Ottawa, Ontario, June 19, 2014 — Partners for Mental Health (PFMH) and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) are excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Simon Davidson as Senior Advisor on Mental Health Policy and System Improvement to both CHEO and Partners for Mental Health. Dr. Davidson has been a tireless advocate for child and youth mental health in Canada.
As Senior Advisor, Dr. Davidson will continue to fight for better access and improved mental health services for children, youth and emerging adults – regionally, provincially and nationally. The appointment is for two years. He will also continue to do clinical work and research while supporting the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health as its Chief Strategic Planning Executive.
Dr. Davidson was CHEO’s Chief of Psychiatry for over two decades until last December. He has served as the Regional Chief of the Specialized Psychiatric and Mental Health Services for Children and Youth at CHEO and the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (ROMHC), and the Medical Director of the Mental Health Patient Service Unit at CHEO. Dr. Davidson is a Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. He is also the Co-Founder of Youth Net, an innovative service delivery model empowering youth with respect to mental health promotion, mental illness prevention and early intervention.
“The transformative change that is needed to help our children and youth can only come about by working together – individuals, organizations and government,” said Jeffrey Moat, President of Partners for Mental Health. “We are thrilled to have Dr. Davidson join our team to help guide our efforts in mobilizing the public to drive change that will deliver the greatest impact and benefit to young people.”
“It is time to ensure mental health services, treatment and support are available to all children and youth when they need it – to provide the early intervention that will change young people’s lives forever,” said Alex Munter, President and CEO of CHEO. “Dr. Davidson’s experience and expertise will help us improve the quality and accessibility of mental health services at CHEO and across the country.”
Today, one out of five young people (ages 9 to 19) has a mental health condition. Over 20 percent of those diagnosed with mental health issues will wait more than a year for treatment, while three out of four will not receive treatment at all. The statistics are staggering and illustrate that more needs to be done to provide for the mental health needs of children, youth and emerging adults (youth transitioning into adult mental health and addictions services).
Awareness of mental illness and the willingness among young people to seek help has increased significantly in recent years. CHEO alone has seen a 64 percent increase in the number of mental health Emergency Department visits from three years ago. Studies have shown that early intervention increases the chances of recovery significantly.
CHEO is one of the largest providers of child and youth mental health services in Ontario. It offers a broad range of both hospital and community-based services for children and youth (ages 0 – 18) and their families — spanning prevention and early intervention to more intensive diagnostic and treatment services. CHEO is also home to internationally-recognized researchers in the field of mental health, eating disorders and outcomes management. Their research has helped shape clinical programs at CHEO and beyond.
ABOUT PARTNERS FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Partners for Mental Health is a national, charitable organization dedicated to transforming the way we think about, act towards and support mental health and people living with mental illness. Partners for Mental Health aims to mobilize millions of Canadians to drive change by participating in campaigns, events and activities including influencing policy, volunteering and fundraising.
For more information:
Partners for Mental Health
Communications Manager and Strategist
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