Children's Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) is dedicated to ensuring that children and youth with mental health problems get top-quality treatment and support as soon as their needs are identified. We ensure that children's mental health centres meet our high accreditation standards, and that all clinicians who provide mental health services to children and youth know about the treatment approaches that have been proven to work best.
CMHO is Canada's leading source for accurate and comprehensive information about child and youth mental health and mental illness, primarily through this website. We help to connect children, youth and their families to the right services at the right time. And we work to raise awareness - in the public, the media, schools and government - about the importance of supporting and treating young people with mental health challenges instead of blaming or excluding them.
Most mental health problems emerge in childhood or adolescence - half of all people who suffer from depression, for instance, are first affected before their 20th birthday. One in five Ontarians under the age of 19 - more than half a million children and teens - has a diagnosable mental illness.
We know that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 10 to 19 year olds in Ontario, and that the suicide rate among young people, like the incidence of many childhood mental illnesses, is rising steadily. We also know that young Ontarians who get inadequate mental health services disproportionately fail in school and/or drop out, create stress at home that undermines family functioning, become involved in criminal activity, and progress to chronic lifelong mental illness. (Mental illness, with its long term demands on hospital and physician services, and on medicine, is the 3rd leading cause of direct costs in the health care system.)
Children's Mental Health Ontario works with many partners who deliver treatment and prevention services to children, youth and their families. Our core membership consists of accredited children's mental health centres, but we also work with child welfare agencies, schools, early childhood centres, family physicians and pediatricians, hospitals, adult mental health services, and other organizations that work to improve the lives of young Ontarians and families affected by mental illness.
Whether talking with elected officials and community groups about the needs of children's mental health or working with other associations of professionals to develop the best services, we strive to keep the issue of child and youth mental health front and centre.
Gordon Floyd became President & CEO of Children's Mental Health Ontario in January 2004, after 10 years at the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy as Vice-president of Public Affairs. His career spans the public, private and voluntary sectors: as former Chief of Staff to three Leaders of the Opposition in Ontario; as head of a public affairs consulting firm serving Canada, the US and the Caribbean; as co-founder and senior V-P of a large fundraising consulting firm. In 2002, Gordon was honoured with the Arthur Kroeger College Award in Policy Leadership by Ottawa’s Carleton University.