Population Projections in Ontario: The Case for Returning to Life Cycle Groupings

Background

Every year the Ministry of Finance updates its population projections for Ontario and each of its 49 census divisions to reflect the most recent trends and historical data. The Spring 2016 update is based on new 2015 population estimates from Statistics Canada and reflects minor changes in trends in fertility, mortality and migration.

Map of Ontario Census Divisions
Figure 1. Map of Ontario Census Divisions. Source: Ministry of Finance, Ontario Population Projections Update, Spring 2016.

The Ministry of Finance includes several Charts and Tables that reference various demographic groupings in its analysis of these population projections:

Demographic Groupings
Single Years (0, 1, …, 90+) Statistical Table 6
Five-Year Groupings (0-4, 5-9, …, 85-89, 90+) Statistical Tables 7-10
Life Cycle Groupings (0-14, 15-64, 65+) Charts 5-6, 10-12
Statistical Table 2

To assist in planning, delivering, and evaluating human services – particularly those for young people – we want to differentiate Youth (15-24 years old) from Adult (25-64) instead of using the Ministry of Finance’s original definition of “Adult”: 1

  • Children (0- 14 years old)
  • Youth (15 – 24)
  • Adults (25 – 64)
  • Seniors (65+)

For the interested reader, we have compiled a set of Statistical Tables that restate the population projections for Ontario in terms of our Life Cycle Groupings.

Now, let’s review the highlights of the Ministry of Finance’s analysis.

Provincial overview

The Ministry of Finance considers three scenarios of population growth in Ontario. The medium-growth or reference scenario – the most likely to occur if recent trends continue – projects population growth of 30.1 per cent, from 13.8 million in 2015 to more than 17.9 million in 2041 (Chart 1).

Ontario population, 1971 to 2014
Chart 1. Ontario population, 1971 to 2014. Source: Ministry of Finance, Ontario Population Projections Update, Spring 2016.

The rate of population growth in Ontario in the reference scenario is projected to decline gradually from 1.2 per cent to 0.8 per cent annually (Chart 2).

Annual rate of population growth in Ontario, 1971 to 2041
Chart 2. Annual rate of population growth in Ontario, 1971 to 2041. Source: Ministry of Finance, Ontario Population Projections Update, Spring 2016.

Components of population growth

In any given year, the share of population growth due to natural increase versus net migration varies. While natural increase trends evolve slowly, net migration can be more volatile, mostly due to swings in inter-provincial migration and variations in international immigration.

Natural increase

The number of births and deaths in Ontario has been rising slowly and at a similar pace over the last decade. As a result, natural increase has been fairly stable at about 50,000 annually. The rate of population growth due to natural increase over the projection period is affected by two main factors:

  • The passage of the baby boom echo generation (children of baby boomers) through peak fertility years will result in an increased number of births through the late 2010s and early 2020s.
  • The transition of large cohorts of baby boomers into the Seniors group.

Overall, natural increase is projected to be fairly stable around 55,000 over the first decade of the projections, followed by a steady decline to less than 17,000 by 2041. The share of population growth accounted for by natural increase (versus net migration) is projected to decline from 32 per cent in 2016 to 11 per cent by 2041 (Chart 3).

Net migration

Net migration to Ontario has averaged about 77,000 per year in the past decade. Net migration is projected to be higher at the beginning of the projection period than it has been during the past few years, as net losses of population through inter-provincial migration have recently turned to gains and federal immigration targets have been raised significantly.

Ontario’s annual net migration gain is projected to increase from 114,000 in 2016 to 130,000 by 2041. The share of population growth accounted for by net migration (versus natural increase) is projected to rise from 68 per cent in 2016 to 89 per cent by 2041 (Chart 3).

Contribution of natural increase and net migration to population growth in Ontario, 1971 to 2041.
Chart 3. Contribution of natural increase and net migration to population growth, 1971 to 2041. Source: Ministry of Finance, Ontario Population Projections Update, Spring 2016.

Age structure

The Ministry of Finance displays the distribution of age among the people of Ontario in the familiar form of an age pyramid (Chart 4) and shows how age structure impacts the share of population (Chart 5) and the rate of population growth (Chart 6) accounted for by three Life Cycle Groupings (0-14, 15-64, 65+ years old).

Using our four Life Cycle Groupings ((0-14, 15-24, 25-64, 65+ years old), we have redrawn the projected share of population (Chart 5-PGA) and the projected rate of population growth (Chart 6-PGA):

Age pyramid in Ontario, 2015 and 2041.
Chart 4. Age pyramid in Ontario, 2015 and 2041. Source: Ministry of Finance, Ontario Population Projections Update, Spring 2016.
Proportion of population aged 0-14, 15-64, and 65+ in Ontario, 1971 to 2041
Chart 5. Proportion of population aged 0-14, 15-64, and 65+ in Ontario, 1971 to 2041. Source: Ministry of Finance, Ontario Population Projections Update, Spring 2016.
Proportion of population aged 0-14, 15-24, 25-64, and 65+ in Ontario, 2016 to 2041
Chart PGA 5. Proportion of population aged 0-14, 15-24, 25-64, and 65+ in Ontario, 2016 to 2041. Source: Ministry of Finance, Ontario Population Projections Update, Spring 2016.
Annual rate of growth of population age groups 0-14, 15-64, and 65+ in Ontario, 1971 to 2041
Chart 6. Annual rate of growth of population age groups 0-14, 15-64, and 65+ in Ontario, 1971 to 2041. Source: Ministry of Finance, Ontario Population Projections Update, Spring 2016.
Annual rate of growth of population age groups 0-14, 15-24, 25-64, and 65+ in Ontario, 2017 to 2041
Chart PGA 6. Annual rate of growth of population age groups 0-14, 15-24, 25-64, and 65+ in Ontario, 2017 to 2041. Source: Ministry of Finance, Ontario Population Projections Update, Spring 2016.

The Ministry of Finance includes the following analysis (pp. 8-10):

By 2041, there will be more people in every age group in Ontario compared to 2015, with a sharp increase in the number of seniors. Baby boomers will have swelled the ranks of seniors; children of the baby boom echo generation will be of school-age; and the baby boom echo cohorts, along with a new generation of immigrants, will have bolstered the population aged 15–64. ...

The number of children aged 0–14 is projected to increase gradually over the projection period, from 2.2 million in 2015 to almost 2.7 million by 2041. The share of children in the population is projected to decrease from 15.9 per cent in 2015 to 14.9 per cent by 2041. By the late 2030s, the number of children is projected to grow at a much slower pace than other age groups, reflecting the smaller number of women in their 20s and 30s. ...

