Media Release: Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant will help connect kids to timely mental health care

Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant will help connect kids to timely mental health care at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre

London, ON – Children’s Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care Program (CAMHCP) is pleased to receive a $20,000 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant to help launch the GET-Care clinic which will connect children and youth experiencing anxiety with faster, more timely mental health care.

Wait times for mental health care became unimaginably worse over the pandemic. The waitlist for youth requiring outpatient care in our catchment area increased to a shocking 24-36 months – a four-fold increase from 2019 – along with an increase in the volume of children and youth needing acute inpatient care. This waitlist has a tremendous impact on families – our kids’ emotional distress is prolonged, resulting in continued familial, social and academic impairments.

Once launched, the specialized clinic, GET-Care (Get Evidenced-based Treatment) aims to help provide youth experiencing anxiety disorders with rapid assessment and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in a group setting, as opposed to waiting for one-on-one care. Group CBT therapy has been found to be equally as effective as individual sessions and more efficient in terms of time and money.

Bell Let's Talk Community Fund“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to help Children’s Hospital in connecting children and youth with more timely mental health care through rapid assessment and evidence-based CBT,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund provides grants for mental health programs in communities like London that are working to expand access to mental health care programs for more youth who need support and rely on services in their local hospital setting.”

Programs like Children’s Hospital’s GET-Care fit within the Ontario Minister of Health’s new mental health and addictions strategy, developed because the Ministry recognizes that our current system has not met the needs of people needing help, including long wait times. The key pillars of this strategy include enhancing and expanding services across Ontario, implementing innovative solutions and improving access to care.

“This generous grant from our partners at Bell will help our hospital reduce wait times for our kids in crisis,” says Scott Fortnum, President and CEO of Children’s Health Foundation. “Children and youth with anxiety will avoid multiple waiting lists and receive specialized cognitive behavioural group therapy, found to be equally as effective as individual therapy, within 1 to 3 months. Streamlining one portion of the program benefits all patients and staff across CAMHCP.”

More broadly, Children’s Hospital has taken on the longer-term care for youth mental health patients, previously provided at Parkwood Hospital. Children’s Hospital is now recognized as the primary provider and hub for child and adolescent mental health care in our region.

“This change helps unify our community’s mental health care efforts, increases efficiency and optimizes providing the right care to the right patient at the right time. We are very thankful to Bell Let’s Talk for all the support it’s provided through this grant,” added Fortnum. “We look forward to future opportunities to partner with them again for the health of youth in our community.”

Bell Let’s Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit

Donations to the Children’s Hospital and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Program can be made at


About Children’s Health Foundation

Children’s Health Foundation, founded in 1922, raises funds to ensure that children and their families across Western Ontario receive the best possible care and the most possible hope when faced with a life-threatening or life-limiting diagnosis. By funding equipment, programs and research at Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre, Thames Valley Children’s Centre and Children’s Health Research Institute, Children’s Health Foundation ensures better childhoods for kids facing serious health issues, and hope, relief, and support for those who love them. To learn more, visit

About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 146 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 70 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit

For media interviews, contact:

Megan Vandekerckhove

Manager, Marketing and Direct Response

Children’s Health Foundation

Phone: 548-689-9256



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