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What does it mean to be a lead agency?

Hands is the Lead Agency for Child and Youth Mental Health in the Districts of Muskoka, Nipissing and Parry Sound. This means we:

  • Partner with community mental health providers and provincial partners to develop and operationalize system wide changes
  • Improve access to mental health services
  • Enhance evidence-based practices to meet the needs of the clients in our communities. 

We also work alongside other community partners to build services, such as Education, Healthcare, Child Welfare, Youth Justice, and Autism services.

As Lead Agency, we support the Ministry of Health, its Ontario Mental Health Addictions Strategy, and the Moving on Mental Health action plan. We have formed a Child and Youth Planning Table to further develop the mental health service system to better meet the needs of children, youth, and families in our service area. 


Who delivers child and youth mental health services?

There are 3 core service providers in Muskoka, Nipissing, and Parry Sound. These service providers offer mental health services to support children, youth, and their families. The core service providers are: 

  • Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions 
  • Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing 
  • Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca 

We also work with other Community Mental Health providers, including Addictions, School Mental Health, Family Health Teams, Sexual Assault Services, and hospitals to support children and youth while on their client journey.