The Need for Change
A couple of years ago, a mother of a troubled teenager reminded us of how difficult finding mental health services for children and youth can be when she told us about her two-year search for help with her son’s behavioural issues. Her search led her to her son’s school, physician, a local hospital and even her church. One day, her son got so angry that he lost control. Fearing for his and her family's safety, she called the police for help. It was the police service that connected her to Front Door.
The children’s mental health system failed her before she even found it!
This is changing, it had to!
Lutherwood and seven local agencies that deliver children’s mental health services have begun transforming a system to ensure that children, youth and their families will know what children’s mental health services are available, have confidence in those services and get the support they need and deserve.
Moving on Mental Health
The transformation started in 2012, when the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) launched Moving on Mental Health to ensure consistent, high quality children’s mental health services are available across Ontario. To support this process, MCYS appointed 33 “Lead Agencies” to be responsible for the children’s mental health service delivery in each of their respective communities.
Transforming the Local System
In the summer of 2014, Lutherwood was selected as the Lead Agency for child and youth mental health services in Waterloo Region. Being a lead agency comes with a great deal of responsibility. Beyond running our own agency, we are now responsible for the planning of, access to and quality of children’s mental health services across Waterloo Region.
A transformation of this scope requires the collaboration of all local children’s mental health service providers, the Ministry and many community partners. So we created a Lead Agency Advisory Council to help us develop and implement a plan that makes it easier for families to access the services they need. The Council is a team of decision-makers representing the seven core service partners (Carizon Family and Community Services, Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Family & Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region, Grand River Hospital, KW Counselling, Langs, Wilmot Family Resource Centre,) as well as MCYS, the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), Waterloo Region and Waterloo Catholic District School Boards, Waterloo Regional Police Service and White Owl Native Ancestry Association.
To guide their work, the Lead Agency Advisory Council created a clear vision and set of values:
Children, youth and families get compassionate, quality mental health supports when and where they need them.
You Come First. You Can Expect Amazingly Effective Service. We're In This Together.
- Lead Agency Progress Update, Lutherwood - January 2017
- Lead Agency Progress Update, Lutherwood – July 2016
- Lead Agency Progress Update, Lutherwood – February 2016
- Lead Agency Progress Update, Lutherwood – October 2015
- Lead Agency Progress Update, Lutherwood – June 2015
- Moving on Mental Health Initiative, MCYS – 2012