Within the 15–64 age group, the number of youth aged 15–24 is initially projected to decline slightly, from a high of 1,827,000 in 2015 to a low of 1,725,000 by 2022. The youth population is then projected to resume growing, reaching almost 2.1 million by 2041. The youth share of total population is projected to decline from 13.2 per cent in 2015 to 11.1 per cent by 2033, followed by a small rise to 11.5 per cent by 2041. ...

In this last paragraph, the Ministry of Finance makes its one and only substantial reference to “youth” – yet it’s a pretty important point: While the number of Youth in Ontario is projected to decline over the next five years, their numbers will increase steadily thereafter – in fact, becoming the fastest growing demographic by the end of the projection period. The Ministry’s graphics (Charts 5-6), unfortunately, obscure what’s going on here – as is immediately apparent when we differentiate Youth (15-24 years old) from Adult (25-64) using the Life Cycle Groupings  (Charts PGA 5-6).

Next time: We “drill down” to the level of the region and census division – where the planning, delivery and evaluation of human services take place or where, at least, I’d argue that they should. Meanwhile, the interested reader may want to consult our Statistical Tables that restate the population projections for Ontario in terms of the Life Cycle Groupings.

  1. In fact, Statistics Canada used these four Life Cycle Groupings until 2007. In this sense, we’re arguing for the return to Life Cycle Groupings when it comes to understanding population projections – especially when one is concerned with young people. The Ministry of Finance refers to “youth” only twice – once in passing while noting that some census divisions of Northern Ontario experiencing net out-migration, mostly among youth (p. 12) and once in the context of a more substantial discussion of changes in the annual rate of population growth due to age structure (p. 10, and see below).

Population Projections across CYMH Service Areas, 2016-2041

Population Projections

Recently the Ministry of Finance updated its population projections for Ontario, 2016 – 2041. These population projections are organized into 4 different datasets:

  • projections for the whole province
  • projections for each census division
  • projections for each Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)
  • projections for each Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ Service Delivery Division (SDD) region

Each dataset includes population projections by age and gender.

From the population projections for each census division (CD), we have derived the population projections (summing projections for Males and Females) for each of the CYMH Service Areas, 2016 – 2041.

The result of our work is presented in one spreadsheet, that includes six worksheets:

  • Ages x Year (Base): Population projections for each Age between 0 – 24 years by Year
  • 0-18 x Year: Population projections for the total number of 0 – 18 year old children and youth by Year
  • 0-24 x Year: Population projections for the total number of 0 – 24 year old children and youth by Year
  • 0-18 x Age Group x Year: Population projections for children and youth grouped into 5 year spans (0-4, 5-9, 10-14, and 15-18 years old)
  • 0-24 x Age Group x Year: Population projections for children and youth grouped into 5 year spans (0-4, 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24 years old)
  • 0-24 x Life Cycle x Year: Population projections for children and youth grouped into two Life Cycle spans (Child, 0 – 14 years old and Youth, 15 – 24 years old)

Population Density

We have also calculated the land area of the individual CYMH Service Areas in order to derive their respective projected population densities. We will soon provide a speadsheet with these projections as well.

For now, let’s use the worksheet containing the projections of population and population densities for 0 – 18 year olds to add some (non-geospatial) data finally to our visualization of the CYMH Service Areas. Our illustration of two mapping techniques – proportional symbol representation (for the population projections) and choropleth (for the projected population densities) – will be illustrative only.

Proportional Symbol Representation of Population Projections

We may represent the projected number of 0 – 18 year olds across all CYMH Service Areas in a given year by combining geospatial data (in the familiar TopoJSON file format) with demographic data (in .csv format):

Proportional Symbol representation of projected population of 0-18 year olds screenshot
Figure 1. Proportional symbol representation of projected population of 0 – 18 year olds across the CYMH Service Areas in 2020.

[Interactive page – try hovering the mouse over a bubble]

Choropleth Representation of Projected Population Densities

We may also represent the projected density of 0 – 18 year olds across all CYMH Service Areas in a given year by combining geospatial data (in the familiar TopoJSON file format) with demographic data (in .csv format):

Choropleth Population Density 0-18 year olds screenshot
Figure 2. Choropleth representation of projected population density of 0 – 18 year olds across the CYMH Service Areas in 2020.

[Interactive page – try hovering the mouse over a CYMH Service Area]

Next time: We’ll look at increasing user interaction with choropleths and proportional symbol representations – including animation!

… and then there were 33

In a series of previous posts, I have been exploring the use of D3 (Data Driven Documents) – a Free and Open Source Software package – to visualize geo-spatial data associated with the Children and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) Service Areas that have been established recently by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) in Ontario. To avoid confusion, I wanted to alert users of some of the resources that I have published of an important development.

The MCYS has been resourcing the administration and functions of the CYMH Service Areas, including the designation of Lead Agencies, over the past few years. During this time, there has been some uncertainty about whether there were to be thirty-three or thirty-four CYMH Service Areas – turning on whether the James Bay Coast would be its own Service Area or would be merged with the Timiskaming/Cochrane Service Area.

When I began to explore the use of d3 to visualize the CYMH Service Areas, the geo-spatial data published by the Ontario government mapped thirty-four Service Areas (e.g. see the Wayback Machine archive of September 6, 2015!) and the resources that I have published reflected this configuration. Now the geo-spatial data published by the government maps only thirty-three CYMH Service Areas.

I’ve completed the revision of resources for users in the past few days – a slight inconvenience for us all. There is a bigger issue, though:

The Ontario government is providing an incredibly valuable resource when it publishes the geo-spatial data associated with the administration of public services, like children and youth mental health services. I would only urge that the government’s web pages that describe and make geo-spatial resources available to us should retain and present the different versions of these resources over time. This approach would not only avoid possible confusion as revisions are made, but the differences between the versions may themselves be of interest to the public.

Adding pan and zoom to a visualization of the CYMH Service Areas in Ontario

Preamble

This article was originally posted on May 14, 2016 and revised on July 28, 2016 to take account of changes in the geospatial representation of Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas in Ontario. For more details, see … and then there were 33.

