Local youth mental health support providers encouraged by federal funding announcment

Since the pandemic, experts have been warning of a significant decline in peoples mental health. Youth have been particularly impacted.

The results of the Children and Youth Planning Table of Waterloo Region’s 2023 Youth Impact Survey are clear indicator.

It shows around half of respondents reporting their mental health as fair or poor. One-in-four said it’s low or depressed and almost 40 per cent said they feel sad or hopeless.

Tracy Elop, CEO, Camino Wellbeing and Mental Health called the results “alarming”. She is welcoming last week’s federal announcement of a $500-million fund to assist community health organizations expand youth mental health supports.

“It’s just so encouraging to hear that policy makers and government is recognizing that kids are in crisis right now,” she told the Mike Farwell Show. “While we don’t know exactly what it will look like, hopefully details will emerge in the budget, tomorrow.”

Despite the details of the fund still not know, Elop said what she has seen so far seems to show the money going to the right place.

“It’s targeting community mental health which are agencies like Camino, and really focused on that Gen Z population.”

Elop says Camino fundraises around $600,000 a year to fund its programs. This additional funding will help support and expand those programs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced the Youth Mental Health Fund on April 9th. It was another in a string of campaign style announcements by the Trudeau government ahead of the April 16 federal budget.

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