More money invested into youth and children’s services could benefit the economy.
A recent report from the Mental Health Commission says more money for youth services now, will not only improve patient health but our economic growth.
“We are totally in support of this approach,” says Joanne Johnson executive director of Ways Mental Health Support. “Our organization along with other voices from around the province through our Provincial Association of Children’s Mental Health Ontario, have been advocating for this very thing for years.”
With more than 7.5 million Canadians facing mental health issues, over 50-billion dollars are spent in a years span. This includes health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in health-related quality of life.
“Many illnesses are going to be lifelong…but if the young person can be given help at an early stage and develop coping strategies and ways of managing their mental health issues early on they are more likely to be set up for success in the future and less likely to rely on emergency visits to the hospital. This could reduce hospital admissions, and potentially reduce the number of policing calls related to mental health, which we know has been inclining” says Johnson.
Johnson hopes that with a possible increase of funding, Ways services could improve and provide more help to youth in need. Symptoms of common mental-health problems and illness as early as four years old.
“We know that there are significant waiting lists for services across the province, and in some parts children and youth can wait as much at 18 months to receive any service and that’s a very lengthy period of time in a child or adolescent’s life span. It’s certainly an unacceptable wait period in our view.”
Research shows most mental health issues develop during youth.