In previous posts, we have described:

  1. method for partitioning the Ontario government’s Shapefile archive of the thirty-four thirty-three MCYS Children and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) Service Areas into five groupings, corresponding to the MCYS Integrated Service Regions (ISRs)
  2. a method for using the TopoJSON files to visualize the CYMH Service Areas within the separate ISRs
  3. the addition of tooltips to display the names of the CYMH Service Areas across Ontario
  4. the addition of a responsive framework to ensure that our visualizations accommodate to the display capabilities of various PCs, laptops, tablets, and smart phones

Here we highlight the additional code that’s required to allow the user to pan and zoom the visualization of the CYMH Service Areas with tooltips (#3  above):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<style>

/* CSS goes here */

/* define the container element for our map */
#map {
 margin:5% 5%;
 border:2px solid #000;
 border-radius: 5px;
 height:100%;
 overflow:hidden;
 background: #FFF;
}

/* style of the text box containing the tooltip */

div.tooltip {
 color: #222; 
 background: #fff; 
 padding: .5em; 
 text-shadow: #f5f5f5 0 1px 0;
 border-radius: 2px; 
 box-shadow: 0px 0px 2px 0px #a6a6a6; 
 opacity: 0.9; 
 position: absolute;
}

/* style of the text displayed in text box of the tooltip when mouse is hovering over a CYMH Service Area */

.service_area:hover{ stroke: #fff; stroke-width: 1.5px; }

.text{ font-size:10px; }

/* otherwise, the text box of the tooltip is hidden */
.hidden { 
 display: none; 
}

</style>
<body>

/* create the container element #map */
<div id="map"></div>

/* load Javascript libraries for D3 and TopoJSON */
<script src="//d3js.org/d3.v3.min.js"></script>
<script src= "//d3js.org/topojson.v1.min.js"></script>

<script> // begin Javascript for visualizing the geo data

/* define some global variables */

var topo, projection, path, svg, g;

/* 1. Set the width and height (in pixels) based on the offsetWidth property of the container element #map */

var width = document.getElementById('map').offsetWidth;
var height = width / 2;

/* Call function setup() to create empty root SVG element with width, height of #map */

setup(width,height);

function setup(width,height){

/* 2. Create an empty root SVG element */
d3.behavior.zoom(), constructs a zoom behavior that creates an even listener to handle zoom gestures (mouse and touch) on the SVG elements you apply the zoom behavior onto

svg = d3.select('#map').append('svg')
 .style('height', height + 'px')
 .style('width', width + 'px')
.append('g') 
.call(zoom);

g = svg.append('g')
    .on("click", click);

} // end setup()

/* 3. Define Unit Projection using Albers equal-area conic projection */

var projection = d3.geo.albers()
 .scale(1)
 .translate([0,0]);

/* 4. Define the path generator - to format the projected 2D geometry for SVG */

var path = d3.geo.path()
 .projection(projection);

/* 5.0 Start function d3.json() */
/* 5.1 Load the TopoJSON data file */

d3.json("http://cartoserve.com/maps/ontario/cymhsas33_data/cymhsas_topo.json", function(error, cymhsas_topo) {
if (error) return console.error(error);

/* 5.2 Convert the TopoJSON data back to GeoJSON format */
/* and render the map using Unit Projection */

var areas_var = topojson.feature(cymhsas_topo, cymhsas_topo.objects.cymhsas_geo);

/* 5.2.1 Calculate new values for scale and translate using bounding box of the service areas */
 
var b = path.bounds(areas_var);
var s = .95 / Math.max((b[1][0] - b[0][0]) / width, (b[1][1] - b[0][1]) / height);
var t = [(width - s * (b[1][0] + b[0][0])) / 2, (height - s * (b[1][1] + b[0][1])) / 2];

/* 5.2.2 New projection, using new values for scale and translate */
projection
 .scale(s)
 .translate(t);

/* redefine areas_var in terms of the .features array, assign array to topo */
var areas_var = topojson.feature(cymhsas_topo, cymhsas_topo.objects.cymhsas_geo).features;

topo = areas_var;

/* make the map by calling our draw() function initially within the d3.json callback function */
 
draw(topo);

}); // end function d3.json

function draw(topo) {

var service_area = g.selectAll(".area_name").data(topo);

service_area.enter().insert("path")
.attr("class", "service_area")
.attr("d", path)
.attr("id", function(d,i) { return d.id; })
.style("fill", function(d, i) { return d.properties.color; })
.attr("title", function(d,i) { return d.properties.area_name; });

/* define offsets for displaying the tooltips */
var offsetL = document.getElementById('map').offsetLeft+20;
var offsetT = document.getElementById('map').offsetTop+10;

/* toggle display of tooltips in response to user mouse behaviours*/
service_area
// begin mousemove
.on("mousemove", function(d,i) {
var mouse = d3.mouse(svg.node()).map( function(d) { return parseInt(d); } );
tooltip.classed("hidden", false)
.attr("style", "left:"+(mouse[0]+offsetL)+"px;top:"+(mouse[1]+offsetT)+"px")
.html(d.properties.area_name);
}) // end mousemove
// begin mouseout
.on("mouseout", function(d,i) {
tooltip.classed("hidden", true);
}); // end mouseout

} // end draw()

function move() {

 var t = d3.event.translate;
 var s = d3.event.scale; 
 zscale = s;
 var h = height/4;

 t[0] = Math.min(
 (width/height) * (s - 1), 
 Math.max( width * (1 - s), t[0] )
 );

 t[1] = Math.min(
 h * (s - 1) + h * s, 
 Math.max(height * (1 - s) - h * s, t[1])
 );

 zoom.translate(t);
 g.attr("transform", "translate(" + t + ")scale(" + s + ")");

 //adjust the Service Area hover stroke width based on zoom level
 d3.selectAll(".service_area").style("stroke-width", 1.5 / s);

}

/* our function click() uses the .invert() configuration method */
/* to project backward from Cartesian coordinates (in pixels) to spherical coordinates (in degrees) */

function click() {
 var latlon = projection.invert(d3.mouse(this));
 console.log(latlon);
}

</script> // end Javascript for visualizing the geo data

Giving us the following interactive visualization of the CYMH Service Areas in Ontario.

Next time: We will show how to merge our visualization of the geography of the CYMH Service Areas with other data about the populations and service providers within these Service Areas.

A responsive framework for visualizing CYMH Service Areas in Ontario

In previous posts (1, 2, 3) we described a method for visualizing geographic representations of Integrated Service Regions (ISRs) and Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas (CYMHSAs) in Ontario using free and open source software.

This brief note is to advise we are now running D3 in tandem with Bootstrap – a responsive framework that ensures that our visualizations accommodate to the display capabilities of a wide range of digital devices, including PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. 1

 

  1. See our guidelines for installing Bootstrap on a Linux server.

Visualizing the MCYS Service Areas within Integrated Service Regions Using D3.geo

Preamble

This article was originally posted on May 14, 2016 and revised on July 28, 2016 to take account of changes in the geospatial representation of Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas in Ontario. For more details, see … and then there were 33.

