Thought bubble YWHO

History of YWHO

YWHO was inspired by the integrated collaborative care team model developed by youth, family members, clinicians and researchers as part of the YouthCan IMPACT research project launched in 2014, funded by Ontario SPOR Support Unit, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and philanthropic partners.

YouthCan IMPACT used a pragmatic randomized controlled trial design to test the Integrative Collaborative Care Team approach as compared to hospital outpatient psychiatric services (see for more details).

As part of the YouthCan IMPACT trial, hubs were developed and implemented in Toronto to serve both research participants and community youth.  These hubs later became part of Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario.

Timeline of YWHO

How did we get here?

To learn more about the development of YWHO in the context of global youth mental health system transformation, as well as pan-Canadian youth mental health system change, you can read this article (June 2022).



2017 - 2020: Demonstration Phase

YWHO Demonstration Phase funded by Ontario Ministry of Health and philanthropic partners.


  • An open call for proposals was launched for communities to express interest in becoming a YWHO site. 45 communities applied.
  • A review selection committee consisting of youth, families and system leaders across the province was established to develop the criteria for selection and to provide recommendations to government regarding the initial YWHO demonstration sites.


  • Six new sites selected and announced in early 2018, receiving between $200,000 and $300,000 each per year, including $100.000 of Ministry of Health funding per site per year for three years.
  • Four existing integrated youth service sites (three from YouthCAN Impact and one from ACCESS Open Minds) were provided philanthropic funding to transition to YWHO sites.
  • Collectively, these hubs became the first ten YWHO sites in Ontario.
  • The Provincial Youth Advisory Council (PYAC) and the Provincial Family Advisory Council (PFAC) are established.


  • YWHO sites open their doors across the province.
  • The Provincial Indigenous Youth and Family Advisory Circle (PIYFAC) is established.


  • Ontario government transitions the initial 10 YWHO sites to annualized base funding (permanent sites) and increases funding to $650,000 for all ten sites.
  • The YWHO Provincial Office is established.
  • COVID-19 hits Ontario; YWHO sites navigate rapid transitions to virtual service delivery.
  • YWHO begins provincial implementation of PreVenture, an evidence-based early intervention to promote mental health and delay substance use in adolescents.

2021 - Current


  • The Ontario government announces funding for an additional four sites to the YWHO network, bringing the total number of YWHO sites to 14.
  • Ten new Ontario sites apply measurement-based care when implementing mental health and wellness services for youth, supported by the Bell-Graham Boeckh Foundation Partnership, Balsam Foundation and Medavie Health Foundation.
  • YWHO begins the process to develop a virtual service platform with support from RBC Futures Launch program.


  • The Ontario government announces funding for eight additional YWHO sites.
  • Multiple new sites open their doors throughout the summer and fall.