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Increasing access to experts for children and youth in need of specialized mental health care
Increasing access to experts for children and youth in need
Dr. Rob Meeder 

“The addition of an urgent care clinic will
allow us to triage patients more
effectively and ensure that patients who
need care more urgently are seen in a
timely manner”


~ Dr. Rob Meeder, pediatrician and
Medical Director, Waypoint Family, 
Child and Youth Services

of specialized mental health care

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, Waypoint was pleased to announce the launch of a new urgent care clinic and on-call support service for family doctors and emergency departments in Simcoe/Muskoka who are looking after patients under age 18 and in need of specialized mental health care. 

Dr. Peter Braunberger, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and Dr. Joe Oliver, a mental health pediatrician, have joined program director Dr. Rob Meeder to offer this service together. 

The on-call service is providing mental health support for primary care providers and level 1 emergency room physicians from Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, Georgian Bay General Hospital, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare, Stevenson Memorial Hospital and West Parry Sound Health Centre who are looking after patients under age 18. Support may range from simply providing advice on diagnosis and medical management, to arranging to see the patient in person or virtually at Waypoint. To start, there will be coverage for the hours of 8AM to 10PM Monday to Friday and 8AM to 5PM on weekends and statutory holidays. When staff resources increase, coverage will increase.

These additional medical staff and the new support services will improve access for children, youth and families in our communities to specialized mental health care and augment what is already being offered in the region. It is anticipated new patients requiring urgent assessment at Waypoint child and youth services can be seen through the urgent care clinic within 7 days following referral from a primary care provider. Patients will be seen virtually or in person at the Family Child and Youth Mental Health Program located in the Community Health Hub at 287 Bayshore Drive, Midland.

These new services support concerning data and statistics related to an increase in mental health challenges among children and youth from the pandemic. This is a shared goal of the Central Ontario Health Team for Specialized Populations, of which Waypoint is a member. The on-call support service is part of a collaborative stepped care program, working with primary care providers and other partners to provide comprehensive and integrated health care for children and youth, and support to their families.