In a previous posting, we described our method for partitioning the Shapefile archive (cymh_shapefile.zip cymh_service_areas_after_march_9_2015.zip) of the thirty-four thirty-three MCYS Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas (CYMHSAs) into five groupings, corresponding to the MCYS Integrated Service Regions (ISRs). We also provided the GeoJSON and TopoJSON files for the individual CYMH Service Areas and their groupings into Integrated Service Regions.

Now we’ll illustrate how to use the TopoJSON files and d3.geo to visualize the CYMH Service Areas within their respective Integrated Service Regions.

In the template below,  we’ve highlighted in red any values that relate to the Integrated Service Region of interest and we’ve highlighted in blue any values that relate to the CYMH Service Areas within the Integrated Service Region:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<style>

/* CSS goes here */

/* fill the Service Areas using colour scheme for their corresponding Integrated Service Region*/
.<ISR>_geo.<ServiceArea-1> { fill: <colour-1>; }
.<ISR>_geo.<ServiceArea-2> { fill: <colour-2>; }
...
.<ISR>_geo.<ServiceArea-n> { fill: <colour-n>; }

/* style the Service Area boundaries */
.sa_boundary {
  fill: none;
  stroke: #000;
  stroke-width: 1.5px;
  stroke-linejoin: round;
}

/* style the Service Area labels */

.area-label {
 fill: #000;
 fill-opacity: .9;
 font-size: 10px;
 text-anchor: middle;
}

</style>
<body>
<script src="//d3js.org/d3.v3.min.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
<script src= "//d3js.org/topojson.v1.min.js"></script>

<script>

/* 1. Set the width and height (in pixels) of the canvas */
var width = 960,
    height = 500;
 
/* 2. Create an empty root SVG element */

var svg = d3.select("body").append("svg") .attr("width", width) .attr("height", height);

/* 3. Define the Unit projection to project 3D spherical coordinates onto the 2D Cartesian plane.Note - we use the Albers equal-area conic projection. */
var projection = d3.geo.albers()
    .scale(1)
    .translate([0, 0]);

/* 4. Define the path generator - to format the projected 2D geometry for SVG */
var path = d3.geo.path()
    .projection(projection);

/* 5.0 Open the d3.json callback, and
/* 5.1 Load the TopoJSON data file. */

d3.json("<ISR>_topo.json", function(error, <ISR>_topo) {
if (error) return console.error(error);

/* 5.2 Convert the TopoJSON data back to GeoJSON format */

  var areas_var = topojson.feature(<ISR>_topo, <ISR>_topo.objects.<ISR>_geo);
/* 5.2.1 Calculate new values for scale and translate using bounding box of the service areas */
 
var b = path.bounds(areas_var);
var s = .95 / Math.max((b[1][0] - b[0][0]) / width, (b[1][1] - b[0][1]) / height);
var t = [(width - s * (b[1][0] + b[0][0])) / 2, (height - s * (b[1][1] + b[0][1])) / 2];

/* 5.2.2 New projection, using new values for scale and translate */
projection
   .scale(s)
   .translate(t);

/* 5.3 Bind the GeoJSON data to the path element and use selection.attr to set the "d" attribute to the path data */

svg.append("path")
.datum(areas_var)
.attr("d", path);

/* 6. Draw the boundaries of the Service Areas */
  svg.append("path")
      .datum(topojson.mesh(<ISR>_topo, <ISR>_topo.objects.<ISR>_geo, function(a, b) { return a !== b; }))
      .attr("class", "sa_boundary")
      .attr("d", path);

/* 7 Colour the Service Areas */

  svg.selectAll(".<ISR>_geo")
      .data(topojson.feature(<ISR>_topo, <ISR>_topo.objects.<ISR>_geo).features)
      .enter().append("path")
      .attr("class", function(d) { return "<ISR>_geo " + d.id; })
      .attr("d", path);

/* 8 Label the Service Areas */

 svg.selectAll(".area-label")
 .data(topojson.feature(<ISR>_topo, <ISR>_topo.objects.<ISR>_geo).features)
 .enter().append("text")
 .attr("class", function(d) { return "area-label " + d.id; })
 .attr("transform", function(d) { return "translate(" + path.centroid(d) + ")"; })
 .attr("dy", ".35em")
 .text(function(d) { return d.properties.area_name; });

/* 9. Close the d3.json callback */

});

</script>

The following table presents the five MCYS Integrated Service Regions and their respective CYMH Service Areas. Drawing upon the resources of ColorBrewer, we’ve assigned a different hue to every Integrated Service Region and a distinctive colour of that hue to every member CYMH Service Area:

Central Region
Service Area Colour
Dufferin/Wellington #fcbba1
Halton #fc9272
Peel #fb6a4a
Simcoe #ef3b2c
Waterloo #fee0d2
York #a50f15
East Region
Service Area Colour
Durham #efedf5
Frontenac/Lennox and Addington #9e9ac8
Haliburton/Kawartha Lakes/Peterborough #dadaeb
Hastings/Prince Edward/Northumberland #bcbddc
Lanark/Leeds and Grenville #807dba
Ottawa #6a51a3
Prescott and Russell #54278f
Renfrew #54278f
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry #3f007d
North Region
Service Area Colour
Algoma #74c476
Greater Sudbury/Manitoulin/Sudbury #a1d99b
James Bay Coast #238b45
Kenora/Rainy River #00441b
Nipissing/Parry Sound/Muskoka #c7e9c0
Thunder Bay #006d2c
Timiskaming/Cochrane

Cochrane/Timiskaming (including James Bay Coast)

#41ab5d
Toronto Region
Service Area Colour
Toronto #f16913
West Region
Service Area Colour
Brant #08519c
Chatham-Kent #c6dbef
Elgin/Oxford #4292c6
Essex #deebf7
Grey/Bruce #08519c
Haldimand-Norfolk #2171b5
Hamilton #08306b
Huron/Perth #2171b5
Lambton #9ecae1
Middlesex #6baed6
Niagara #4292c6

So, now let’s display the Integrated Service Regions and their member CYMH Service Areas:

Central Region (actual rendering):

MCYS Central Region and Member CYMH Service Areas
Figure 1. MCYS Central Region and Member CYMH Service Areas.

East Region (actual rendering):

MCYS Central Region and Member CYMH Service Areas
Figure 2. MCYS Central Region and Member CYMH Service Areas.

Toronto Region (actual rendering):

MCYS Toronto Region
Figure 3. MCYS Toronto Region.

