More than 1.2 million children and
youth in Canada are affected by mental illness each year. It is also
surprising to some that Canada’s youth suicide rate is among the highest
in the industrialized world. With the recent opening of a new youth
inpatient unit and the announcement of an innovative collaboration with
the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the University of Toronto
(U of T), CAMH is working to improve care for youth and their families.
The first patient at CAMH's youth inpatient program
this video Chris Bartha, CAMH's Executive Director of Underserved
Populations, tells the moving story of the first client at CAMH's new
youth inpatient program.
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This unit includes 12 beds for youth between the ages of 14 and 18 who are dealing with both addictions and mental health issues, a vulnerable and high-needs population. Located in the new Intergenerational Wellness Centre
at the Queen Street site, these are the first dedicated beds of their kind in Canada and reflect CAMH's commitment to extending high-quality care to under-serviced groups.
Building collaborative leadership
More than 150 people were on hand at the MaRS Discovery District on November 26 for the launch of the new CAMH/MaRS Innovations in Mental Health Series. The inaugural session focused on doing better for children and families.
CAMH President and CEO, Dr. Catherine Zahn kicked off the evening by announcing the appointment of Dr. Peter Szatmari
to a newly-created position responsible for developing and leading an integrated Child and Youth Mental Health Collaboration between CAMH and SickKids, combined with an educational leadership role at U of T.
CAMH President and CEO, Dr. Catherine Zahn; Dr. Peter Szatmari,Chief, Child and Youth Mental Health at CAMH
and SickKids, as well as Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at U of T; and
Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO of SickKids.
Dr. Zahn explained that this new partnership is a further signal of the commitment to help the three out of four young people with mental illness and addictions who are not getting the care they need. “Early intervention is everything," she said. "If childhood mental illness is recognized, most kids who get care will return to their lives.”
The SickKids/CAMH/U of T collaborative program will focus on three key areas: integrating clinical care so that young people receive enhanced evidence-based treatments; training future psychiatrists and mental health practitioners to help fill the gaps in service; and developing a specialized research program to discover answers to child and youth mental illness and addictions. Dr. Szatmari will fill the combined position of Chief, Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative at the two hospitals, as well as Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at U of T, starting March 1, 2013.