Kids’ mental health care services are being overrun — and COVID hasn’t helped – CBC

One crisis line has seen proportion of suicide calls double

Jan 22, 2023

Mental health services continue to be overrun in the Ottawa area at both the hospital and community clinic level, and according to those on the front lines, it’s not just a COVID-19 problem.

As of Friday, the inpatient units at CHEO, eastern Ontario’s children’s hospital, were at 100 per cent capacity, according to director of mental health David Murphy.

“If you had asked me two weeks ago —  if you had asked me six years ago … this would have been the same situation,” Murphy said.

“It’s no longer a surge and it hasn’t been a surge for quite some time. It has been our reality for many years.”

Even so, COVID-19 has led to an increase in eating disorders, Murphy said, while also exacerbating symptoms in children with such disorders who may have been getting better pre-pandemic.

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