NEWS: YWHO receives funding for eight new hubs across Ontario

May 3, 2022, TORONTO:

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) has confirmed funding from the Government of Ontario for eight new Youth Wellness Hub sites.

YWHO is a network of youth wellness hubs across the province that provide integrated services for youth aged 12 – 25 years old in a “one-stop shop” model. Now serving 22 diverse communities, these hubs offer low-barrier access for young people seeking mental health and substance use support, primary care, social services, and more.

The eight new site locations are:

  • Algoma Region
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington
  • London-Middlesex
  • Sagamok Anishnabek First Nation
  • Sarnia-Lambton
  • Sudbury
  • Thorncliffe Park
  • West Toronto

*Full list of YWHO sites below.

 This announcement comes as Mental Health Week is recognized by Canadians across the country. Before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for high-quality youth mental health and substance use services, as well as other supports, has surged across Ontario.

Youth are experiencing critically high levels of challenges, and many communities lack access to essential youth-focused services. The 2021 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey[1] conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) indicates that 42 per cent of students wanted to seek help for their mental health in the past year, but didn’t know where to go.

“This investment in eight new YWHO hubs comes at a time of great need for youth and families, as we continue to see the impacts of the pandemic. Not only will this YWHO expansion allow us to serve more youth and families, it will also allow us to continue to learn about the needs of youth throughout Ontario and how to work together to address these needs more effectively,” said Dr. Joanna Henderson, Executive Director of YWHO.

At the eight new sites across the province, YWHO will work with local community services providers, youth, and partners to ensure their services meet the specific needs of each community.

The new hubs will:

  • provide rapid access to walk-in, low-barrier services with clear service pathways;
  • provide early and evidence-based interventions matched to individuals’ level of need, and supported transitions to specialized care services when the severity of need is evident;
  • integrate mental health, substance use, primary care, vocational, housing and other support services into a “one-stop shop” model of care offered in a youth-friendly space;
  • reduce transitions between services through co-location and shared services in a single place;
  • establish common evaluation across sites; and,
  • co-create equitable and culturally effective services with youth & families.

“The impacts of mental health and addictions challenges can be felt in communities across the province, and our government is committed to supporting children, youth and their families on their journey to wellness,” said Hon. Michael A. Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “With the addition of eight new Youth Wellness Hubs, we are taking another major step towards filling urgent gaps in care and reducing wait times for critical mental health and addictions services. We are proud to be supporting the important work of Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, so that families can find and access the highest quality supports they need – where and when they need them.”

The new site leaders and staff are thrilled to be a part of the YWHO network, noting that their communities are fully supportive of this model for supporting youth.

“The inclusion of the Sarnia-Lambton community in the YWHO funding will provide us with the sustainability we need to establish the best possible care for young people. Since 2018, our partners have been working tirelessly with the generous support of our community, in recognition of the need for expanded access to services for youth,” said Alan Stevenson, CEO and President, CMHA Lambton Kent. “We are sincerely grateful.”

The new hubs will be working over the coming months to prepare to welcome youth, families and community members.

About Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO):

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) is a network of 22 local hubs that provide integrated services co-designed with youth for youth in communities across the province. Originally funded through philanthropy and by the Ontario government in 2017, YWHO was established to address gaps in the youth mental health system by providing fully integrated “one-stop shops” for youth aged 12-25, addressing needs related to mental health, substance use, primary care, education, employment, housing, peer support, outreach, system navigation, and other community and social programming. Through a commitment to rapid and low-barrier access, early and evidence-based interventions, equitable and culturally effective services, and youth collaboration, YWHO is taking a critical step forward to improve Ontario’s youth mental health system. To learn more about Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, visit www.youthhubs.ca or @YWHOntario on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

All YWHO Hub Locations:

  • Algoma Region
  • Central Toronto
  • Chatham-Kent
  • Cornwall & SDG
  • Guelph-Wellington
  • Haliburton County
  • Kenora
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington
  • London-Middlesex
  • Malton
  • Niagara Region
  • North Simcoe
  • Renfrew County
  • Rockland & PR
  • Sagamok Anishnabek First Nation
  • Sarnia-Lambton
  • Scarborough
  • Sudbury
  • Thorncliffe Park
  • Timmins
  • Toronto East
  • West Toronto
  • Windor-Essex

About the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH):

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit camh.ca or follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.

For more information or media inquiries:
Hayley Chazan
media [at] camh.ca (media[at]camh[dot]ca)

[1] https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/pdf—osduhs/2021-osduhs-report-pdf.pdf