Posted May 9 , 2013

Mental Health Week

Ontario Medical Association Sattement on Mental Health

TORONTO - One in five, or nearly 500,000 children in Ontario have a mental health problem. This week is Children's Mental Health Week and Ontario's doctors want to raise awareness about mental illness and the toll it takes on children, their families and the health care system.

Unfortunately, there are still too many children in the province suffering from a mental illness who face barriers accessing the services they desperately need. Right now, only one in three people who experience a mental health problem or illness—and as few as one in four children or youth— have sought and received services and treatment. We know that children who have mental health problems are more likely to carry them into adolescence and adulthood if they don't get the care they need.

That's why Ontario's doctors have been calling for a mental health strategy for youth and young adults to ensure there is a smooth transition to adult care. The current lack of integration between mental health services for children/youth and adult health and addiction services increases the likelihood of youth 'falling through the cracks' of out mental health system. This is simply not acceptable.

Children's Mental Health Week is an important reminder that there is more work to be done. It is imperative that the health care system integrate mental health services to prevent treatment gaps, especially when it comes to children. Ontario's doctors will continue to advocate for patients and work collaboratively with other health care providers to improve mental health services and treatment.

Dr. Scott Wooder
Ontario Medical Association

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