North Region – 7 Service Areas (actual rendering):

MCYS North Region and Member CYMH Service Areas
Figure 4a. MCYS North Region and 7 Member CYMH Service Areas.

North Region – 6 Service Areas (actual rendering):

CYMH Service Areas in North Region - 33 - screenshot
Figure 4b. MCYS North Region and 6 Member CYMH Service Areas.

West Region (actual rendering):

MCYS West Region and Member CYMH Service Areas
Figure 5. MCYS West Region and Member CYMH Service Areas.

Next time: We’ll add some functionality so that users can interact with our maps.

MCYS Service Areas and Integrated Service Regions in GeoJSON and TopoJSON Formats

Preamble

This article was originally posted on May 14, 2016 and revised on July 28, 2016 to take account of changes in the geospatial representation of Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas in Ontario. For more details, see … and then there were 33.

Here we provide geospatial data for the MCYS Integrated Service Regions and their constituent Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas in GeoJSON and TopoJSON file formats:

Central Region GeoJSON TopoJSON
Dufferin/Wellington GeoJSON TopoJSON
Halton GeoJSON TopoJSON
Peel GeoJSON TopoJSON
Simcoe GeoJSON TopoJSON
Waterloo GeoJSON TopoJSON
York GeoJSON TopoJSON
East Region GeoJSON TopoJSON
Durham GeoJSON TopoJSON
Frontenac/Lennox and Addington GeoJSON TopoJSON
Haliburton/Kawartha Lakes/Peterborough GeoJSON TopoJSON
Hastings/Prince Edward/Northumberland GeoJSON TopoJSON
Lanark/Leeds and Grenville GeoJSON TopoJSON
Ottawa GeoJSON TopoJSON
Prescott and Russell GeoJSON TopoJSON
Renfrew GeoJSON TopoJSON
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry GeoJSON TopoJSON
North Region – 7 Service Areas

North Region – 6 Service Areas

GeoJSON

GeoJSON

TopoJSON

TopoJSON

Algoma GeoJSON TopoJSON
Greater Sudbury/Manitoulin/Sudbury GeoJSON TopoJSON
James Bay Coast GeoJSON TopoJSON
Kenora/Rainy River GeoJSON TopoJSON
Nipissing/Parry Sound/Muskoka GeoJSON TopoJSON
Thunder Bay GeoJSON TopoJSON
Timiskaming/Cochrane

Cochrane/Timiskaming (including James Bay Coast)

GeoJSON

GeoJSON

TopoJSON

TopoJSON

Toronto Region GeoJSON TopoJSON
West Region GeoJSON TopoJSON
Brant GeoJSON TopoJSON
Bruce/Grey GeoJSON TopoJSON
Chatham-Kent GeoJSON TopoJSON
Elgin/Oxford GeoJSON TopoJSON
Essex GeoJSON TopoJSON
Haldimand-Norfolk GeoJSON TopoJSON
Hamilton GeoJSON TopoJSON
Huron/Perth GeoJSON TopoJSON
Lambton GeoJSON TopoJSON
Middlesex GeoJSON TopoJSON
Niagara GeoJSON TopoJSON

Geospatial features of the MCYS Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas

Preamble

This article was originally posted on May 14, 2016 and revised on July 28, 2016 to take account of changes in the geospatial representation of Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas in Ontario. For more details, see … and then there were 33.

In 2014-15, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) defined two administrative views of mental health services for children and youth in Ontario:

The provincial government has published geospatial data for the MCYS’s Integrated Service Regions (ISRs) and Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas (CYMHSAs) in Shapefile format.

Here, we’ll work only with the geospatial data for the CYMHSAs, publishing three sorts of files for use in d3.geo:

  1. Converting the Shapefile archive (cymh_shapefile.zip cymh_service_areas_after_march_9_2015.zip) for the entire set of thirty-four MCYS Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas into a single TopoJSON file (cymhsas_topo.json)
  2. Partitioning the Shapefile archive in #1 into five groups of Service Areas, corresponding to the Integrated Service Regions, and converting these five groups into TopoJSON files:
    1. central_topo.json
    2. east_topo.json
    3. north_topo.json
    4. toronto_topo.json
    5. west_topo.json
  3. Partitioning the Shapefile archive in #1 into thirty-four thirty-three groups, corresponding to the individual MCYS Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas, and converting these groups into TopoJSON files

Shapefile archive for 34 33 CYMHSAs

The Shapefile archive  for the thirty-four thirty-three MCYS CYMHSAs (cymh_service_areas_after_march_9_2015.zip) contains four files:

  • CYMH Service Areas.shp — shape format
  • CYMH Service Areas.shx — shape index format
  • CYMH Service Areas.dbf — attribute format
  • CYMH Service Areas.prj — projection format: the coordinate system and projection information, expressed in well-known text format

we rename the four CYMH Service Areas.* files cymh-service-areas.*

Converting the Shapefile archive to GeoJSON and TopoJSON format

To use d3.geo to visualize the CYMHSAs, we first use ogr2ogr to convert the Shapefiles to GeoJSON format, and then use topojson to convert the GeoJSON file to TopoJSON format:

ogr2ogr -t_srs EPSG:4269 -f GeoJSON cymhsas_geo.json cymh-service-areas.shp

topojson -o cymhsas_topo.json --id-property area_name --properties -- cymhsas_geo.json

Notes:

  • After running ogr2ogr, we use a text editor to replace the feature property Name with area_name in the file cymhsas_geo.json 1
  • The --id-property switch in topojson is used to promote the feature property area_name to geometry id in the file cymhsas_topo.json
  • We use a text editor to remove any special characters (e.g. spaces, “,”, “/”, “-“) from the value of the geometry id, e.g. “"id": "Haliburton/Kawartha Lakes/Peterborough"" becomes “"id": "HaliburtonKawarthaLakesPeterborough"” in cymhsas_topo.json

Partitioning the Shapefile archive of CYMHSAs into ISRs

We illustrate the partitioning of the Shapefile archive into groups of Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas corresponding to the five Integrated Service Regions with the script for the North Region.
For 34 CYMHM Service Areas:

ogr2ogr -t_srs EPSG:4269 -f GeoJSON -where "Name =  'Algoma' OR Name = 'Greater Sudbury/Manitoulin/Sudbury' OR Name = 'James Bay Coast' OR Name = 'Kenora/Rainy River'  OR Name = 'Nipissing/Parry Sound/Muskoka' OR Name = 'Thunder Bay' OR Name =  'Timiskaming/Cochrane'" north_geo.json cymh-Service-Areas

topojson -o north_topo.json --id-property area_name --properties -- north_geo.json

For 33 CYMH Service Areas:

ogr2ogr -t_srs EPSG:4269 -f GeoJSON -where "ServiceA00 =  'Algoma' OR Name = 'Greater Sudbury/Manitoulin/Sudbury' OR Name = 'Kenora/Rainy River'  OR Name = 'Nipissing/Parry Sound/Muskoka' OR Name = 'Thunder Bay' OR Name =  'Cochrane/Timiskaming'" north_geo.json cymh-service-areas.shp

topojson -o north_topo.json --id-property area_name --properties -- north_geo.json

Note:

  • The MCYS uses various spelling conventions for compound CYMHSAs; the authoritative list of CYMHSAs naming conventions is found in CYMH-Service-Areas.dbf in the Shapefile archive.

