Overview of Ontario's Screening and Outcome Measurement Initiative in Children's Mental Health. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • INTRODUCTION: Ontario's mental health practitioners strive to provide the best services for the most children and youth in the face of limited resources and increasing demand. METHOD: To do this efficiently and ethically necessitates identifying those at greatest risk, determining which services are most effective for a variety of children, and demonstrating improved functioning post-treatment. Standardized screening can assist in triaging those at greatest risk and outcome measurement can demonstrate improvement and treatment effectiveness. RESULTS: To this end, Ontario has initiated systematic screening and outcome measurement for children ages 6 to 17 years receiving mental health services in selected hospital-based and community organizations. CONCLUSION: Standardized screening and outcome tools are key building blocks for improving the quality of service and promoting the use of evidence-based practices across the system. The lessons learned to date suggest there is a need to build individual and organizational readiness for change, to improve the state of technological literacy and infrastructure across the sector, and to improve the exchange of knowledge among stakeholders regarding the clinical benefits of the toolsand the data they will produce regarding the state of children and youth receiving mental health service in Ontario.

publication date

  • November 2004