Policy Documents From Other Jurisdictions
Below are publications from other jurisdictions (Canadian and International) that outline current policy directives in child and youth mental health. These documents present interesting approaches and models that you may want to draw from in your own policy work.
Mental Health Commission of Canada
In March 2007, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, a national body funded by the federal government arose out of recognition that Canada needed a national mental health strategy. This organization is governed by a board of directors including 11 non-governmental directors. Seven of these directors are appointed by the government, as well as the Chair Michael Kirby. This board is assisted by eight advisory committees - one of which addresses child and youth mental health.
Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction (PDF) Empire Club Presentation (PDF, 13 pages) Kirby's 'Opinion' (HTML, 1 page) Empire Club Presentation (PDF, 27 pages) Toward Recovery and Well-Being: A Framework For A Mental Health Strategy For Canada: Draft For Public Consumption (PDF, 58 pages) Evergreen: A Child and Youth Mental Health Framework for Canada (PDF, 62 pages)
British Columbia (Province-Wide)
Child and Youth Mental Health Plan for British Columbia
The Child and Youth Mental Health Plan (CYMH Plan) for British Columbia, approved by the B.C. government in February 2003, was the first of its kind in Canada. Over a five-year period – through an annualized increase to the base budget of $44 million – the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) introduced new strategies to address the mental health needs of children and youth. All of the new strategies have focused on four key areas: reducing risk, building capacity, improving treatment and support, and improving performance. Below are documents related to child and youth mental health in BC.The Plan (2003) (PDF, 57 pages) Progress Report (2008) (PDF, 12 pages) A Review of Child and Youth Mental Health Services in BC - following implementation of the 2003 Child and Youth Mental Health Plan (PDF, 138 pages)
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Research: Alberta Research Activity and Research - Environmental Scan 2009
This environmental scan focuses on Alberta research in the area of child and adolescent mental health. This includes information about individuals and organizations involved in activity in the area, as well as funding opportunities and specific research activity. The goal is to provide the reader with a resource for locating provincial resources and individuals involved in the area of child and adolescent mental health research.
Pazderka, H., Bergerman, L., MacIntyre, B. & Clelland, S. Edmonton/Alberta, Canada: Alberta Health Services - Alberta Mental Health Board. Alberta Mental Health Partnership Program(2009)Environmental Scan (PDF, 88 pages)
Children's Mental Health Plan for Alberta: Three Year Action Plan (2008 - 2011)
This Plan provides direction and funding over the next three years for strategies to improve access to mental health services for infants, children, youth and their families. It also addresses the needs of children and youth at risk. Alberta Health Services is responsible for the health service delivery components of this Plan. The development of the this Plan was informed by Positive Futures, and findings from community and stakeholder consultations. It builds on major initiatives undertaken by the Alberta government, including the Health Workforce Action Plan and the work of Alberta’s Crime Reduction and Safe Communities Task Force.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada(August, 2008)The Plan (PDF, 11 pages)
Positive Futures - Optimizing Mental Health for Alberta
Adapted from the Policy Framework (2001), and launched in September of 2006, this 10-year strategy supports a common and integrated approach to optimizing the mental health of children and youth ages zero to 24 and their families. It is aligned with Alberta's Provincial Mental Health Plan and other strategic government initiatives.
Edmonton/Alberta, Canada(Sept, 2006)Executive Summary (PDF, 4 pages) The Strategy (PDF, 20 pages)
Advancing the Mental Health Agenda: A Provincial Mental Health Plan for Alberta
In the spring of 2003 - at the request of Alberta's Minister of Health and Wellness - the process for developing a provincial mental health plan was launched. The Plan identified children’s mental health as a priority, and emphasized a need for increased recognition, awareness and understanding of:
- the needs of children and youth with mental illness
- the benefits of effective prevention, early intervention and treatment programs
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Provincial Mental Health Planning Project, Alberta Health Services(April, 2004)The Plan (PDF, 87 pages)
A Policy Framework: Mental Health for Alberta's Children and Youth
In 2001, a cross-ministry Children’s Mental Health Framework Steering Committee, under the direction of the Alberta Children and Youth Initiative (ACYI)
, prepared a provincial policy framework to optimize the mental health of Albert’s children and youth. The Framework
was an essential first step in the development of an integrated approach to mental health for Alberta’s children and youth and their families.
Alberta, Canada: Children's Mental Health Framework Steering Committee, Alberta Mental Health Board(July, 2001)Policy Framework (PDF, 10 pages)
A Better Future for Youth: Saskatchewan's Plan for Child & Youth Mental Health Services
Aims to improve the overall mental health and well-being of Saskatchewan's young people, and builds on the province’s many initiatives that are helping children achieve a bright future. Based on the vision that "All our children develop and participate in healthy families and communities. Every effort is made to achieve the optimal growth and development of our children by ensuring they are valued, healthy, safe, secure, culturally connected, socially responsible, knowledgeable and skilled."
Canada : Government of Saskatchewan.The Plan (PDF, 6 pages)
Enhanced Support for Children's Mental Health
On Budget Day, the Government of Saskatchewan announced increased funding for children and youth mental health services. Minister Addley detailed how these investments will enhance access to quality mental health services for the province's young people.
