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Posted November 29, 2012

Mental Health Workers

Better Access to Mental Health Services for Aboriginal Kids

Queens Park - Ontario is adding more than 80 new mental health and addictions workers across the province to help almost 4,000 Aboriginal children and young people get better access to culturally appropriate mental health and addictions services.

Through the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, these new workers will provide counseling, individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and a range of traditional health services, including traditional teachings and ceremonies.

This investment builds on other supports that are helping Ontario kids with mental health challenges access timely and high-quality services as close to home as possible.

Helping Aboriginal children and youth get the support they need to address their unique challenges is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to create a mental health and addictions system that is more responsive and tailored to the needs of children, youth and their families.

“Our government wants every Aboriginal child and young person to have a good life, good health and a successful future. This investment will provide culturally appropriate, direct services to kids in high-needs Aboriginal communities on- and off-reserve.” — Laurel Broten, Minister of Children and Youth Services

“We recognized the need to identify some of the underlying issues facing our First Nation communities - many of which stem from a lack of resources to dedicate to our mental health and addictions clients directly at the community level. This initiative will enable us to better respond to the needs of children and families in our First Nations by putting workers directly in the communities we serve. As a result, we will improve delivery of services in several different areas including diagnosis, prevention and treatment and we are moving in the right direction towards creating healthy families and healthy communities once again.” — Micheal Hardy, Executive Director of Dilico Anishinabek Family Care:

“This investment will help more Aboriginal children and youth get the best start in life. We are hiring additional workers, providing more training and expanding telepsychiatry to ensure that children across Ontario are able to reach their full potential.” — Chris Bentley, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs


• Services will be provided through 30 Aboriginal agencies across the province.

• Aboriginal children and youth represent the fastest growing population in Canada.

• Over 50,000 kids and their families will benefit from Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. New investments will grow to $93 million annually at full implementation.

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