LHIN-Wide Child and Youth Mental Health Program for NSM

At their monthly meeting on April 27, 2015, the North Simcoe Muskoka (NSM) Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Board of Directors approved the siting of a LHIN-wide child and youth mental health program at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.  This regional program was the result of a coordinated planning effort by the NSM Child and Adolescent Project Steering Committee, with the full acknowledgement and support of NSM hospitals and the Community Care Access Centre.

There are 26 designated child and youth inpatient mental health units across Ontario.  Currently, NSM LHIN is the only LHIN in the province without designated child and youth mental health beds.  NSM children and adolescents have had to travel outside of the region to access care, with the closest beds located at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket.

The NSM LHIN-wide Child and Youth Mental Health Program will consist of a day hospital and 8 inpatient beds.  The program will provide a comprehensive range of services including: acute mental health inpatient care; acute outpatient services and crisis services; and, mental health and addiction care coordination with other service providers in NSM.

The target date for completion of a day hospital and inpatient child and adolescent unit at RVH is December 2016.


“For years we have talked about the need for this type of service in North Simcoe Muskoka. Too often we have heard stories about kids not being able to access care close to home.  This new program confirms the LHIN’s and our providers’ commitment to putting the needs of North Simcoe Muskoka residents at the forefront of any planning. ” 

- Jill Tettmann, CEO, North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network

"In North Simcoe Muskoka there is a critical need for child and youth mental health services given that as many as 16,000 area young people will experience a mental illness. In NSM, suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth and the number of days that area children and youth have spent in the region's hospitals suffering from mental health issues, has tripled since 2007. By developing a program at RVH, we'll provide these kids with the care they need, closer to home."

- Janice Skot, President and CEO, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre 

“This commitment to bringing inpatient hospital treatment and care to our region is the result of service providers and community partners from across Simcoe County and Muskoka collaborating on planning for children and adolescent mental health services.  The more we can support children and youth early in life, the better their outcomes will be.  With the on-going efforts of our community providers and the new hospital unit we will have even more local resources working together towards that common goal.”

- Carol Lambie, Chair, NSM Mental Health and Addictions Coordinating Council / President and CEO, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care


  • Approximately 30 per cent of Ontarians will experience a mental health and/or substance abuse problem at some point in their lifetime, with one out of 40 Ontarians having a serious mental illness.
  • In 2013, there were 1,225 visits to emergency departments in NSM LHIN by children and youth for mental health and addiction concerns
  • A small percentage of children and youth need to be admitted from the ED to an inpatient program; however, most often, children and youth will return home after an ED visit with follow up from a community mental health service if needed.