Government announces new Youth Mental Health Fund

News release

April 9, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

Today, the government announced Canada’s new Youth Mental Health Fund, which will help younger Canadians access the mental health care they need, by reducing wait times and providing more care options. This will help build a happier, healthier future for every generation.

Younger Canadians feel like the deck is stacked against them. That is, in part, leading to higher rates of mental health challenges than other generations. And, because many of them are still in school or just starting their careers, they are more likely to struggle with the costs of private mental health care. Through no fault of their own, Gen Z has inherited an expensive housing market, and a rising cost of living—both of which are causing unprecedented anxiety about their future. It is more important than ever that young Canadians get the support they need. Every generation should be able to get the health care they need—and that includes mental health care.

To help younger Canadians access mental health care, Budget 2024 will propose an investment of $500 million for a new Youth Mental Health Fund.

The new Youth Mental Health Fund will help community health organizations provide more care for younger Canadians, and better equip these organizations to refer youth to other mental health services within their networks and partnerships.

It is critical that youth have what they need to build a happy, healthy start in their adulthood. Mental health care is an essential part of ensuring every young Canadian can reach their full potential, and that helps Canada’s economy reach its full potential, too.

In addition, the federal government today announced that, since announcing its $200 billion health care plan last year, it has now signed bilateral health care agreements with all thirteen provinces and territories. These thirteen agreements, tailored to the unique needs of Canadians in every part of the country, will begin to deliver $25 billion in new funding to hire more doctors and nurses, reduce wait times and backlogs, improve mental health care, and more.

These investments in health care will help ensure every generation can reach their full potential. Alongside these measures, in next week’s budget, the government will continue taking action to build more homes, faster, make life more affordable, and create more good jobs and economic growth to ensure every generation can get ahead.


“Fairness for every generation very much includes ensuring younger generations can get the help they need right when—and where—they need it most. Our new $500 million Youth Mental Health Fund will help more youth access mental health care in their communities, so that every generation can reach their full potential.”

- The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“By working together we can help young Canadians access the mental health care they deserve. We’re taking concrete steps every day to improve our health system and access to the care everyone needs when they need it.”

- The Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health

“Our new $500 million Youth Mental Health Fund is a once-in-a-generation investment in youth, our country’s future, at a time when they need it most. This fund will help fill gaps in our mental health support system and ensure young Canadians get the help they need to succeed, right in their communities.”

- The Honourable Ya'ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

“Young Canadians are bravely confronting their challenges with mental health, isolation, and uncertainty by taking the crucial first step -- seeking help. It's important that this step is always met with accessible and effective support, not barriers or delays. The Youth Mental Health Fund is our commitment to making sure that their courage leads to the care they deserve. They've taken the first step; we're making sure they're supported for the next one.”

- The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Quick facts

  • Budget 2024 will be tabled in the House of Commons by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

  • Today’s announcement builds on the historic investments the federal government has made over the years to expand access to community-based mental health and addictions services for children and youth, including:

    • Providing $5 billion over ten years to provinces and territories, as announced in Budget 2017, for mental health and addictions services, which included expanding access to community-based mental health and addictions services for children and youth.
    • Launching 988: Suicide Crisis Helpline to provide suicide crisis support for people who need it, when they need it most;
    • Providing $14.25 million in annual funding to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, to advance mental health in the priority areas of suicide prevention, mental health and substance use, engagement with Canadians, and population-based initiatives which includes children, youth, and emerging adults; and,
    • The Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund, with $5 million in annual funding to support the delivery of innovative, community-based programs in mental health promotion for infants, children, youth and their caregivers.
  • Budget 2023 announced the federal government’s $200 billion ten year health care plan to help provinces and territories improve their universal public health care systems, and deliver better health care outcomes for Canadians. This includes improving access to quality mental health, substance use and addictions services.

    • As part of this funding, the federal government has since signed thirteen bilateral health and mental health care agreements to begin providing $25 billion to all provinces and territories.
    • These agreements focus on four shared health priorities:
      • expanding access to family health services, including in rural and remote areas;
      • supporting health workers and reducing backlogs;
      • increasing mental health and substance use support; and,
      • modernizing health care systems with health data and digital tools. 

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Media may contact:

Katherine Cuplinskas
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General enquiries

Phone: 1-833-712-2292
TTY: 613-369-3230

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