Yesterday, the Kids Come First Health Team officially launched 1Call1Click.ca, a unique service in Canada that makes it easier for children, youth and families of Eastern Ontario to find the care they need for mental health and addiction.
The 1Call1Click.ca initiative coordinates more than 20 organizations offering mental health and addiction care for children, youth and their families — addressing a need that families and Kids Come First Health Team partners across the region have often highlighted.
“The last thing that parents and youth need to hear when they are already stressed and seeking help is, ‘Sorry you live in the wrong city,’ or ‘Sorry, you are too old or too young for our services,’” said Deena Shorkey, Director of Community Child and Youth Mental Health Services at Cornwall Hospital. “1Call1Click.ca will make it as easy as possible for those seeking help to find the right service, right away; to hear, ‘Yes, you have called the right place. We’re here to help.’”
Christie Kopczyk, a 1Call1Click.ca parent advisor, has experienced this uncertainty herself.
“When you’re looking, you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for or what’s out there. Getting connected right away is so important. And knowing that you have access to everything that’s available is hugely important for starting down the right road,” said Kopczyk, who is also a program manager at Parents’ Lifeline of Eastern Ontario, or PLEO.
Now, all that anyone has to do is call 613-260-2360 or 1-877-377-7775 (toll free for Eastern Ontario), or fill out an online form — even primary care providers looking for the right care for their patients.
“When families are not able to quickly connect with the care they need, children and youth repeatedly visit emergency departments or try to access services that might not be the right fit. This can lead to poor outcomes,” said Joanne Lowe, Executive Director of Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa and Vice-president of Mental Health and Addiction at CHEO, which are both partners of the Kids Come First Health Team. “Now, 1Call1Click.ca is here to help people on their first call — to take away that burden and uncertainty of searching.”
Start-up funding for 1Call1Click.ca came from Ontario Health and the City of Ottawa. The service is also made possible by funding partner RBC.