A smiling young person at a school desk

New resource highlights 7 ways to better support the mental health of Ontario’s 7- to 12-year-olds

We’re pleased to share that our first policy paper on the mental health of children in the middle years is now available!

Why focus on this age range?

The middle years — ages 7 to 12 — is a critical period of transition with lifelong impacts.

Most mental health disorders start emerging during this stage and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made things worse. That’s why timely intervention in the middle years is critical; it addresses mental health challenges and prevents them from getting worse. Ontario’s child and youth mental health and addiction system (the system) offers many services that span many different sectors. Despite the system’s strengths, families experience challenges such as long wait times and have difficulties navigating the system.

To make headway on this matter, we drew insight from families and over 80 professionals working in the system, to develop Stemming the tide: Investing early in the mental health of Ontario’s 7–12-year-olds. The policy paper provides seven evidence-based recommendations to:

  • encourage collaboration across sectors.
  • strengthen mental health services for children ages 7 to 12.
  • guide decision-makers through long-standing barriers within the system.

Read the policy paper to see what changes we recommend to improve the mental health and wellness of Ontario’s 7 to 12-year-olds.