Saskatchewan, Canada: Government of Saskatchewan(April 26, 2006)News Release (HTML, 1 page)
It's Time for a Plan for Children's Mental Health
This review was initiated due to repeated issues or concerns being raised with Saskatchewan's Child Advocate Office regarding the quantity, quality, and accessibility of mental health services for children and youth. Recommendations in this report were the catalyst for creating a comprehensive plan of action (A Better Future for Youth
) to ensure adequate and appropriate children’s mental health services throughout Saskatchewan.
Parker-Loewen, D. Canada : The Saskatchewan Children's Advocate Office(April, 2004)Media Release (PDF, 6 pages) The plan (PDF, 94 pages)
Open Minds, Healthy Minds - Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy
The strategy will focus on creating a more coordinated and responsive mental health system in Ontario. "Open Minds, Healthy Minds" is broad and comprehensive, building on the recommendations provided by the Minister's Advisory Group in "Respect, Recovery, Resilience" Recommendations for Ontario’s Mental Health Strategy". The strategy will target children and youth for the first three years, focusing on fast access to high-quality services, early identification and support, and helping vulnerable children with unique needs. The strategy will also focus on building awareness and support around mental health and addictions issues by reducing stigma and discrimination, identifying problems and intervening early, as well as delivering more high quality and timely supports.
Toronto, ON, Canada: Queen's Printer for Ontario(June 2011)The Strategy (PDF, 26 pages) Esprit ouvert, esprit sain (PDF, 26 pages)
We are your Sons and Daughters
The Child Advocate's Report on the Quality of Care of 3 Children's Aid Societies outlines the need to move away from institutionalized care; the province should move away from institutionalized-group homes to more family-style care.
Finlay, J. Ontario, Canada: Office of Child & Family Service Advocacy(June, 2007)Report (PDF, 109 pages)
A Shared Responsibility
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) developed a policy framework to provide strategic direction for ongoing improvements over the next decade. This framework was designed to foster collaboration amongst everyone who shares responsibility for the healthy development of Ontario's children and youth: families/caregivers, communities, service providers, government and all child- and youth-serving sectors.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Ministry of Children and Youth Services(November, 2006)Framework (PDF, 38 pages)
Ontario's Mosaic of Children's Treatment Services
Provides a descriptive bird’s-eye view of how ambulatory treatment services are distributed, coordinated and utilized in Ontario. Services examined include medical and nursing, rehabilitation and developmental, and mental health. Specifically this included well child, newborn and minor assessments, general assessments, and consultations for three classes of physicians [generalists, pediatric specialists, and "other" (otolaryngology, ophthalmology, optometry, psychiatry and chiropractic)].
Dick, P., Kavanagh, L., Spalding, K., & McKeever, P. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences(Jan, 2005)Executive Summary (PDF, 4 pages) Link to all Sections of the Report (HTML, 1 page)
South West Region (SWR) Children's Mental Health Project
The Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) South West (SW) Region undertook a 3-phase review of the children's mental heath services system in 2001.
- Phase I - review and mapping of the CMH services system; the creation of First Principles, and a vision for CMH services.
- Phase II - release of An Ideal Model Final Report.
- Phase III - a 3 year implementation phase. Documents released so far: Highly Specialized Services and Supports and Core Services and Supports
London, Ontario, Canada: Ministry of Community of Social Services(Sep, 2001)Core Services and Supports (PDF, 93 pages) Highly Specialized Services and Supports (PDF, 131 pages) Ideal Model Final Report (PDF, 47 pages) Summer 2004 Communiqu (PDF, 6 pages)
New Brunswick (Province-Wide)
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Policies and Plans
Addresses mental health in the prenatal period, childhood and adolescence. Adopts a broad definition of child and adolescent mental health. Provides guidance on developing and implementing a child and adolescent mental health policy and plan.
Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization(2005)English (PDF, 85 pages) French (PDF, 115 pages)
U.S. Public Health Service, Report of the Surgeon General
This report is an outgrowth of the Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health, and provides a comprehensive 'call to action' to address the "growing numbers of children who are suffering needlessly because their emotional, behavioral, and developmental needs are not being met by those very institutions which were explicitly created to take care of them."
Satcher, D. Washington, DC, United States: Department of Health and Human Services(2000)Report (PDF, 53 pages)
National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services
This is 10-year programme intended to stimulate long-term and sustained improvement in children's health. By setting standards, the NSF
aims to ensure fair, high quality and integrated health and social care from pregnancy, right through to adulthood. One of the standards in the NSF
addresses child and adolescent mental health.
Department of Health, Department for Education and Skills London, United Kingdom: Crown copyright(September, 2004)Standard 9 - The Mental Health and Psychological Well-being of Children and Young People (PDF, 58 pages)
Policy Guidelines on Child and Adolescent Mental Health
"These are the first national policy guidelines for child and adolescent mental health that have been available in South Africa. They address mental health in the prenatal period (conception to birth), childhood (birth to 9 years) and adolescence (12 to 18 years). They adopt a broad definition of child and adolescent mental health: Child and adolescent mental health is the capacity to achieve and maintain optimal psychological functioning and well being. It is directly related to the degree of age-appropriate bio-psychosocial development achieved using available resources.
Pretoria, South Africa: Department of Health(April 2009)Document (PDF, 26 pages)