Ontario government providing funding for mental health programs in Hamilton
Education Minister, Stephen Lecce, announced the provincial government is investing nearly $40 million towards student mental health.
The investment, which is nearly double the amount from the 2017-2018 year, will go towards advancing student mental health in partnership with education groups.
Additionally, the government will be funding 180 mental health workers, such as social workers, psychologists, and psychotherapists, in secondary schools in an effort to reduce or preferably eliminate wait times.
“Too many students are struggling with their mental health and well-being,” Lecce said in a news release.
“I am proud to be a member of this government that is applying a compassionate eye to making mental health a priority by more than doubling mental health supports for our kids,” he added.
According to the news release, 70 per cent of mental health and addiction issues people in Ontario face begin in childhood or adolescence; and 20 per cent of students grades seven through 12 rate their mental health as fair or poor.
“We will continue working hard to ensure that we provide effective mental health programs and services for Ontario’s students,” Michael Tibollo, associate minister of Mental Health and Addictions, said in a news release.
“Too many families have waited too long for the mental health services they require for themselves, and for their children. By investing in frontline programs and services, we will continue moving forward to create a mental health system in Ontario that fully supports our students,” he added.
Some other ways the government will use this money to fund mental health programs include:
- $6.5 million to the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board/School Mental Health Ontario to support district school boards
- $3 million to well-being and mental health programs through all district school boards
- $1.5 million to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada, $1 million to Kids Help Phone
- $1 million to Roots of Empathy, $250,000 to WE Charity to support the WE Schools program
- $245,000 to the Principal Association Projects Service Partners and the Ontario Principal’s Council for cyberbullying prevention skills development for school leaders
- $120,000 to White Ribbon for an educator resource focusing on the prevention of sexual exploitation.
“Mental health is a key component of an individual’s overall health, so I applaud the government for making these valuable investments,” Katherine Hay, president and CEO of Kids Help Phone, said. “Today’s (Oct. 10) announcements will make a big difference in the lives of students and their families.”
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