Over the past few years, we have moved away from providing on-demand services at the organizational level to increase our ability to focus more and more on changes required at the system level changes in order to break down barriers to better care and strengthen services.

Why system-level initiatives matter

There's a crisis in our healthcare system stemming from undiagnosed or unaddressed mental health struggles in children and youth. This is compounded by the challenges many families face in navigating the system of services. Working closely with the Ministry of Health, provincial partners and service providers, we can leverage our collective expertise to improve care. This means better experiences and outcomes for more children youth and families, better overall health and better value.

What do we mean by “system-level initiatives”?

Ontario's child and youth mental health care system is made up of the many providers and organizations from different sectors, all delivering mental health services to children and youth. The system includes the networks and care pathways that connect them. It also includes the governments and other institutions that provide resources.  

A care pathway helps guide children, young people and families to, through and out of care. It ensures that families get the right service at the right time and in the right way to best meet their child's or youth's mental health needs. In a high-quality mental health system, care pathways are accessible, efficient and effective. They reflect coordination between multiple providers and create better continuity of care.

System-level initiatives are activities and improvements involving or affecting these networks, pathways and resources, in addition to activities or improvements within individual organizations.

Highlighting equity for racialized communities

We’re working alongside others in our sector, including Children’s Mental Health, to build a more inclusive and equitable mental health care system for racialized children, young people and families.

Advancing racial equity together

We’re working with our network to better understand how our sector can improve mental health outcomes for racialized children, young people and families. As a first step, we developed a literature review which provides a snapshot of the current landscape and highlights practices that the sector could leverage to address systemic racism and advance racial equity.

Working with government

We're a trusted partner of the Ministry of Health, collaborating regularly on system-level initiatives, like the following.

BI Solution

When the Ministry began working to implement a Business Intelligence (BI) Solution for Ontario's child and youth mental health service providers, we were brought on board to develop and lead efforts to train agency staff on how to use this platform.

The BI Solution is a technological tool that provides a common performance measurement framework for Ontario's child and youth mental health system. It's meant to improve data collection and reporting for community-based child and youth mental health services and make the resulting information available to inform resource allocation, system planning and service delivery. Visit our resource hub to access relevant training modules and data sharing agreement templates.

Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program

We are a member of the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program's family, child and youth subcommittee, providing support for engagement and knowledge gathering.

Announced as part of the province's mental health investments in late 2017, this new program will make Ontario the first province to provide publicly funded structured psychotherapy to help people with mild to moderate anxiety and depression — the most common mental health disorders in Ontario. The program was created in response to recommendations made by the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council and is being developed with mental health experts, service providers and people with lived experience.

Working with service providers across the province

We work strategically with community-based child and youth mental health service providers across the province to align our efforts and produce the best possible outcomes for Ontario's children, youth and families.

Lead Agency Consortium and Community of Practice

We help facilitate and support the work of the Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium and Community of Practice. Together, we identify provincial priorities in child and youth mental health, and we work to address them.

Setting quality standards

Pursuing excellence demands that we define it. In 2018 we began developing quality standards for youth engagement and family engagement in child and youth mental health. Our draft standards set the bar for evidence-based, high-quality engagement practices at the system-level. We continue to work to support the implementation of these standards, while also exploring the development of new quality standards or guidelines, as determined by the needs of the sector.

For more information about quality standards, please contact us.

Supporting young people: Good2Talk

Good2Talk is a free, confidential helpline for post-secondary students in Ontario. Callers can access anonymous professional counselling, as well as information and referrals for mental health and addictions services.

The Centre is one of four organizations behind  Good2Talk, which is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. We lead the evaluation component and develop training resources for Good2Talk staff.