Partitioning the Shapefile archive of CYMHSAs into individual CYMHSAs

Partitioning of the Shapefile archive into individual Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas is straightforward, e.g.:

ogr2ogr -t_srs EPSG:4269 -f GeoJSON -where "Name = 'Toronto'" toronto_geo.json cymh-service-areas.shp

topojson -o toronto_topo.json --id-property area_name --properties -- toronto_geo.json

I’ve made a complete set of these GeoJSON and TopoJSON available for anyone to use freely.

 

 

Geospatial Features of the MCYS Integrated Service Regions

Preamble

This article was originally posted on May 14, 2016 and revised on July 28, 2016 to take account of changes in the geospatial representation of Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas in Ontario. For more details, see … and then there were 33.

In 2014-15, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) defined two administrative views of mental health services for children and youth in Ontario:

The provincial government has published geospatial data for the MCYS’s Integrated Service Regions (ISRs) and Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas (CYMHSAs) in Shapefile format. Here, we’ll work only with the geospatial data for the ISRs.

Shapefile format

The Shapefile archive for the ISRs (mcys_integrated_regions.zip) contains four files:

  • mcys_integrated_regions.shp — shape format
  • mcys_integrated_regions.shx — shape index format
  • mcys_integrated_regions.dbf — attribute format
  • mcys_integrated_regions.prj — projection format: the coordinate system and projection information, expressed in well-known text format

For ease of reference, we rename the four mcys_integrated_regions.* files isrs.*.

Converting Shapefiles to GeoJSON format

To use d3.geo to visualize the ISRs, we first convert the Shapefiles to GeoJSON format files, using ogr2ogr. There are three steps:

  1. Determine the Spatial Reference System (SRS) used by the Shapefile
  2. Set the -t_srs switch in ogr2ogr to output the GeoJSON file using this SRS
  3. Rename variables for ease of use

The projection format file for the ISRs specifies:

GEOGCS["GCS_North_American_1983",DATUM["D_North_American_1983",SPHEROID["GRS_1980",6378137,298.257222101]],PRIMEM["Greenwich",0],UNIT["Degree",0.017453292519943295]]

We use Prj2EPSG, a simple online service to convert the projection information contained in the .prj file into standard EPSG codes for the corresponding spatial reference system. From this we determine that the specification contained in isrs.prj corresponds to EPSG 4269 – GCS_North_American_1983.

We now use the -t_srs switch in ogr2ogr to transform the output using the spatial reference system specified in isrs.prj:

ogr2ogr -t_srs EPSG:4269 -f GeoJSON isrs_geo.json isrs.shp

The GeoJSON format file is isrs_geo.json.

Finally, we use a text editor to give more meaningful names to a few variables in the GeoJSON files and to express them in all lowercase letters:

Original variable Modified variable
Region region_name
Order order

Converting GeoJSON files to TopoJSON format

We use topojson to convert the GeoJSON file isrs_geo.json to a TopoJSON format file:

topojson -o isrs_topo.json --id-property region_name --properties -- isrs_geo.json

The --id-property switch in topojson is used to promote the feature property "region_name" to geometry id status in the TopoJSON file isrs_topo.json.

We may now visualize the MCYS Integrated Service Regions by applying d3.geo to isrs_topo.json.

Visualizing the MCYS Integrated Service Regions Using d3.geo

Preamble

This article was originally posted on May 14, 2016 and revised on July 28, 2016 to take account of changes in the geospatial representation of Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas in Ontario. For more details, see … and then there were 33.

Introduction

In the past few years, a wide variety of free and open source software (FOSS) tools for visualizing geospatial data have become available.  For many people like me who work in human services, coming to know how to use these tools even in rudimentary ways represents a steep learning-curve. Here, I illustrate the use of one of these tools, d3.geo, to visualize a geospatial view of children and youth services in Ontario. 1

In 2014-15 the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) defined two administrative views of Ontario:

The five Integrated Service Regions (ISRs) combined nine previous Service Delivery Division regions and four Youth Justice Services Division regions. The ISRs are integrated with the five regional boundaries of the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS).

The thirty-four thirty-three Children and Youth Mental Health Service Areas (CYMHSAs) were defined after a thorough review, including an assessment of Statistics Canada’s census divisions and projected population and children and youth.

The Ontario government has published two Shapefile archives – mcys_integrated_regions.zip and cymh_shapefile.zip and cymh_service_areas_after_march_9_2015.zip – that define the geospatial boundaries of the ISRs and the CYMHSAs, respectively. For now, we’re going to work only with the Shapefile archive for the ISRs.

Before we can visualize the ISRs using d3.geo, we need to convert the Shapefile format archive – mcys_integrated_regions.zip - to a TopoJSON format file – isrs_topo.json. (For more details of converting geospatial data from one file format to another, see Geospatial Features of the MCYS Integrated Service Regions).

A Simple Map

So, let’s use d3.geo to visualize the MCYS Integrated Service Regions in Ontario.

HTML template

In the same directory as the isrs_topo.json file, we create a file – isrs01.html – using the following template:


<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<style>

/* CSS goes here */

</style>
<body>
<script src="//d3js.org/d3.v3.min.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
<script src= "//d3js.org/topojson.v1.min.js"></script>

/*                                                           */
<script>
/* JavaScript for reading and rendering data goes here */
</script>

d3 supports the two main standards for rendering two-dimensional geometry in a browser: SVG and Canvas. We prefer SVG because you can style SVG using CSS, and declarative styling is easier.

