Innovation Initiatives

Since 2017, our Innovation Initiatives have supported Ontario's child and youth mental health agencies to turn their bold ideas into potential solutions to improve service quality and access so that Ontario's children, youth and families have the best possible mental health care experiences.

Successful applicants are supported with up to $50,000 to implement new, evidence-based or promising practices that demonstrate potential for broader impact in the provincial child and youth mental health system. We also provide funded project groups with tailored coaching supports to implement and evaluate their initiatives.

Browse previous projects

Innovation Initiatives support mental health from infancy to early adulthood. Collectively, these projects are addressing barriers such as wait time, culture and language, stigma, geography and health literacy.

2017–18

Our first round of grants supported six potential solutions to some of our sector's trickiest challenges. View the 2017–18 project summaries.

2018–19

Our second round supported 10 innovative projects in organizations across the province. View the 2018–19 project summaries.

2019–20

For the third round, we narrowed our focus and supported seven projects specifically addressing access issues in their communities. View the 2019–20 project summaries.

Apply for Innovation Initiative funding

Do you have ideas about how to address the Ontario child and youth mental health system's most pressing priorities?

While we don't have a competition open right now, feel free to check back here for information on our next call for proposals from time to time.

Spotlight on innovation

Vanier Children's Services used their funding to co-create infant mental health clinics offering single session therapy (which focused on the parent-infant relationship) and informal consultation services. By integrating the clinics into neighbourhood-based, multi-service Family Centres, they were able to provide early intervention and targeted prevention services to over 260 families. Many of these would not normally have sought mental health services due to stigma or other barriers. Close to one third of all families who participated in therapy sessions were referred to the agency for more intensive supports.

97% of parents felt better able to give their child emotional care

93% of parents felt better connected with their baby

96% of Family Centre staff members felt better prepared to initiate discussions

Child/youth e-mental health impact grants

We teamed up with Mental Health Research Canada to offer offering three grants valued at up to $100,000 each, to explore the use of technology to enhance or support child and youth mental health in Ontario — and, ideally, beyond! 

We are convinced that, in today’s digital world, there are undiscovered or underexploited technological solutions for many of the barriers and challenges that Ontario’s children, youth and families face as they seek mental health help. That’s why we’re calling on researchers and innovators in our sector who would like to test out their big ideas! 

We’re looking to fund three projects that advance innovative, evidence-based digital solutions and have the potential for broad impact. As such, priority will be given to proposals that have the potential for scaling within and beyond the province of Ontario.  

To learn more about this opportunity, including the terms of the grant and eligibility, or to apply, please visit mhrc.ca You have until April 5, 2020 to apply!