#BellLetsTalk about how Capitalize for Kids is working to end the youth mental health epidemic in Canada by addressing the obstacles preventing kids from getting the help they need.
Since Bell Let’s Talk Day started in 2011, the stigma surrounding mental illness has drastically declined, and awareness of mental health is at an all-time high in our country. This year, as Canadians turn out in record numbers to talk about mental health, we at Capitalize for Kids want to shine the spotlight on the most pressing challenges in the mental health sector today, and what we’re doing to fix them.
#BellLetsTalk about how wait times for youth mental health services are too long, and what Capitalize for Kids is doing to reduce them.
Wait lists are too long: 28,000 children and youth are currently waiting for mental health services in Ontario. Wait times can be as high as 919 days, and they’re only growing. In Ontario, the number of youth and caregivers identifying a need for professional help over the last 30 years has tripled. COVID-19 has only exacerbated the issue, leading to a 28% increase in cases of major depressive order and a 26% increase in cases of anxiety disorder in 2020. Our current system is struggling to meet the demand for mental health treatment — in 2017, 36% of Canadians reported that their counselling needs were not met.
Capitalize for Kids brings consulting services to the sector, working alongside agencies to equip them to treat more kids. We identify pain points in the client journey — from the waitlist to discharge — and implement practical solutions that improve operational efficiency, helping kids spend less time waiting for help and more time getting help.
In partnership with RBC, Capitalize for Kids implemented a new scheduling process at EveryMind — at no cost to the agency — that resulted in clients receiving treatment 30% faster and reduced unexplained absences by 13.6%.
#BellLetsTalk about clinician burnout, and how Capitalize for Kids is supporting mental health workers by reducing their administrative burden.
In Spring 2020, 30%-40% of healthcare workers in Canada reported severe burnout. As of Spring 2021, that number was greater than 60%. Staff shortages at mental health agencies in the pandemic have led to a vicious cycle of working longer hours leading to greater burnout. Capitalize for Kids works with agencies to identify common workplace stressors and implement technical solutions to mitigate them. Our projects allow clinicians to spend less time on cumbersome administrative work, improving morale and helping reallocate staff time to help more kids. Capitalize for Kids is currently working with YouthLink to implement an electronic health record (EHR) system to combine all data and data processes into a single, central database. By streamlining and automating manual processes, this solution will reduce the time and effort clinicians previously allocated to administrative work.
#BellLetsTalk about the economic toll of mental illness, and how Capitalize for Kids is increasing the efficiency of the youth mental health sector.
The financial impact of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year, including direct costs, as well as indirect costs such as lost productivity. The unemployment rate is as high as 70%-90% for people with the most severe mental illnesses.
Capitalize for Kids focuses on finding innovative and cost-effective solutions to end the mental health epidemic. 70% of mental health problems arise during adolescence — early intervention can help kids avoid lifelong struggles with mental illness. Capitalize for Kids works with youth mental health agencies to help more kids access the care they need, when they need it. Capitalize for Kids has successfully engaged best-in-class organizations in the for-profit sector, leveraging their talents and expertise to close the mental health service gap.
Our appointment reminder solution at The George Hull Centre for Children and Families had an ROI of 800%. For each dollar spent, $8 of healthcare value was created. We are working to replicate this remarkable value creation by scaling this solution across six other agencies. By supporting Capitalize for Kids, you are making a great investment in youth mental health!
#BellLetsTalk about how you can help us end the youth mental health epidemic in Canada.
To support our work, you can donate here. To learn more about the solutions we’ve co-created with agencies, you can head to our knowledge hub.
 “28,000 Ontario Children and Youth Are Waiting for Community Mental Health Services.” Children’s Mental Health Ontario, 30 July 2020, https://cmho.org/28000-ontario-children-and-youth-are-waiting-for-community-mental-health-services/.
 Children’s Mental Health Ontario. “Kids Can’t Wait .” Children’s Mental Health Ontario, Children’s Mental Health Ontario, 2020, https://cmho.org/wp-content/uploads/CMHO-Report-WaitTimes-2020.pdf.
 ; “Global Prevalence and Burden of Depressive and Anxiety Disorders in 204 Countries and Territories in 2020 Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Lancet (London, England), U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8 Oct. 2021, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34634250/.
 “Strengthening the Case for Investing in Canada’s Mental Health System: Economic Considerations.” Mental Health Commission of Canada, Mental Health Commission of Canada, Mar. 2017, https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/wp-content/uploads/drupal/2017-03/case_for_investment_eng.pdf.
 Maunder, Robert G, et al. “Burnout in Hospital-Based Healthcare Workers during COVID-19.” Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, 8 Oct. 2021, https://covid19-sciencetable.ca/sciencebrief/burnout-in-hospital-based-healthcare-workers-during-covid-19/.
 Lim, K.L., et al. “A New Population-Based Measure of the Economic Burden of Mental Illness in Canada.” Chronic Diseases in Canada, vol. 28, no. 3, 2008, pp. 92–98., https://doi.org/10.24095/hpcdp.28.3.02.
 “Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics.” CAMH, CAMH, https://www.camh.ca/en/driving-change/the-crisis-is-real/mental-health-statistics.