Response to the 2016 annual report of the Ontario Auditor General
The 2016 Annual Report of the Ontario Auditor General highlights a range of opportunities to enhance the mental health system of care for children, youth and families across the province. The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health agrees with these recommendations and we look forward to using our experience and expertise to advance evidence-informed service and policy in Ontario. We urge all ministries, sectors, organizations and professionals to prioritize system reform and work together to build the services children, youth and families deserve.
The report of the Auditor General reminds us that, collectively, we must:
Focus on the experience of children, youth and families. System transformation has one goal – to improve experiences and outcomes for Ontario children, youth and families facing mental health challenges. We must work with – and for – them every step of the way.
Measure what matters. Establishing a data strategy for child and youth mental health that is consistent across the province, across settings and across sectors will be an essential driver of transformation. Common indicators and measures will allow mental health professionals and agencies to determine the impact of their work, from the individual to the systemic level.
Put evidence to work. If we measure what matters, we can use that information to fuel continuous quality improvement across the system. Building a culture of quality will take time, resources and commitment from policy makers, leaders and service providers. Our Centre is committed to continuing to support quality at every level.
Topple silos at all levels. Child and youth mental health is a key responsibility of many Ministries, sectors and settings, and meaningful collaboration is an essential part of that responsibility. It is imperative that services be integrated in a way that reduces duplication, increases effectiveness and provides a seamless service experience for Ontario children, youth and families.
The 2016 annual report of the Auditor General examined operations at four community-based child and youth mental health agencies, but the Centre acknowledges, respects and celebrates the tireless and ongoing commitment to transformational change among all of Ontario's child and youth mental health leaders, agencies and service providers.
Our Centre looks forward to continuing to work with agencies, government ministries, cross-sectoral partners, youth and families to build a continuum of mental health services in Ontario that is effective, efficient, accessible and equitable.
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