SickKids and Hincks-Dellcrest Centre to explore potential integration
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Hincks-Dellcrest Centre (HDC) today announced their intention to explore an integration of the two organizations to improve specialized hospital and community-based mental health services for children and youth with complex mental health needs.
SickKids and Hincks-Dellcrest Centre share a vision to create a comprehensive children’s mental health program that provides highly specialized, integrated, evidence-based care and support for children and families in hospital and in the community.
“We are pleased to explore this potential integration with Hincks-Dellcrest Centre. This integration aligns with SickKids’ goals of improving equitable and timely access to care, as well as developing further partnerships with care providers in the community,” says Dr. Michael Apkon, President and CEO of The Hospital for Sick Children.
The potential integration would be designed to address gaps in the children’s mental health system, providing children and families in need of highly specialized mental health care with defined ways to better access care, and more seamless transitions between hospital and community-based services than either organization can currently achieve alone.
The proposed integration is also well aligned with the Province of Ontario’s mental health strategy for children and youth and would support the work of the newly named lead agency for children’s mental health services in Toronto, East Metro Youth Services. Bringing these two academic organizations together will also maximize the use of limited resources and build capacity in children’s mental health throughout the province by combining the teaching and research programs at SickKids and HDC.
“This proposed integration is all about putting children and families with highly complex mental health needs first,” says Donna Duncan, President and CEO of Hincks-Dellcrest Centre. “By bringing the considerable talents of our two organizations together, we can create a more comprehensive and seamless continuum of specialized services, improve the quality of care we provide and, most importantly, improve the outcomes children and families experience.”
“Based on my family’s experience with the children’s mental health system, I believe there are significant opportunities to improve the coordination of care and adopt best practices from both organizations through this proposed integration,“ says Hincks-Dellcrest Board member and father of a child who has been treated for a mental illness, Mark Morency.
In coming months, SickKids and HDC will invite key stakeholders to participate in a number of community consultation sessions to help inform the integration with a view to improving mental health care for children and families in Toronto.