Ontario Expanding Access to Child and Youth Mental Health Care in
North Simcoe Muskoka

November 21, 2016

Ontario is expanding access to mental health services that will help approximately 3,300 more children and youth each year in Barrie, Simcoe and Muskoka get faster access to high-quality care.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was joined by Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie, at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie today to make the announcement.

This investment will enable the hospital to open a comprehensive regional Child and Youth Mental Health Program, including eight inpatient beds that can be accessed by up to 300 young people per year, a day program, and capacity for approximately 3,000 outpatient visits annually.

The new program will help reduce wait times for children and youth suffering from mental health challenges, increase the services available in the region and ensure that high quality mental health treatment can be accessed in one location. Services provided through the new care centre include prevention and health promotion, assessment, and specialized treatment based on individual needs ranging from moderate to severe and complex conditions.

Providing better care for children and youth with mental health challenges is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that's sustainable for generations to come. 


“Our government is committed to ensuring that young people have access to high quality mental health services within their community, no matter where they live. By investing in this new child and youth mental health program in Barrie, young people in North Simcoe Muskoka will have better access to the full range of essential health care services required to be well and thrive.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“I am thrilled that we will soon be able to offer critical mental health services to the young people of Barrie and Simcoe County. Thousands of children and youth will be able to access new services at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre every year, helping those who struggle to have a fair chance at a happy and fulfilling life.”

Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie

“We are extremely pleased that our North Simcoe Muskoka communities will now have a resource where young people, struggling with mental health issues, can access care closer to home. This regional program will enable us to better serve our children and youth locally, and ease the burden for many families.” 

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

"Youth suffering severe mental health issues need quick access to safe, secure specialized services for stabilization and treatment. This investment in a comprehensive Child and Youth Mental Health Program is a game changer for our region. By providing care closer to home, RVH and its partners will significantly ease the burden for young people and their families throughout North Simcoe Muskoka."

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

  • Ontario is investing $3.2 million as part of this project to expand access to mental health care in North Simcoe Muskoka.
  • Ontario’s investments in child and youth mental health initiatives are helping more than 50,000 children, youth and their families benefit from quicker and easier access to the right mental health supports.
  • Expanding community-based mental health services is part of the next phase of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. The strategy includes $138 million over three years for community agencies to support improvements to mental health and addictions services.
  • The province also recently announced $6 million in new funding to hire approximately 80 additional mental health workers. This investment will help an estimated 4,000 children and youth each year.
  • Over the next five years more than 1,000 primary care providers like family doctors and nurses will receive specialized training on children and youth mental health.

For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)

Media Contacts:
 Shae Greenfield, Minister’s Office, 416-325-5230
 David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 416-314-6197

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