The day before Bell Let’s Talk again reignited the conversation around mental health, the organization stepped up to help support the reduction of wait times for child and adolescent seeking support service.
On Jan. 26, Bell Let’s Talk presented Children’s Health Foundation with a $25,000 grant from the 2015 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund to support the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care Program (CAMHCP) at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).
The funds will be used to help reduce wait times for mental health services for children and their families across southwestern Ontario.
“We can’t thank Bell enough for recognizing the importance of caring for the whole child,” said Susan Crowley, president and CEO, Children’s Health Foundation. “Our community of mental health care donors is supporting an initiative that will have far-reaching positive impacts on the national landscape of kids’ mental health, transforming the lives of innumerable families by giving them newfound hope for a brighter tomorrow.”
Wait times for pediatric mental health services are a top concern of mental health care providers, as lengthy wait times prolong child and family suffering, and may also lead to decreased engagement in treatment, treatment dropout and negative long-term outcomes for young people.
“Bell Let’s Talk is very proud to support Children’s Health Foundation and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care Program,” said Mary Deacon, chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund supported 55 organizations in 2015, in every region of the country, all of which are making a difference in the lives of people living with mental illness, and the family and friends who support them. Over the last five years, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has invested more than $5 million in hundreds of community programs and services that improve access to mental health care.”
Adolescence is considered by many professionals to be a critical period for the development of mental health issues with as many as 20 percent of Canadian adolescents will experience a mental health disorder.
Suicide is among the leading causes of death among Canadians ages 15-24, but only one in five young people who require mental health care will receive it.
Researchers and clinicians at Children’s Hospital are developing and evaluating innovative strategies to reduce wait times for services and increase the number of patients being served.
The strategies include developing e-mental health tools to support patients while they wait for services, offering group therapy models that are proven to effectively meet the needs of greater numbers of patients, and improving patient prioritization using a more accurate and resource effective strategy to evaluate urgency.
Bell Let’s Talk Day
The 6th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day is Wednesday, Jan. 27.
For every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell customers, or for every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk Day image at Facebook.com/BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate five cents to support Canadian mental health programs.
Bell’s donations are made at no extra charge to Bell Let’s Talk Day participants, though normal long distance or text charges, if any, apply.