Support for our Expansion is growing!
Together We Can End The Wait!
This capital build will enhance ROCK’s mission and vision by increasing the number of people that they are able to serve, thereby allowing us to provide the necessary prevention and intervention services in a timely fashion to children in need.
Relative to inflation and funding changes, the children and youth mental health sector is facing a funding gap of nearly 37 percent.
The cost of preventing and treating mental health issues and addiction is only a fraction of what these issues cost society in lost productivity and other social costs.
Every dollar spent on mental health issues and addictions saves $7 in health costs, and $30 in lost productivity and social costs.
ROCK Reach Out Centre for Kids is a non-profit, registered charitable organization, and the largest accredited children’s mental health centre in Halton Region. We provide a multi-disciplinary approach to the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of mental health issues for children, youth and their families. With a budget of nine million and a full-time staff of 150, the expertise of our specialized and skilled workforce distinguishes ROCK as a high-quality health care provider in our community, unique in our field.
From the board of directors, to front-line staff, we operate within a wellness framework; helping families and our community understand that mental health is part of overall health and well-being. Our agency provides prevention and early intervention programming as a key strategy in wellness, and our community and youth development programs have been developed to respond effectively, with immediacy, to the needs of the families we serve. Our clients include the community at large, and children and their families who are experiencing emotional, behavioral, developmental or social difficulties that put them at risk for/currently have serious mental health problems. Our services are available to children, youth and their families from pre-birth and infancy to 18, up to 21 in the case of residential services. Last year we provided over 12,000 services regionally to children, youth, and their families.
The age of onset for childhood mental health disorders varies, with first signs sometimes present during the pre-school years and emerging through to the age of 18. A full 20 percent of Ontario children will experience some form of diagnosable mental health disorder during their school-aged years. Treatment has been shown to reduce mental health problems for 63% to 76% of children served, and timely access is critical for ensuring the best possible outcomes. Studies show that children who have untreated emotional and behavioral problems suffer from a lower quality of life and have reduced life chances.
Mental health disorders are the second highest source of direct health care costs in Ontario. The average cost of a pediatric hospital bed is $2,500 per day. In a community-based agency, such as ROCK, the average cost is less than $2,500 per child per year. Yet ROCK remains under-funded. This leads to misappropriate and overuse of more expensive health services, like emergency rooms and in-patient services, at great economic and social cost to our communities.
From prevention to early intervention, crisis services, assessment, diagnosis and treatment, ROCK is the only resource in Halton that has the capacity to provide this broad range of services. Private donations will ensure that we retain the flexibility and ability to respond to the growing need of children, youth and families in our communities.
Many people assume that the government provides adequate funding for children’s mental health. In fact, government funding has not kept pace with the population growth, resources have decreased relevant to expressed need, and waitlists across the province are projected to triple in future years. Service demands for children’s mental health have doubled in the past 15 years, while service capacity has diminished by at least 25 per cent.
ROCK’s Pearl Street location was originally built in 1992, ROCK (then CATC) provided services to 400 children per year. ROCK now provides over 9,000 services annually to children and their families at this location, and still has an extensive waiting list. There is a clear and demonstrated need for our increased capacity, and provincial trends indicate further demand for services in subsequent years. ROCK must address this need in order to be responsive to the children and youth who depend on us now, and in the future.
ROCK has clearly outgrown the Pearl Street facility, with staff sharing offices and even located in hallways. Programs have been curtailed in line with our existing space realities, and the needed expansion of services cannot occur in our current facility.
We have planned a 20,000 square foot expansion of our Pearl Street location. A three-story addition, the fully-accessible, and environmentally-friendly, expansion will allow ROCK to reduce overhead costs, and better serve the needs of our clients, staff and community. The new facility will allow ROCK to bring more of its Burlington programs and services under one roof, co-locate programs, consolidate administrative and reception functions, save on rent, and allow for efficient use of agency space.
The capital build will increase the number of people we are able to serve, thereby allowing us to provide the necessary prevention and intervention services in a timely fashion to children in need. The new addition has been designed as an accessible, open, family-friendly, community facility that will help to reduce the stigma associated with institution-like mental health centres of the past.