Ontario Expanding Walk-In Mental Health and Addictions Services for Youth in Haliburton

Ministry of Health

February 6, 2020 - Ontario is expanding community-based mental health and addictions services for youth and young adults, so hospital emergency departments are not the only option for someone in crisis. 

Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was joined by Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure and MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, to celebrate the grand opening of the Haliburton Youth Wellness Hub. The new hub will provide people between the ages of 12 and 25 with easy access to walk-in services such as mental health, addictions and crisis support, counselling, primary care and social supports related to employment, income and housing. 

"For the past year, we've been travelling the province to hear about the changes Ontarians expect to see in our province's mental health and addictions system," said Elliott. "Investing in innovative solutions like the Haliburton Youth Wellness Hub, which fills an urgent gap in care, is another example of how our government is listening and delivering more accessible, coordinated mental health and addictions services for our youth and young adults. Our government is building a system that ensures every person in Ontario is supported throughout their journey towards mental wellness."

The Haliburton Youth Wellness Hub will provide one-stop-shop support for 750 youth and young adults per year in Haliburton with coordinated mental health, addictions and social services, early identification and prevention, and seamless access to more specialized care and treatment, if needed.

"The Haliburton Youth Wellness Hub will give area youth and young adults a safe and reliable place to get the mental health, addictions and social supports they need, and more importantly, a place to belong and call their own," said Scott. "Every year, more than one million Ontarians experience a mental health or addictions challenge, which can impact their quality of life, including the ability to go to school or make a living."

Ontario continues to take a cross-government approach to build a better mental health and addictions system and will soon launch a new mental health and addictions roadmap that will meaningfully improve the care and services provided to Ontarians.

"Working alongside service providers, parents and the community every step of the way has been and will continue to be a pivotal component to the success of the Haliburton Youth Wellness Hub," said Marg Cox, Executive Director at Point in Time - a partner organization of the Haliburton Youth Wellness Hub. "Youth have been involved in writing the proposal, governance, choosing the space, the wall colours, outreaching to the community and their peers, and co-designing service pathways and programming options to ensure that this is truly a place that they have ownership of; that is relevant, welcoming and meeting their needs. Fostering a sense of belonging and community is especially important in a region as rural as ours. It has definitely taken more than a village to make this a reality."

Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, which includes making investments and advancing new initiatives across four pillars:

  1. Prevention and health promotion: keep patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals.
  2. Providing the right care in the right place: when patients need care, ensure that they receive it in the most appropriate setting, not always the hospital. This includes expanding community-based mental health and addictions services to alleviate pressures on hospital emergency departments.  
  3. Integration and improved patient flow: better integrate care providers to ensure patients spend less time waiting in hospitals when they are ready to be discharged.
  4. Building capacity: build new hospital and long-term care beds while increasing community-based services across Ontario, including expanding innovative, one-stop-shop models of community-based mental health and addiction services for youth and young adults in Haliburton.