Child and Youth Mental Health is in Crisis 
May 3-9 is Children’s Mental Health Week in Windsor-Essex 
WINDSOR, ON - Children’s Mental Health Week is happening May 3-9. With Ontario in a State of Emergency and schools closed, children and youth mental health has never been more important.  

“Our kids are struggling. They are in a mental health crisis,” said Janice Kaffer, President and CEO of Hôtel Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH). “Our community of child and youth mental health care workers continue to provide essential support during the State of Emergency. Families can reach out to any of the services for help – no problem is too big or too small.” 

Our Windsor-Essex community has a variety of services available to families with children from birth to young adulthood. Children First, HDGH’s Regional Children’s Centre, Maryvale Adolescent and Family Centre and Family Respite Services all play a crucial role in providing mental health services and supports in Windsor and Essex County. 

The ongoing pandemic means that many children and youth have had little structure, have faced many school closures, virtual school challenges, and isolation from their peers – and it is hurting their mental health. For some children and youth, the stress and anxiety have progressed into more serious mental health challenges.  “The support for families through Family Respite Services is an essential service in our community. We are not closed and continue to be here for you,” said Cathy Shanahan, Executive Director of Family Respite Services.

A recent SickKids survey found that approximately 70 percent of children and youth reported a worsening of their mental health since the start of the pandemic. Across the province, child and youth mental health centres are reporting an increase in demand for services. More children and youth need mental health supports, and the severity of mental illness is worsening. 

Children First, HDGH’s Regional Children’s Centre, Maryvale, and Family Respite Services join Children’s Mental Health Ontario in calling for the Ontario government to urgently invest in child and youth mental health to ensure that care continues to be available in our community when families need it.  

Find Help in Windsor Essex 
All of our child and youth mental health centres are open. We continue to provide essential mental health supports as we have throughout the pandemic. We are here to help parents, caregivers, children, and youth.  

“This has been a very difficult year and when it comes to kids’ mental health. Everything is not ok,” said Lori Kempe, Executive Director of Children First. “If you are a parent or caregiver and you are concerned about changes in your child’s behaviour, please reach out - we are here to help.”  
We join Children’s Mental Health Ontario in calling for the Ontario government to urgently invest in child and youth mental health. Sign the petition to let our provincial government know that everything is NotOK

For more information about mental health services for children and youth in Windsor Essex call 519-257-KIDS (5437)
Lori Kempe, 
Executive Director, Children First
519-250-1850 ext 202 or 

Catharine Shanahan  
Executive Director, Family Respite Services 

Nicole Crozier
Manager of Communications, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare 
226-345-9710 or 

Connie Martin 
Executive Director, Maryvale 
About Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare

Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the Windsor-Essex community through the delivery of patient-centred, valued based care. Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is a unique community hospital offering services in Mental Health and Addictions; Rehabilitative Care; Complex Medical and Palliative Care; and Children and Youth Mental Health. We offer a unique blend of services including but not limited to community and home based services. In collaboration with our healthcare and inter-sectorial partners, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is providing care in new ways and in new locations throughout the region to address barriers, improve access and patient outcomes and improve the overall patient experience.