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Lead Agency – FAQ


What is Moving On Mental Health?

Moving on Mental Health (MOMH) is the action plan for the transformation of community-based child and youth mental health services. This plan will ensure Ontario’s infants, children, youth and families are able to get mental health services in their communities that are accessible, responsive and based on the experiences of the children and youth who need help.

What is the goal of Moving on Mental Health?

Part of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, the goal of Moving on Mental Health is to ensure all children, youth and families in Ontario have easy access to:

  • Mental health services in their communities, and
  • Mental health services and supports that meet their needs

Strengthening the community-based system for delivering mental health services will bring people and organizations closer together locally and benefit everyone.

What is a Lead Agency?

To lead the implementation process, the Ministry of Child and Youth Services divided Ontario into 33 service areas, selecting, through a competitive process, one Child and Youth Mental Health Service Agency in each to lead the process. East Metro Youth Services (EMYS) was named a Lead Agency under the Moving on Mental Health (MOMH) action plan for the Toronto service area in February 2015.

As the lead agency for Toronto, EMYS is tasked with leading the implementation of the MOMH action plan in Toronto. Once fully implemented, MOMH will transform the experience of Toronto’s infants, children, youth and families living with mental health challenges. Working in collaboration with the other service agencies and through extensive, meaningful engagement of youth and families, EMYS is working to facilitate system-wide changes to better improve access, experience and mental health outcomes for infants, children, youth and families who need and rely on the Children and youth mental health system in Toronto. EMYS also participates in province-wide lead agency discussions, sharing lessons and insights and informing a province-wide approach to the MOMH action plan.

What has been achieved in the first year?

The first year of this transformation process has been focused on building the foundations: building and strengthening relationships, identifying strengths and challenges in the system and building knowledge. Toronto’s system has a unique challenge given the size, scope and diversity of Canada’s largest city. Toronto’s population rests at 2.8 million, with a population of 530,000 under the age of 18 years. With 1 in 5 children experiencing mental health challenges in their youth, that’s a service community of more than 100,000 individuals.

Recognizing this challenge, EMYS has adopted a Collective Impact approach to harness the expertise and experience of Toronto’s service providers.

  • Established sector-led working groups to inform Lead Agency planning (Centralized Point of Access, Communications, Knowledge Exchange, Information and Data Systems, Service Mapping, Residential Treatment and French Language Services)
  • Regular meetings of all Core Service Providers
  • Ongoing meetings with stakeholders of relevant sectors and government
  • Lean experimentation – established a formal collective of what’s up walk in sites, expanding services and developing common data collection and outcome measurement tools

As Lead Agency, EMYS is responsible for engaging with core infant, child and youth mental health service providers and system partners in the development of:

  • Core Service Delivery Plan – focusing on the delivery of core infant child and youth mental health services within the Toronto service area and how MCYS funding is to be used to support these services.
  • Community Mental Health Plan – focusing on the infant child and youth mental health services and supports delivered by other sectors (i.e. education, health, child welfare, youth justice) as well as non-“core” mental health services delivered by agencies.

What is happening in year 2?

Year 2 will continue the foundations from Year 1, expanding these efforts into meaningful engagement of youth and families, and furthering the engagement of other sectors. The goal is to better understand the pathways children, youth and families must take in and out of the child and youth mental health system and continue to lead the system transformation towards the best experiences and outcomes for Toronto’s children youth and families.

Year 2 Priorities

Developing the initial phase of a Centralized Point of Access system

  • Provide telephone and online information for the public and the wider service system to know where to and how to access service
  • Will not replace existing points of access but rather enhance the system’s ability to provide access

Core Services Gap Identification

  • Build on the analysis and recommendations of the Year 1 Working Groups
  • Incorporate knowledge to-date as well as performance measurement into Lead Agency activities


  • Build on the analysis and recommendations from the Year 1 Working Groups to create a system-level engagement strategy
  • Incorporate the principles of meaningful engagement into the EMYS strategic plan and other leadership activities

Building the Toronto Brand

  • Develop and implement a strategy to identify community-based agencies as belonging to one system with common visions, mandates, accountabilities, results and outcomes
  • Build on the analysis and recommendations from Year 1 Communications Working Group

Key areas of work in year 2 are focusing on:

  • Creating and supporting Core Service Provider-led Working Groups focusing on 3 age Working Groups (0-6, 7-12, 13-18) as well as the Residential Treatment and French Language Services Working Groups
  • Creating and supporting 2 Community Partnership Planning Tables (Education and Health) which are co-chaired by a Core Service Provider and member of the relevant sector
  • Lean experimentation – Building on the foundations of Year 1 to develop and/or continue implementation of strategic pilot projects which will expand and improve services and inform sector-wide planning
    • What’s up walk in – strengthening protocols with hospitals to create seamless transitions to/from emergency and hospital outpatient services; continuing to adapt and improve data collection and outcome measurement tools and activities
    • Centralized Point of Access – Building on the recommendations of the Year 1 CPA Working Group, the CPA planning and implementation will involve expertise from within the sector and incorporate new technologies in a phase-in approach
  • Provincial alignment – Lead Agency staff is continuing to meet with provincial committees and work groups, ensuring decisions and planning are informed by the experience of other sectors and where possible, aligned.