Spotlight On

Spotlight On

Shopping for HOPE

Announcement of New Executive Director at Vanier




Lead Agency Movement on Mental Health Provincial Priorities Report

English Cover


French Cover




Thank You re Joan Smith

Talk-in Clinic Holiday Hours  Click Here

M. Jean Vanier sends us his felicitations on our 50th Anniversary...check it out!  Click here


Moving on Mental Health

London-Middlesex Summary Report for Year 1


Moving on Mental Health - cover

Click here to read report (pdf)




September 2, 2014


MIDDLESEX COUNTY   Since November 2012, THE MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES has worked on developing a vision for transforming Ontario's child and youth mental health services.  The framework "Moving on Mental Health"

is designed to improve the coordination of core services, ensuring clearer pathways to mental health services within 34 defined geographical "service areas."  Regardless of where families live in Ontario, they will know what mental health services are available in their communities and how to access them. This model envisions a system that relies on 34 Lead Agencies, working with community partners and across sectors, to develop a more coordinated, collaborative mental health service response for children, youth and their families.

On August 18, 2014, Minister of Children and Youth Services, Hon. Tracy MacCharles, announced that 14 Lead Agencies in Phase 1 were identified. Vanier Children's Services was selected as the Lead Agency for Middlesex County.  Phase 2 Lead Agencies are scheduled to be announced in 2015.

Joanne Sherin, Executive Director of Vanier Children's Services, states:  "Vanier is honoured to play a lead role in this transformation effort.  We are pleased that the Ministry is committed to working with us, in collaboration with our community partners, to design a new system of mental health care for children and youth in Middlesex County.  We are very fortunate in Middlesex County to have a dedicated group of agencies willing to join forces, to ensure these most vulnerable citizens in our community don't fall through the cracks. We are excited to continue our work with the children's mental health sector, and with our local education and health care networks."

Fred Blaak, newly elected Board President adds:  We are delighted that the Ministry is taking positive steps to work efficiently by collaborating with local agencies.  It is early in the process, and while we don't have all the answers, we know that we will uncover solutions together.  The Ministry, Vanier, and our sister agencies, are committed to great service outcomes and have a long history of working together.  The Board of Directors is proud of the Vanier team, their passion and their unwavering focus on caring for kids with mental health challenges."

Quick Facts

  • 1 in 5 Ontario children and youth struggle with their mental health - that's about 500,000 kids and teenagers.  About 70% of mental health challenges have their onset during childhood.  Research shows that early intervention with the appropriate level of assistance can provide strong, positive outcomes.  Treatment Works.
  • Vanier Children's Services is an accredited community-based centre providing a range of children's (0-14 years) mental health services.  Vanier was the first provincially licensed centre in 1965, and serves up to 1,000 children each year. The Ministry of Children and Youth Services, and other funders, provides Vanier with many of the necessary resources to meet our mandate.  Partnerships, collaborations, donations and special events help us to maximize limited funding.
  • Contact the "Crisis and Intake Team" (CIT) at 519-433-0334 for information, crisis support, and service access.  Services d'accueil aussi disponible en francais:  519-433-3101, poste #228.  (CIT is a partnership of Craigwood Youth Services, Western Area Youth Services, and Vanier Children's Services, serving children/youth 0-18 years).  The Crisis and Intake Team manages over 5,000 calls annually.


Joanne Sherin, Executive Director
Vanier Children's Services
519-433-3101 x 183


Celebrating 50 Years of Children's Mental Health Service Delivery
1965 - 2015

Reaching for Gold Campaign

Greetings, "Friends of Vanier Children's Services!"

Vanier Children's Services will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2015!! In 1965, a dedicated group of community individuals and funders founded Madame Vanier Children's Services, established as the first licensed children's treatment facility in the province of Ontario.  We now serve over 1,000 children and their families, each year!

Since 1965, Vanier Children's Services has provided innovative and successful clinical support for thousands of children with mental health and behavioural challenges.  We know, supported by research, that early identification of mental health difficulties, combined with timely and appropriate intervention, WORKS.

  • 1 in 5 kids in Ontario struggles with their mental health.  You probably know one.
  • 1.2 million Canadian young people are currently affected by a mental health concern.
  • Only 1 in 6 kids in Ontario with mental health problems, gets treatment.

To mark this "Golden Milestone", we are reaching out to our many "Friends" with a request for your support.  Investing in Community Mental Health Services for kids and families is a cost-effective strategy. We can build healthier communities, with thriving citizens, when early access to children's mental health services is made available.  Unfortunately, funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services has not kept pace with the demand for service in Ontario.  Vanier Children's Services continues to advocate for improved public awareness and resources. Senator Michael Kirby, in the 2006 report to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science & Technology, "Out of the Shadows at Last" - identified children's mental health as the "orphan of the orphan of the Canadian health care system."

This "Story of Hope" is representative of the impact Vanier made, in one family's life:

"Our daughter's struggle with staying seated at her desk for hours at a time turned into the gift of having energy to always be active.  She is a member of her school's swim team and has the endurance to gain speed when others tire.  She developed the confidence to become a lifeguard.

Her struggle with coping in large social situations, such as recess, led her to spend time in the library...her love of books opened many doors for her, and now she has a job in a public library.  Her sensitivity to sound, which made it difficult for her to remain calm when things became loud, is now managed through listening to music. She plays the violin and guitar, and our home is filled with music.  She is determined to overcome her fear of singing in front of people...she amazes me.  In order to spend more quality time with her, my husband also took up the guitar.  Her coping mechanism to remain focused in school, by doodling, was often seen as a way of her avoiding her work...her creative abilities have resulted in amazing pieces of visual art.  She is either writing, drawing or reading whenever she can. Her dream careers are architecture or psychology.

ADHD is a gift, not something to be feared or be ashamed by...things that people view as negative can be turned into something truly beautiful if you have the courage to be an individual and stay proud of who you are.  I always said "if we can get her through being a child, keeping all of the characteristics that make her who she is, she will become an amazing adult."  We hope that her success is an inspiration to you - we are so grateful that our paths crossed with Vanier - working together towards her success was well worth it."

Vanier provides a multitude of evidence-informed and best practice service options in London-Middlesex (with limited service in Elgin-Oxford, Sarnia-Lambton Counties): 24/7 Crisis-Intake Support (Partnering with Western Area Youth Service, and Craigwood Youth Services); Early Years (0-6) Programs; In-Home Coaching; Specialized Assessments; Residential Services; Section 23 Day Treatment Classrooms (partnering with TVDSB); Community Mental Health (7-14) Programs; Psycho-Educational and Therapy Groups for Kids and Parents; Targeted Mental Health Supports in four School Boards, and Francophone Services.  We are active and willing partners in community collaborations, designing improved service pathways and the reduction of barriers, including the stigma associated with mental health care.

We are busy planning events to celebrate Vanier Children's Services 50th Anniversary. A calendar of upcoming entertaining and informative events will be posted on this site soon.  You will be able to also track the progress of our "Reaching for Gold - donor Challenge."

We ask that you consider offering a convenient monthly donation. Your gift can also honour the memory of a loved one, creating a legacy of care and compassion and can be made on-line through Canada Helps.

Canada Helps

We personally want to thank you for offering your support.  We have identified priority projects that will build our capacity to meet the needs of the 1 in 5 kids with mental health challenges in our community.  Your generosity will provide these families with renewed hope for their children's future.

Harry Van Bavel, Chair
Board of Directors

Joanne Sherin
Executive Director