Support Groups

Our Chapters offer peer to peer support groups across the Province

Using the Evidence

Launching our evidence-informed model of Family Engagement

Family Engagement

Introducing Family Engagement Specialists to support FE across Ontario

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“There are going to be times when you learn more about the world you’re entering and feel defeated when you see the gap between the ideal and the reality… But that’s something we’ll all face. The people that face those obstacles and overcome them are people whose dreams come true.”
 Tsugumi Ohba

 

Imagine if you will going to a hospital in need of medical attention for a broken bone and being told to come back in three weeks, a month, or maybe even longer because there is a waiting list or because the resources just aren’t available to help you?  Or imagine having to travel outside of your community or region just to get the help you need for that broken bone? Unfortunately, that is the reality for parents and families of children and youth with mental health issues.

Sadly there is a difference in the treatment of brains and bones.  Mental health for children and youth is not treated the same way as regular health issues, which means funding and resources are an ongoing concern, despite the fact that mental health issues will affect 1 in 5 children and youth.  In the province of Ontario alone we are talking greater than half-a-million (500,000) children and youth. Of those 500,000+ only 1 in 5 will get the treatment they need.   
    
 As a recognized leader in support, awareness and facilitating change, Parents for Children’s Mental Health (PCMH) helps make a difference in the lives of children and youth affected by mental illness, as well as their families by creating awareness, providing information, and encouraging change in the way mental health services are provided in the province.

PCMH is run by families and parents for families and parents and is the only province-wide organization of its kind. PCMH represents the voice of parents and families.

Our History

PCMH History

In 1989 the Ontario Association of Children’s Mental Health Centres (now Children’s Mental Health Ontario – CMHO) recognized the acute need for a Provincial Parents’ Association to lend credibility and support in their role when advocating for families who face the challenges of child and youth mental health issues.  A Task Force was established to study the feasibility of establishing such a network.  In 1991 the Task Force presented its conclusions to the then OACMHC’s Board of Directors, and it was determined that this type of organization was absolutely necessary to advance the development of the children’s mental health system in Ontario and its success would be dependent on participation and contribution from all levels.

A Planning Committee was developed, and in 1993 this Committee began to hold discussion groups to address the following key questions:

  • Should this type of association be developed and why?
  • What would the purpose of the association be?
  • What are the individual needs of the families as relates to this type of association?

It was determined that:

Need

  • There was an absolute need for this type of association
  • To advocate on behalf of families and agencies
  • To have on impact on Provincial Legislation
  • To share and pool information
  • To access and understand legislation and its impact

 Purpose

  •  To educate and inform its members, the public, government, communities, and agencies
  • To help change the system
  • To assist families dealing with their unique struggles
  • To develop, and support local peer support groups and systems

Family Specific Needs

  • A world free from stigma and discrimination attached to Mental Illness
  • A place to be involved ~~ to become active participants of change
  • A place to access relevant and current information
  • A place to belong and be supported

In 1994 the Ontario Association of the Parents for Children’s Mental Health was formally inaugurated and since then has continued to strive to meet the challenges placed before them in making a positive difference in the lives of families who are faced with dealing with mental health issues, as well as a positive influence and impact on the system of children’s mental health in Ontario.

In 1997, the organization became incorporated and in 2000 received its charitable status.

The name, Parents for Children’s Mental Health was officially adopted in 2002.  

If you are looking for support, please see our Chapter Listings to find your local PCMH Chapter and Support Network.                     

I really appreciated the help last nite.I knew who to call and your talk was very inspiring for the audience. You are changing peoples lives and helping move a tired system into … Marc Roberts, Executive Director, OECYC