Moving on Mental Health

Moving on Mental Health: A System That Makes Sense for Children and Youth


For a summary of our Goals with Core Services Delivery Plan, click here. For Community Mental Health Plan, please click here.

To find out what families had to say about Child and Youth Mental Health Services within our Service Area, please click here.

To find out what youth had to say about Child and Youth Mental Health Services within our Service Area, please click here.

What is This All About?

Moving on Mental Health is an important part of Ontario's Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. The plan ensures children, youth and families are able to get mental health services in their communities that are accessible, responsive and meet their needs. Strengthening the community-based system for delivering mental health services brings people and organizations closer together locally and benefits everyone.

Why Does the Current System Need to Change?

Parents and youth have consistently reported that finding the right mental health services and support is confusing. Teachers, family doctors, and other professionals who help children and youth also find the current system challenging, and this prevents young people from getting the help they need.

What Will Change?

The goal is to deliver a coordinated, responsive system that makes sense to parents and youth, which is easy to navigate, and enables fast answers and clear pathways to mental health services. Most important of all, the system must deliver early and appropriate help for each child and youth who needs it.

What is the Role of Children’s Centre Thunder Bay?

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services has identified Lead Agencies within 33 service areas across Ontario. Children’s Centre Thunder Bay (CCTB) was designated as the Lead Agency for the Thunder Bay service area in August 2015.

The responsibilities of Lead Agencies will fall into two broad categories:

1. Defining Core Mental Health Services

Lead Agencies will ensure that there are core mental health services available to communities within their service area, with other specialized services available regionally or provincially. Defining core services will make our system more transparent to parents and youth, as well as those who help families find the services they need.

2.Creating and Supporting Pathways to Mental Health Care and Services

Lead Agencies will help to facilitate the development of clear and streamlined pathways to mental health services between primary care, schools, and community-based supports and services. This will help children and youth moving through and across the service system know what to expect along the way. Sharing this responsibility across sectors will provide greater clarity about the roles of all those who help to support children and youth.

Over the coming months and years, CCTB will become responsible for analyzing, planning, funding, monitoring, and evaluating the child and youth mental health services in the Thunder Bay service area.

When will Change Happen?

Full implementation of the Moving On Mental Health action plan will take about 3 years. Change will be deliberate, methodical, and determined. This will include extensive consultation with parents, youth, service providers, and system experts. Implementation will also be guided by advisory groups, so that parents, youth, and service providers have the opportunity to offer advice and feedback along the way.

What Has Been Accomplished So Far?

During the first year, CCTB has focused on leadership and planning for the Thunder Bay service area which includes the city of Thunder Bay as well as the rural communities within the District of Thunder Bay.

Some key activities completed to date have included:

  • Planning with other core service providers to ensure that a continuum of core mental health services and supports are available
  • Collaboration with schools, hospitals and other community partners to define how different sectors will work together to address child and youth mental health needs
  • Consultation sessions and surveys for youth and their families in order to obtain valuable feedback directly from the individuals who are impacted by the current mental health system
  • Submission of a Community Mental Health Plan and Core Services Delivery Plan

Additionally, CCTB has been:

  • Building community leadership and planning teams
  • Facilitating community engagement activities
  • Raising awareness of the role of the Lead Agency
  • Working together with partners to determine planning processes
  • Gathering information about existing child and youth mental health services

For more information on Children's Centre Thunder Bay's role as Lead Agency for the service area of Thunder Bay, please click here.

For more information about Moving on Mental Health, please follow this link.

For more information about Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, please follow this link.

For more information about Moving on Mental Health in the Thunder Bay Service Area, contact Diane Walker, CEO at, or Darlene Niemi, Manager Engagement, Planning, and Quality at