In partnership with community-based agencies, the goal of the IEMH Care Pathways project is to help communities better serve the youngest children in their region by:
Right now, many jurisdictions across Canada lack the systems and services needed, informed by science and best practices, to help babies, toddlers, and preschoolers with their mental health. As a result, many children sit on waitlists far too long and do not receive the support they need.
For many children, mental health challenges begin to develop in early childhood. When these mental health challenges are not noticed early, at-risk children will not receive the help they need to reduce the impact of these challenges on their development.
In fact, if support is not provided within the first 6 years of life, the optimal window of opportunity for intervention has been missed. This means that more efforts and resources will ultimately be required to improve the child’s long-term outcomes.
Developing a system of care Pathway is one way to address early mental health challenges. (See ‘Beyond Building Blocks: Investing in the lifelong mental health of Ontario’s 3-6-year-olds' report.)
These Pathways guide children and families to, through, and out of care. Specifically, these pathways help match families with the right services, at the right time, and in the right way.
With financial support from the Mental Health in the Early Years Implementation Science grant by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and in collaboration with the Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions, Kids Brain Health Network, University of Calgary and Queens University IEMHP created the Infant and Early Mental Health Care Pathways project.
Through this work, IEMHP partners with diverse community organizations to:
Care Pathways Background
In late 2019 and early 2020, IEMHP and partners met with leaders across various sectors from 3 communities to pilot system of care Pathways. We engaged in discussions that helped us identify the following:
Community and organization leaders were invited to create community-specific Implementation Teams.
These Implementation Teams:
In partnership with community-based, cross-sectoral groups of professionals, we propose to:
Our goal is to evaluate the IEMH Care Pathways approach as an intervention in Canadian communities to ensure that children at risk of poor mental health outcomes are equitably identified and supported as early and effectively as possible.
This project is led by a collaboration between IEMHP, The Hospital for Sick Children and:
Would you like to learn more and get involved in this project? Contact us today.