YouthLink is reaching out once again to our caring community for your help. As always, we are looking to you to stand up for the youth of Scarborough. If you agree to take action however, all young Ontarians will benefit. What’s involved? Specifically, 5 seconds of your time to send an electronic letter to the Premier calling for more public support of mental health services for thousands of infants, children and youth across Ontario including Scarborough. With an election coming up, this cannot wait until another day.
There is alot we want to say but won’t for fear of losing your attention. So it all boils down to this. The mental health services that Ontario youth are currently receiving is less than what they require as determined through professional diagnosis or assessment. Another $120M will close that gap*, and spare alot of people indescribable pain and suffering.
Let’s start with the youth themselves. Countless numbers are experiencing conditions and circumstances that are interfering with their emotions and relationships, as well as their growth and sense of self-worth. They are coping as best as they know how. Without the positive alternatives, however, all too many are coping in ways that risk extending their pain and suffering deeper and longer into their lives.
“When there’s something wrong with my baby, there’s something wrong with me.”
These words to a popular song only begin to describe the stress and anxiety parents feel when they have an inkling their child needs help but don’t know where to turn. Or when the fear of the family being shamed or labelled enters the fray, or the sense of helplessness when assistance is available but only months down the road. Or when paying for getting to the service, or getting the time off work, has to be factored in.
Then there’s the professionals who are assisting these folks. People like teachers, doctors, faith leaders, and youth workers, to name a few. They too have to learn to cope with having proven answers but no means or sources for putting those solutions into practice. In other words, they have to learn to accept that the best that can be done is less than what they know ought to be done.
Then there’s the rest of us. The emotional toll among all the people directly involved with a child in pain infects us all. They are our family members, our neighbours, our co-workers. Their pain leads to serious economic side effects. Among these are more calls to emergency services than would otherwise be the case, more ER stays, more doctors visits, higher absenteeism, higher school leaving, greater lost productivity, and higher taxes.
Surely we as a province can agree on a better way than this to serve our youth.
Under the leadership of Children’s Mental Health Ontario, organizations like YouthLink are doing what you are seeing here. We are asking for everyone’s help in getting the politicians to hear these 3 words: KIDS CAN’T WAIT!
Already the Premier, the Ministers of Health and of Children and Youth Services Minister have received thousands of emails, letters and texts calling for change. Let’s keep up that pressure!
To learn more about what we’re saying here, and to add your name to the rolls of supporters who are standing up for our children and youth, please click HERE.
More than 12,000 children and youth in Ontario are currently waiting to access mental health services.
In some places, that wait can be up to 18 months long.
Because of underfunding and long wait times, there has been a 63% increase in emergency department visits and a 67% increase in hospitalizations for Ontario children and youth with mental health issues.
Once discharged from hospital, those children and youth will still face those wait times.
5 out of 6 children and youth with mental health issues will not receive the treatment they need. Tragically, some youth will die by suicide waiting for treatment.
$120M in additional funding can help bring about:
Thanks for giving us this extra time to share this information.