Maltby Centre sees an increase in demand for child and youth mental health care

Impact of COVID-19 in KFL&A is creating some delays in service

Maltby Centre has had to implement a waiting list for new clients seeking ongoing mental health services for children and youth. Our walk-in clinic and/or single session therapy continues to provide access to a therapist within a few days of making an appointment. The impact of COVID-19 has led to a sharp increase in children, youth, and their families who need mental health care.

“The pandemic has been challenging for many families, but it has been especially hard on families with children and youth struggling with mental health. We are seeing more clients with highly complex mental health issues. There’s been a sharp increase in service needs for mental health support”, said Karen Fleming, Executive Director.

Maltby is the lead agency in KFL&A for children and youth mental health services and autism services. It is working with system partners and is recruiting new staff to meet the increase in demand for services. It continues to provide service by phone, zoom, or in-person with strict pandemic safety protocols in place.

“We’re very committed to providing access to service to every child, youth and family who needs our help. At the moment, children and youth who need ongoing mental health services should expect some delay in service delivery. Our walk-in or single session service is accessible within a few days of making an appointment,” said Fleming.

Right now there are 28,000 children and youth across Ontario on wait lists for mental health care. In some parts of the province, children and youth can wait up to 2.5 years for services. This is not the case in KFL&A. Maltby is working with our partners to advocate for the Government of Ontario to urgently invest more resources in child and youth mental health in the community.

“We ask for your support, patience, and understanding as we navigate the increase in service demand. If there ever was a time to help kids in our community, it is now.”

People wishing to advocate for children’s mental health can do so by joining the #kidscantwait community on social media.


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