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County pumps $1.5M into RVH's child, youth mental health programs

Money will support an eight-bed inpatient unit and comprehensive day program, as well as high school classes for teens struggling to cope in traditional school setting
2020-02-07 RVH RB 2
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is located on Georgian Drive in Barrie's north end. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) has received nearly $1.5 million from the County of Simcoe as part of its ongoing support of local healthcare.

The latest installment in the County’s $5.6 million pledge supports the Simcoe Muskoka Child and Youth Mental Health program and is part of the County’s 15-year, $45 million commitment to the Simcoe County Hospital Alliance.

“The County of Simcoe has proven again its commitment to the well-being of residents by ensuring they have access to high-quality, specialized healthcare, closer to home. Children and youth are among the most vulnerable, especially when it comes to mental health, and this contribution helps us take care of these kids right in this community,” says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO.  “During these uncertain and anxious times during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to keep investing in programs and services for the future.”

RVH’s regional child and youth mental health program includes an eight-bed inpatient unit and comprehensive day program, as well as high school classes for teenagers struggling to cope in a traditional school setting due to a mental health crisis.

The Simcoe County Hospital Alliance, comprised of hospitals in Simcoe County and Newmarket that care for county residents, was established in 2002 to advise the County of Simcoe of ongoing hospital capital needs and ensure equitable distribution of the County’s healthcare funding.

“The County is proud to continue our long tradition of supporting our communities by providing significant investments in our regional hospitals,” says Warden George Cornell. “These contributions have enhanced care, medical equipment and treatment options. As demonstrated through this pandemic, it’s important that our healthcare system has the resources it needs to respond when urgently required. This funding to RVH will ensure that mental health services are available to our vulnerable populations, including the more than 1,500 children and youth who have accessed care through RVH’s inpatient program to-date. I can’t think of anything more urgent than ensuring that our youth have the local supports they need to thrive.”

Since 1994, the County of Simcoe has committed $107 million to improve local hospital care and specialized services, including: cancer and cardiac care, emergency services, dialysis, mental health care, neonatal care and imaging technology. Of that pledge, $20 million was directed to RVH’s expansion which doubled the size of the health centre, including the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program.