There are several steps involved in reading and rendering our data in SVG:

  1. Define the width and height (in pixels) of the canvas
  2. Create an (empty) root SVG element
  3. Define the projection, beginning with a “unit projection” with .scale(1) and .translate([0,0])
  4. Define the path generator
  5. Open the d3.json callback
    1. Load the TopoJSON data file
    2. Convert the TopoJSON data back to GeoJSON format
    3. Calculate new values for .scale() and .translate() to resize and centre the projection
    4. Bind the GeoJSON data to the path element and use selection.attr to set the “d” attribute to the path data
  6. Maybe do some other stuff
  7. Close the d3.json callback

If we modify our template – isrs01.html – by adding the Javascript to load and render isrs_topo.json in SVG, we obtain:


<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<style>

/* CSS goes here */

</style>
<body>
<script src="//d3js.org/d3.v3.min.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
<script src= "//d3js.org/topojson.v1.min.js"></script>

<script>

/* 1. Set the width and height (in pixels) of the canvas */
var width = 960,
    height = 1160;
 
/* 2. Create an empty root SVG element */

var svg = d3.select("body").append("svg") .attr("width", width) .attr("height", height);

/* 3. Define the Unit projection to project 3D spherical coordinates onto the 2D Cartesian plane - HERE we use the Albers equal-area conic projection. */
var projection = d3.geo.albers()
    .scale(1)
    .translate([0, 0]);

/* 4. Define the path generator - to format the projected 2D geometry for SVG */
var path = d3.geo.path()
    .projection(projection);

/* 5.0 Open the d3.json callback, and
/* 5.1 Load the TopoJSON data file. */

d3.json("isrs_topo.json", function(error, isrs_topo) {
if (error) return console.error(error);

/* 5.2 Convert the TopoJSON data back to GeoJSON format */

  var regions_var = topojson.feature(isrs_topo, isrs_topo.objects.isrs_geo);
/* 5.2.1 Calculate new values for scale and translate using bounding box of the service areas */
 
var b = path.bounds(regions_var);
var s = .95 / Math.max((b[1][0] - b[0][0]) / width, (b[1][1] - b[0][1]) / height);
var t = [(width - s * (b[1][0] + b[0][0])) / 2, (height - s * (b[1][1] + b[0][1])) / 2];

/* 5.2.2 New projection, using new values for scale and translate */
projection
   .scale(s)
   .translate(t);

/* 5.3 Bind the GeoJSON data to the path element and use selection.attr to set the "d" attribute to the path data */

svg.append("path")
.datum(regions_var)
.attr("d", path);

/* 6 - 8 Some other stuff TBD later */

/* 9. Close the d3.json callback */

});

</script>

… which gives us this sort of basic rendering of the MCYS Integrated Service Regions [actual rendering]:

Figure 1. Basic rendering of the MCYS Integrated Service Regions.
Figure 1. Basic rendering of the MCYS Integrated Service Regions.

There are a few obvious improvements we can make. First, let’s draw the boundaries of the MCYS ISRs:


/* CSS goes here */

/* Define the boundary of an ISR as a 1.5 px wide white line, with a round line-join */
.isr_boundary {
  fill: none;
  stroke: #fff;
  stroke-width: 1.5px;
  stroke-linejoin: round;
}

...

/* Javascript for reading and rendering data in SVG */

...

/* 6. Draw the boundaries of the ISRs */
  svg.append("path")
      .datum(topojson.mesh(isrs_topo, isrs_topo.objects.isrs_geo, function(a, b) { return a !== b; }))
      .attr("class", "isr_boundary")
      .attr("d", path);

… giving us this sort of map [actual rendering]:

MCYS Integrated Service Regions with boundaries
Figure 2. Rendering of the MCYS Integrated Service Regions with boundaries.

… and then let’s label and colour the MCYS ISRs using the colour-scheme adopted by the MCYS:


/* CSS goes here */

/* fill the ISRs using the MCYS colour scheme */
.isrs_geo.Toronto { fill: #bd3f23; }
.isrs_geo.Central { fill: #fcb241; }
.isrs_geo.East { fill: #a083a7; }
.isrs_geo.West { fill: #e3839e; }
.isrs_geo.North { fill: #8dc73d; }

/* switch the colour of the ISR boundaries to black */
.isr_boundary {
  fill: none;
  stroke: #000;
  stroke-width: 1.5px;
  stroke-linejoin: round;
}

/* style the Region label */

.region-label {
 fill: #000;
 fill-opacity: .9;
 font-size: 12px;
 text-anchor: middle;
}

...

/* Javascript for reading and rendering data in SVG */

...

/* 7 Colour the ISRs */

  svg.selectAll(".isrs_geo")
      .data(topojson.feature(isrs_topo, isrs_topo.objects.isrs_geo).features)
      .enter().append("path")
      .attr("class", function(d) { return "isrs_geo " + d.id; })
      .attr("d", path);

/* 8 Label the Integrated Service Regions */

 svg.selectAll(".region-label")
 .data(topojson.feature(isrs_topo, isrs_topo.objects.isrs_geo).features)
 .enter().append("text")
 .attr("class", function(d) { return "region-label " + d.id; })
 .attr("transform", function(d) { return "translate(" + path.centroid(d) + ")"; })
 .attr("dy", ".35em")
 .text(function(d) { return d.properties.region_name; });

giving us this sort of map [actual rendering]:

Figure 3. Labelling and rendering of the MCYS Integrated Service Regions in colour.
Figure 3. Labeling and rendering of the MCYS Integrated Service Regions in colour.

Wrap-Up

In this post, we use d3.geo – a free and open source software tool – to visualize a publicly-available geospatial dataset related to children and youth services in five regions across Ontario. Next time, we will use another dataset to visualize children and youth services at the level of thirty-four service areas in the province.

  1. Accessing d3.geo is easy – you simply include a single call to d3 in the body of an .html web page. Installing and using some of the tools for converting geospatial data from one format to another (in order to use d3.geo) is more complicated. For some more technical details, see  Installing tools for d3.geo – 20160306.

Optimizing Ontario’s investments in a “basket” of core mental health services for children and youth – background

Some background

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) in Ontario funds service providers to deliver community-based child and youth mental health (CYMH) services under the authority of the Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.C.11 (CFSA). The paramount purpose of the CFSA is to promote the best interests, protection and well-being of children.

Some terms

Client

The MCYS defines a client  as “the intended recipient of the child and youth mental health core service.” The client is a child or youth under 18 years of age who is experiencing mental health problems. In addition to mental health needs, clients may also be experiencing additional challenges related to their development or have specific impairments and/or diagnoses, including a developmental disability, autism spectrum disorder or substance use disorder. Other conditions or diagnoses do not preclude clients from receiving mental health services, but may add to the complexity of their needs, and the services they require. Similarly, where children and youth are involved in other sectors (e.g. youth justice and child welfare) these circumstances do not preclude them from receiving core services. Where children and youth have additional needs and are receiving a range of services, the focus must be on how the services connect. A coordinated approach to service delivery must be supported. Families (including parents, caregivers, guardians, siblings and other family members) may also receive services from a core service provider, in order to address the identified needs of the child or youth client. This may occur when the participation in treatment is recommended to support the child or youth’s service plan.

