You are here

2014 Ontario Child Health Study findings: Policy implications for Canada

Title2014 Ontario Child Health Study findings: Policy implications for Canada
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsWaddell, C., Georgiades K., Duncan L., Comeau J., Reid G. J., O'Briain W., Lampard R., Boyle M. H., and Team 2014. Ontario Ch
JournalCanadian Journal of Psychiatry
Pages227 - 231
Keywordschildren's mental health, policy and services, prevalence, social determinants

Mental disorders typically start in childhood and cause substantial individual and collective burdens across the life span. These disorders are also now the leading cause of childhood disability worldwide. Exacerbating the burdens, high childhood disorder prevalence has been coupled with low children's mental health service reach. Service shortfalls have persisted despite growing research evidence on effective interventions and despite widespread recognition that timely access to adequate health, social, and educational services is a fundamental right for all children. Yet Canada has lacked recent high-quality data to inform policymaking to address these issues. The 2014 Ontario Child Health Study (OCHS) now provides these data. This study has broad national applicability given its robust design, including the use of rigorous diagnostic measures in a large representative sample in the general population. The study also has high policy relevance in providing new data on population burden and service reach for emotional and behavioural disorders (including anxiety disorders, depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, and conduct disorder), changes in prevalence over time, and social influences on children's mental health. To inform policymaking intended to improve children's mental health outcomes in Canada, we 1) summarize 4 of the 2014 OCHS findings with particular policy salience; 2) describe the policy context for children's mental health services, which influences how these findings may be used; and 3) propose 6 next steps given this policy context.

Document URL