Ontario Connecting Children and Youth to Mental Health Care Close to Home

$12.5 million boost in funding to expand pediatric mental health services for Black and 2SLGBTQIA+ youth

May 09, 2024


Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  4. Additional Resources
  5. Related Topics

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing an additional $12.5 million to connect Black children, youth and their families, as well as 2SLGBTQIA+ youth to mental health services across the province, closer to home.

This funding is part of the government’s investment of an additional $330 million each year in pediatric health services at hospitals and community-based health care facilities across the province and will provide community-based child and youth mental health providers with the resources, staff and training to expand and improve access to services for Black and 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is making record investments in the health and well-being of our children and youth, now and for the future,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This investment will connect more children and youth to mental health care closer to home that is supportive and inclusive of their individual needs.”

This investment will help to expand and improve community programs and services delivered by more than 25 organizations across the province, with services including:

  • Prenatal, post-natal and pediatric care for Black mothers and children facing mental health challenges.
  • Increasing the number of Black therapists and 2SLGBTQIA+ counsellors to reduce stigma and provide a more welcoming environment for care.
  • Reducing barriers to accessing care by establishing mobile mental health and addictions clinics for children and youth in Black communities.
  • Supporting anti-Black racism education and training for health care providers and clinical skills development for primary care providers and social workers working with 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.
  • Providing suicide prevention, supports for eating disorders, depression and anxiety, and well-being and self esteem care for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.
  • Improving access to counselling, case management and drop-in services for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.

“Every child and youth deserves reliable and accessible mental health services that respect and address their race, gender and sexual orientation,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “We will continue to support initiatives that address stigma and improve mental health, while lowering barriers to safe and effective mental health care for everyone in Ontario.”

This investment also builds on the government’s work to significantly expand the number of Youth Wellness Hubs across the province to make it faster and easier for young people to connect to mental health and substance use support, primary care, social services, and more. Ontario is adding 10 new Youth Wellness Hubs to the network of 22 hubs already opened since 2020, bringing the total to 32 across the province.

Through Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care, the Ontario government is investing in pediatric care delivery at hospitals and communities across the province, ensuring children and their families can connect to quality care faster and closer to come, for generations to come.

Quick Facts

  • Learn more about symptoms and signs of mental illness including information about common mental health disorders among children and youth and what parents can do to support them.
  • Through the Roadmap to Wellness and the funding for pediatric health services, Ontario has flowed nearly $6 million in new annual funding to support the Substance Abuse Program for African and Caribbean-Canadian Youth (SAPACCY) to support 10 service sites across the province.
    • In 2021-22, Ontario invested new annual funding of $2.9 million to broaden the SAPACCY program at the original location at CAMH and expand the program across the province by establishing satellite sites in: Etobicoke, Hamilton, North York, Peel, Ottawa, Scarborough, and Windsor.
    • In 2023-24, Ontario built on this investment with an additional $2.9 million in new annual funding to enhance the delivery of evidence-based mental health and substance use supports for Black youth, and expand the program with two additional satellite sites, increasing the number of SAPACCY satellite locations to nine sites province-wide.
  • This funding supports community-based services for Black children and youth facing mental health issues and their families, in alignment with Ontario’s Black Health Plan.
  • Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to fill gaps in mental health and addictions care, create new services and expand programs through Roadmap to Wellness.
  • As part of Budget 2024, Building a Better Ontario, the government is building on its work through the Roadmap by investing an additional $396 million over three years to improve access and expand existing mental health and addictions services and programs.


“This critical funding for organizations like Wanasah is essential in addressing the unique mental health challenges faced by Black children and youth due to systemic racism. We hope this funding will bridge the Black mental health care gap in our system, ensuring that Black children and youth dealing with mental health concerns receive the care they desperately need, when they need it.”

– Namarig Ahmed
Executive Director, Wanasah: Mental Health Services for Black Youth

“During Children’s Mental Health Week, it has never been more important to recognize the needs of the diverse communities across Ontario. Children’s Mental Health Ontario welcomes support for community-based child and youth mental health agencies to expand access to services, resources and training that support Black and 2SLGBTQIA+ children, youth and families facing mental health challenges. We look forward to working with the government towards an equitable system that serves the needs of all of Ontario’s populations.”

– Tatum Wilson
CEO, Children’s Mental Health Ontario

“Our government’s investment of an additional $12.5 million is a crucial step in ensuring that Black children, youth, their families, and 2SLGBTQIA+ youth have improved access to vital mental health services. This funding will help to bring essential support closer to their communities, promoting timely and effective care.”

– Charmaine Williams
Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity

“Our government is committed to strengthening pediatric health services across Ontario which is why we are investing an additional $12.5 million to connect Black and 2SLGBTQIA+ youth to the services they need. This investment is helping build a stronger health care system that delivers on timely, easy, and convenient access to services supporting the individual needs of our youth and their families.”

– Patrice Barnes
MPP for Ajax

Additional Resources

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