·   $3.7 million for a new eating disorders program. This early intervention program will help prevent and support children and youth up to the age of 25 that may be struggling with an eating disorder. There will be four pilot sites to start, with plans to expand the program across the province;

·   $2 million for the implementation of an Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program for families, children and youth. This new program will provide evidence-based mental health supports for children, youth and their families that will help them develop skills to manage stress, depression and anxiety in a healthy way;

·   $1 million for child and youth mental health services delivered in congregate settings. This funding will help provide care that will better meet their needs; and

·   $800,000 to support the creation and operation of Eating Disorders Ontario, which will help with quality improvement across the whole eating disorders sector.

To enable Roadmap to Wellness, Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to create new services and expand programs. The province has started to fill urgent gaps in care as identified by system partners. This year’s $176 million increase builds on the $174 million the government invested last year in more funding for mental health and addictions programs, bringing new base investments across the sector since 2019-20 to a total of more than $350 million.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen thousands of individuals and families reach out for help and we know that many continue to face mental health and addiction challenges today,” said Associate Minister Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo. “By significantly expanding access to mental health and addictions supports for our children and youth, we are taking another step towards building a mental health and addictions system for the future, where people and families across Ontario are fully supported in their journey towards mental wellness.”