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(Canada) London, Ont: Critical lack of child psychiatrists

Aug 23, 2017, London (Ontario) Free Press: Health care: Shortage of psychiatrists in London hits wait times for kids http://www.lfpress.com/2017/08/23/health-care-shortage-of-psychiatrists-in-london-hits-wait-times-for-kids Kids who need mental health services in London face a dire shortage of psychiatrists, a bottleneck critics warn could make already months-long wait times even worse.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott said this week youth mental health should be a priority for doctors, a huge hurdle since the governing body for Ontario doctors lists fewer than 100 child and youth psychiatrists in the entire province. ... While mental health awareness has grown dramatically in recent years, fuelled partly by high-¬profile campaigns encouraging people to talk, service for the youngest segment of the population can’t meet demand. ... “The supply needs to improve,” said Desi Brownstone, a London psychiatrist and president of the Ontario Psychiatric Association. “It’s a crucial time to intervene because a lot of psychiatric problems show up in childhood and adolescence.” ... On its website, the program says it’s facing growing numbers of youth seeking services. “The stats are glaringly showing that children and youth mental health has been neglected,” said MPP Jeff Yurek, the Progressive Conservative health critic at Queen’s Park and the MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London.

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