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MOMH-TO Meeting June 3, 2015


logo for moving on mental health plan from the Province of Ontario



Overview: Claire welcomed everyone and identified five deliverables for this year:

  1. Develop Core Services Delivery Plan
  2. Engage community partners in development of a Community Mental Health Plan
  3. Establish priorities for Year 2
  4. Develop plan to implement Centralized Point of Access

Claire concluded with a Toronto spin on a William Gibson quote:

The future of the Toronto child and youth mental health community-based is already here…it’s just not evenly distributed.

The day’s facilitator Peter O’Donnell contextualized the day by saying we are working to design a framework and environment that will start by imagining what an ideal system looks like to service users. Collectively we will develop robust performance measurement systems and processes and work with agencies to build their capacity to do their work better.

A mandated collaboration creates a dynamic of looking to the approver vs. a voluntary collaboration.

“There are more questions that we’ll ever answer, so let’s figure out what the right questions are to ask.”

Setting the Context: Toronto’s Shifting Demographics – Heath Priston, Planning Analyst, City of Toronto

Heath’s work with the City’s Division of Social Development, Finance and Administration focuses on social policy and research to help communities understand neighbourhood demographics. The division also supports community development and the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy. They want to develop a better understanding of youth outcomes across the city and are hiring a one-year Ministry of Children and Youth Services funded position to support the development of an online mapping tool.

Heath’s presentation of the City’s Child and Youth Profile revealed a number of statistics relevant to our work:

  • 21% of Toronto’s population is youth 0-18; growth is uneven across the city
  • 13% of youth 0-24 are immigrants
  • Immigrant youth 15-24 are distributed throughout the city
  • 24% of youth 0-19 are living with only one parent present
  • Households are larger in the inner suburbs



  • 48% have a mother tongue that is not English
  • 35% do not speak English at home
  • Chinese, Tamil and Spanish are the top languages spoken at home
  • Racialization is more geographically based; largest groups are Chinese, South Asian and Black

Low Income (measured by the Low Income Measure – LIM)

  • 26% of all youth are in low income
  • 31% are visible minorities
  • Poverty rate is highest among recent immigrants at 42%

Demographic resources

  • Neighbourhood profiles
  • Ward level (City Planning Dept.) –
  • Coming in 2016 – Youth Asset Mapping Tab

Participants raised questions about mapping services and the importance of neighbourhood services (some agencies have a number of sites to do this), looking at refugees who have experienced trauma and conflict vs. immigrants, country of origin.

Being able to overlay Toronto Community Housing data was suggested and Heath acknowledged that this would be useful but not currently available. Heath indicated that census data isn’t always the best (e.g. accuracy regarding refugees and immigrants). We don’t know much about how people move around the city to access services.

The only data the City has is youth responses from drop-in centres that demonstrate youth will travel great distances to these shelters. Analysis is expected soon on the younger age group as well as outcomes analysis will be coming. St. Albert, a municipality in Alberta, is using developmental assets in its demographic analysis.