The City of Brampton is taking steps to address the youth mental health crisis in Peel, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Research from 2019 and a roundtable hosted in Brampton in February 2020 showed that the region was already experiencing a crisis point before the pandemic. Wait times for counselling and therapy for those under 18 years old in Peel can reach up to 566 days, and over 2 years for more intensive mental health services.
Wednesday March 8th: Councillor Santos’ video delegation video was received by the Peel District School Board’s Curriculum, Student Well-Being and Equity Committee meeting.
See Delegation video below
Watch the Council Discussion
Children’s Mental Health Ontario has identified Peel as a “hot spot” for long wait times due to underfunding for mental health services, which has not kept pace with the region’s population growth. Emergency department visits for mental health were highest among youth under age 24, and students in grades 7-12 reported not knowing who to turn to when seeking mental health support.
The City of Brampton is committed to enhancing community resilience through cross-sector engagement, collaboration, and advocacy. It has approved a Community Safety and Wellbeing Action Plan that includes increased mental health support and programming, especially for children and youth.
The City is calling for increased mental health funding and support for youth in Brampton, and is planning the following:
- Collaboration with the Peel District School Board as they develop their mental health and well-being plan for their schools.
- Advocacy to the Peel District School Board to collaborate with the City, Region, and social support agencies to improve immediate mental health support needs for youth in Brampton.
- Work with the Region of Peel Community Safety and Well-Being Executive Leadership Members and the School Boards to discuss opportunities for collaboration at the Community Safety and Well-Being Mental Health and Addictions Action Table.
- Advocacy to the provincial and federal government to enhance support through existing services provided through the Region of Peel and its community safety and well-being committee.
- Integrate mental health and enhance support for youth through its Explore Brampton Youth Pass, youth employment and engagement strategy and in the plans for Brampton’s new Youth Hubs.
- Write to Federal and Provincial Ministers of Mental Health and Addictions, and conduct meetings with relevant stakeholders
- Meet with Minister Tibollo, School Board Trustees, Mayor, and members of Council to discuss mental health support for youth.
- Collaborate with Algoma University and other relevant stakeholders to host a Youth Mental Health Summit or Roundtable in Brampton.
The City of Brampton recognizes the urgent need to address the youth mental health crisis in Peel and is taking action to improve the lives of young people in the region.
“We are in the midst of a youth mental health crisis that started prior to the pandemic and continues to negatively affect our young people today. Our city and region is chronically underfunded, receiving 50% per capita when compared to the provincial average. As a consequence, our principals, vice-principals, and teachers are the ones who have to deal with the crisis instead of trained mental health workers.”
— Regional Councillor Rowena Santos, Brampton Wards 1 & 5
“Make no mistake, our kids are in crisis, and as the adage goes, it takes a village to raise a child. I’m asking the City of Brampton to take the lead in this village and ensure that its most precious and valuable citizens, the city’s future taxpaying, productive residents have a mentally healthy environment to live, work and play.”
— Kathy McDonald, Parent – Brampton Wards 3 & 4
“Both Brampton and the region of Peel is in the midst of a significant mental health crisis. Every school in the region of Peel is impacted by the mental health crisis engulfing our nation’s children and youth.”
— Karla Bailey, Parent – Brampton Wards 7 & 8
For more information, please visit councillorsantos.ca/youthmentalhealth or contact:
Anitpal (Nitu) Grewal
Community Outreach & Media Relations Wards 1 & 5
City of Brampton, Council Office
2 Wellington Street West, Brampton ON, L6Y 4R2
T: 905-874-5929 l C: 437-331-4555