Why are kids waiting so long for mental health services?

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  • Eryn Wright says:

    What about COPMI services? I can’t find anything in here about early intervention with the children of parents with mental illness. These kids are at a massively increased risk because of genetic and environmental factors. Australia is leaps and bounds ahead in this respect. Having a parent with a severe mental illness is very difficult but there seems to be very little dedicated in Ontario to identifying those kids and supporting them.

  • Eva DeBoer says:

    As a front-line mental health service provider for children and adults for over 30 yrs. I have noticed funding going to support the research, development and promotion of services, however the front-line workers are often poorly paid, and over-worked, as burn-out in the mental health field is prevalent. Now in private practice/research and development I find it almost impossible to find funding to help launch new programs or groups for children and families. Transfer payments are made to local service agencies who have 2 yrs. waiting lists, and individuals in practice, like myself, end up offering free services (sliding scale) because individuals without insurance/EAP converage cannot pay.

  • Mindy L Gough says:

    Ted Ball, Ford’s “commitment” to mental health is as tenuous as the wind.
    Please remember his actions instead of his words:

    The NDP’s commitment is similar in scope to the other parties, and they are a party that consistently demonstrates care for people rather than the unquenchable greed of Ford et al.

    Do not be bamboozled.

  • Maribeth Santos says:

    It took us two years to get a diagnosis for our daughter. Two years of taking my daughter to different doctors -general paediatricians and developmental paediatricians but they all said everything’s fine with my daughter. In school, she just stands in one corner and doesn’t participate or talk to her teachers or classmates. Two years of her kindergarten were wasted because when we were referred to a local children’s treatment centre in 2015, she was rejected and as parents we were responsible to look for doctors who should help us to get a diagnosis. Good thing her J.K. teacher got help from a school speech pathologist and every year, our daughter gets a new one. Before the school ends of her S.K. I asked for a referral from the current speech pathologist who referred us directly to the clinical psychologist at the children’s treatment centre then we are back to square one. Waiting time the social worker said would be about 18 to 24 months for my daughter to get into Ontario Autism Program. I hope all government offices concerned here will have consistency and coordinated services to avoid confusion. I called different government and private offices since 2015 and some can help while we are waiting but we have to advocate for our children and it takes away all our time and energy from our family.

  • Ted Ball says:

    While the Ontario Liberal Liberal budget speech contained an announcement of $2.1 billion for mental health over the next four years, when you go into the budget papers, it appears that there is only $1.3 billion set aside–and that money appears to be the federal government’s transfer payment.

    So, the Liberals were shocked when the Tory platform under Patrick Brown promised $3.8 Billion in mental health funding. They scrambled to “match”, or better, their political competition–announcing $2.1 billion in the speech (the essential PR hit), and then failing to actually budget the money. Since they will be reduced to less than 10 seats on June 7th, it really does not matter. The Doug Ford Tories have restated their commitment for matching the federal government’s $1.9 billion over 10 years. So, our mental healthcare delivery system for children, youth, and adults will finally get the resources they actually need.

    What is amazing is that some people actually believed that the Gliberals had–after 15 years of neglect–finally come around to do the right thing. Nope! Just political gamesmanship. Looking foreword to finally have a mental health system with adequate funding–once the election is over.


Seema Marwaha


Seema Marwaha is a general internal medicine physician, educator, researcher and journalist in Toronto.

Dafna Izenberg


Dafna is the Managing editor of special projects at Maclean’s Magazine.

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