June 19, 2024

Vita Nectar

Health is the main investment in life

Minister Tibollo visits McMaster Children’s Hospital on Child and Youth Mental Health Day

3 min read

Four adults in suits stand in front of a painted mural in a children's hospital. It is a posed photo.

Bruce Squires, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo, Tracey MacArthur and Holly Augerman toured both the McMaster Children’s Hospital main site and the Ron Joyce Children’s Healthcare Centre to talk about important pediatric mental health programs.

Yesterday, Tracey MacArthur, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and Bruce Squires, president of McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) and VP of Women’s and Children’s Health at HHS, had the pleasure of welcoming the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Michael Tibollo, on Child and Youth Mental Health Day.

The tour highlighted the growth of the mental health and eating disorders programs at both MCH and the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre (RJCHC) thanks to historic investments from the provincial government.

“We were thrilled to host Minister Tibollo on Child and Youth Mental Health Day to thank him for his unwavering commitment to improving access to mental health and eating disorders support and to showcase the difference increased investments are making for our programs,” said Bruce Squires. “We look forward to continuing to move towards our shared vision of reducing waitlists and barriers to treatment, and ensuring that every child, youth and family can receive the best possible care exactly when they need it.”

Adults stand in a circle outdoors. They are listening to one person speaking.In recent years, the provincial government has made critical investments in pediatric care, including child and youth mental health services. This includes funding for MCH’s Eating Disorders program in 2021, as well as an additional $48 million in pediatric health care funding that was announced in July 2023 to further enhance these programs and over 22 other areas of care across MCH.

“Over the past several years, there has been a significant increase in the complexity of our mental health population. The complexity is compounded at times by caregivers who are also struggling with their own mental health concerns,” said Kyle Graham, Clinical Manager of Children and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) Ambulatory Services. “Funding has allowed us to increase capacity so that we can support the caregivers, provide family-based interventions, and help them navigate the system more easily as they work towards recovery.”

With additional staff hired, the mental health day treatment program has expanded its capacity by 20 per cent, meaning an additional two patients per day can receive treatment. The team has also eliminated the patient consultation waitlist, so children and youth can receive treatment two to four months sooner than before government support.

The eating disorders program has also increased capacity with the addition of two patient beds, a newly renovated space for day treatment to improve patient experience, and additional team members to deliver this critical care.

Every year, Child and Youth Mental Health Day, which occurs during Mental Health Week, brings awareness to the growing and evolving demands of young people that our hospital supports every day.  Ongoing government support and the tremendous efforts of the HHS team continue to transform care for young people and their families when they need it most.

Learn more about how we’re Growing MCH.


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