Response to today’s government announcement and reported elimination of the Ontario Child Advocate Office

November 15, 2018

Evidence shows that kids and youth are not getting the mental health treatment they deserve, when and where they need it. With the elimination of the Ontario Child Advocate Office, young people will no longer have an independent voice to advocate for them.

“Eliminating this office equates to an attempt to muzzle the voices and concerns of children and youth.” said Mary-Anne Leahy of The New Mentality. “Young people have the right to receive equal services and treatment and to voice their preferences to an independent advocacy body.”

Data shows that children and youth across the province are struggling to receive the critical lifesaving mental health treatment they need. Currently, the Child and Youth Mental Health system is bursting at its seams, with children and youth waiting up to 18 months to receive treatment. The system has been chronically underfunded and, therefore, can’t meet the needs of children, youth and families seeking treatment. Without timely, quality, and on-going treatment options for children and youth we are putting our young people’s future at risk creating an uphill battle for them to emerge as successful, mentally healthy adults who contribute positively to their communities. We are calling on the government to address the urgent funding crisis plaguing the child and youth mental health system in its 2019 Provincial Budget.