Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau has said that We know the majority of mental health and addiction issues begin in childhood or adolescence. That is exactly why it is so important to make sure children and youth have timely access to appropriate and effective supports when they need it the most.

I would like to thank the Auditor General for developing this report. Her advice is insightful and will ensure we continue to prioritize the changing needs of children and youth and their families. I am committed to acting on the advice contained within her report; in fact, work is already well underway. This includes a new funding model for children’s mental health services based on need, changes that will hold service providers more accountable to ensure efficient use of government resources, and better use of data to assess agency performance and improve services.

We need a system that is easy to navigate and makes sense to parents and young people. That is why our government is committed to Moving on Mental Health, our action plan to deliver a co-ordinated and responsive system for parents and young people.

And while we have made significant progress in improving access to child and youth mental health services, we know there is more work to be done.

We will continue to rely on the advice from young people and their families, from our Indigenous partners and from independent officers of the legislature, such as the Auditor General, to develop a responsive system that positions all kids for success. In fact, just last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with young people from the New Mentality Youth Action Committee — a group of bright, engaging individuals from across the province who are working hard to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. I support the committee’s recommendations contained in¬†Waiting for Change, as they will go a long way towards helping shape a stronger system for Ontario.