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.

2021–22

This time around, we asked that projects address one or more key recommendations from our Transition to virtual care report. The projects selected will be adding to, or improving, their virtual service offerings to better serve their clients now and post-pandemic. View the 2021–22 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.

Impact grants

Together with Mental Health Research Canada, we bridge the gap between the child and youth mental health community-based agencies and researchers from academia. Our joint impact grants bring these key players together to explore new solutions and novel approaches that have the potential to improve service quality and access in Ontario — and hopefully, beyond.

Successful applicants are supported with up to $100,000 to test out their bold ideas.

Browse previous projects

COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the implementation of innovative solutions as we continued to support children, young people and families in times of uneasiness and physical distancing. That’s why we called on researchers and agencies to test out big and novel ideas that emerged in response to the pandemic. More specifically, we asked them to help us understand the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on children and young people, with a focus on families from vulnerable groups who experience challenges in accessing and receiving high-quality mental health care. Learn more about the project we are supporting.

E-mental health

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. In 2020 we offered three grants to explore the use of technology to enhance or support child and youth mental health in Ontario — and, ideally, beyond! Learn more about the projects we are supporting.

Northern communities

Accessing mental health and addictions services can be challenging, and even more so in remote or northern communities, where there are fewer service providers. That’s why we called on leaders in northern Ontario to propose innovative solutions with the potential to improve access to mental health services for children, young people and families in their communities.  Learn more about the selected project.