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Leaders called on to pledge support for kids mental health

Timmins-based NEOFACS among the organizations endorsing Kids Can't Wait pledge
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Ahead of the provincial election, North Eastern Ontario Family and Children’s Services  (NEOFACS) is joining Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) to call on all Ontario leaders to take the Kids Can’t Wait pledge to make Ontario the number one jurisdiction in Canada for child and youth mental health services. 

Before the pandemic, kids were already waiting too long for mental health care. In 2020, over 28,000 children and youth were waiting up to 2.5 years for mental health care in Ontario. Now, NEOFACS and other centres across the province are seeing an increase not only in demand for service but also in the severity of mental illness children and youth are presenting with. 

“The number of young people struggling with their mental health has increased over the last two years and  locally we’re seeing an increased number of children and youth requiring ongoing Counselling and Therapy  Services as their needs are not being met by Brief Services,” said Nathalie Rochon, director of services for  Children’s Mental Health programs at NEOFACS. “We’re calling on Ontario leaders to take the pledge to ensure  mental health services are available in the community for the kids and families that need them.” 

Our collective call to government through the Kids Can’t Wait pledge has four pillars: 

  1. Invest $300M over the next 5 years into child and youth mental health supports and services
  2. Cut wait times for mental health services to 30 days 
  3. Build more capacity in the community so kids don't end up in emergency rooms 
  4. Develop a highly qualified and sustainable workforce of children's mental health professionals 

“Our kids can’t wait any longer – they need political leaders to take action now,” said Cléo Charlebois, executive director of NEOFACS. “Join us and CMHO in calling on Ontario leaders to take the pledge. Our kids can’t wait”. 

For more information visit: 

Find help in the districts of Cochrane and Timiskaming

Children’s Mental Health Week is about increasing awareness of the signs of child and youth mental health difficulties, decreasing stigma and understanding that help is available and treatment can work. 

If you are a parent or caregiver and you’re concerned about changes in your child’s behaviour, please reach out  for help. NEOFACS’ child and youth mental health services are open and providing supports throughout the region to help parents, caregivers, children, and youth.  

Support is available 24/7 by calling 705-360-7100 or Toll-Free at 1-800-665-7743 in the Cochrane District or 1- 866-229-5437 in the Timiskaming District.