News / Ottawa

Two Ottawa youth groups to hire more mental health workers

The Ontario government announced a $307,200 annual grant for child and youth mental health services in Ottawa on Tuesday.

Joanne Lowe, executive director of the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, speaks with Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi following an announcement for youth mental health funding on Wednesday.

lucy scholey/metro

Joanne Lowe, executive director of the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, speaks with Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi following an announcement for youth mental health funding on Wednesday.

Mental health providers in Ottawa are getting a provincial funding boost to help struggling children and teens.

The Ontario government announced a $307,200 annual grant for child and youth mental health services in Ottawa on Wednesday.

That funding will pay the salaries of two French-speaking mental health workers at the Centre Psychosocial in Vanier and allow Crossroads Children’s Centre to provide more in-home therapy to kids and their families. Crossroads has also partnered with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario for this program.

“It’s a very intensive service,” said Joanne Lowe, executive director of the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, “so the more people you have wrapped around a family, the greater chance it’s going to be successful.”

Through this program, Crossroads is planning to serve 214 more young people in the area.

While the waiting lists for Ottawa-area agencies vary, a 2015 Children’s Mental Health Ontario report says many youth across the province wait at least a year for serious mental health counselling treatment.

According to the report, 70 per cent of adult mental health struggles stem from adolescence.

Lowe said the funding is a “huge help” for mental health care services in Ottawa.

“These are kids who wouldn’t be getting the services, the right kind of services, they need in a timely fashion,” she said.

This latest mental health funding is a slice of the $6 million province-wide investment for children and youth mental health services. It will fund the hiring of 80 new workers with the goal of helping 4,000 more kids and their families.