Continuum of needs-based mental health services

Children, youth and their families can benefit from access to a flexible continuum of timely and appropriate mental health services and supports, within their own cultural, environmental and community context. Mental health promotion, prevention, and the provision of services to address mental health problems represent different points along the continuum. Children, youth and their families may enter the continuum of needs-based services and supports at any point. The actual services a child/youth needs will vary. For example, some children/youth may benefit from targeted prevention services, while others will require more specialized mental health services. In addition, a child or youth’s mental health service needs may change over the course of their treatment.

The following schematic outlines the full continuum of needs-based mental health services and supports, and shows how core services fit within this continuum. It also represents the relative demand for services – level one reflects all children and youth, while level four focuses on a smaller subset of the child/youth population with the most severe, complex needs. This schematic is for service planning only – it is not used for diagnosis or for determining the appropriateness of specific mental health interventions.

MCYS - Continuum of core mental health services
Continuum of CYMH Needs-Based Services and Supports. *Includes members of a group that share a significant risk factor for a mental health problem(s).

Service areas

After a thorough review – including an assessment of Statistics Canada’s census divisions – the MCYS has identified 34 service areas in Ontario for the purpose of:

  • ensuring that all clients across the province will be able to access the same core services
  • facilitating planning, and
  • creating pathways to care.

The defined service areas are not barriers to service. Clients will be able to access service from any service area.

Core services

The MCYS has defined a set of core children and youth mental health services (“core services”) to be available within every service area and has established minimum expectations for how core services are planned, delivered and evaluated. Core services may not be available in every service area immediately – the expectation is that they will be made available over time as lead agencies assume their roles and responsibilities.

Core services represent the range of MCYS-funded CYMH services that lead agencies are responsible for planning and delivering across the continuum of mental health needs within each service area. It is recognized that children and youth in receipt of core mental health services may also require other services and supports. For example, children and youth may receive more than one core service as part of a service plan, as well as other services funded by MCYS or other partners.

Seven core services are to be available across all service areas:

  • Targeted Prevention
  • Brief Services
  • Counselling and Therapy
  • Family Capacity Building and Support
  • Specialized Consultation and Assessments
  • Crisis Support Services, and
  • Intensive Treatment Services.

The MCYS funds providers of core services through the following detail codes:

  • A348 – Brief Services
  • A349 – Counselling and Therapy
  • A350 – Crisis Support Services
  • A351 – Family/Caregiver Capacity Building and Support
  • A352 – Coordinated Access and Intake
  • A353 – Intensive Treatment Services
  • A354 – Case Management and Service Coordination
  • A355 – Specialized Consultation and Assessment
  • A356 – Targeted Prevention Term

The MCYS has identified a target population for each core service. This is the population for whom the service is designed, and for whom the service is intended to provide better mental health outcomes. The act of defining a target population is not meant to be exclusionary. Rather, it is a means to support planning and delivery in a way that benefits the children and youth who are in greatest need of the mental health service. In general, the target population for core services includes those children and youth under 18 years of age and their families who are experiencing mental health problems along levels two, three and four of the CYMH continuum. Additional target populations may also be identified within specific core services.

Lead agency

In every service area, the MCYS has identified a lead agency that will be responsible for the planning and delivery of high-quality core services across the continuum of mental health services in the service area.

A lead agency may either directly deliver core services or work with other providers of core services to deliver the full range of core services within the service area. Lead agencies are responsible for engaging cross-sectoral partners in the health and education sectors, including the relevant Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and school boards. Lead agencies will connect with other providers to plan and enhance mental health service pathways for children and youth and improve transparency, so that everyone will know what to expect.

Providers of core services are required to comply with the Program Guidelines and Requirements #01 (PGR #01): Core Services and Key Processes.

The core services, key processes and functioning of the CYMH service sector will require refinement from time to time as other provincial initiatives and activities are developed and implemented. Within the broader context of these new initiatives, it is important that the roles and responsibilities of all core service providers are made clear and that the linkages between these services are transparent.

Planning to transform child and youth mental health services in Ontario

A key driver of Moving on Mental Health is the need to build a system in which children, youth and their families:

  • Have access to a clearly defined set of core child and youth mental health services
  • Know what services are available in their communities and how they are connected to one another, and
  • Have confidence in the quality of care and treatment. In a mature system, one of the ways in which this vision will be realized is through identification of lead agencies with planning and funding accountability for core child and youth mental health services within defined service areas.

Within each defined service area, the lead agency will be responsible for:

  • Delivering and/or contracting for the range of defined core CYMH services
  • Making them accessible to parents, youth, and children, and

Establishing inter-agency and inter-sectoral partnerships, protocols and transparent pathways to care. These responsibilities fall into two broad categories:

  • Core Service responsibilities – which relate to the defined core services delivered by the community-based child and youth mental health sector, as well as the key processes that enable high-quality service, and
  • Local System responsibilities – which relate to the collaboration of the community-based sector with other parts of the service continuum such as those supports and services delivered by health care providers, schools and others.

The Core Services Delivery Plan and the Community Mental Health Plan for children and youth will set out how the lead agency carries out these responsibilities. The lead agency will be responsible for developing these plans, and is expected to work collaboratively with other mental health service providers and with all sectors that support children and youth and respond to their mental health needs.

The Core Services Delivery Plan will, together with the Community Mental Health Plan, provide critical insight into each service area and guide activities as we move forward with transforming the experience of children, youth and families. The intent is that over time, both of these plans will have a three-year horizon and will be updated annually, since they inform one another. They will also provide content for the Accountability Agreement entered into between the lead agency and MCYS.

Core Services Delivery Plan

The development of a Core Services Delivery Plan (CSDP) is a key planning and communication tool that will document expectations, obligations and commitments for the provision of core services and associated key processes in each defined service area. This reflects the need to establish a consistent approach that will support critical insights into local and provincial child and youth mental health service issues, while recognizing the unique circumstances of lead agencies and service areas. The Core Services Delivery Plan documents how core services will be delivered in the defined service area. It consists of three areas of content:

  • Service Commitments
  • Continuous Improvement Priorities, and
  • Budget.

In developing the plan, the lead agency and child and youth mental health service providers should ask themselves some key questions:

  • Can we demonstrate that the full range of core services is available in our service area, and that minimum expectations set out in the Service Framework are being met?
  • Can we show how our services are getting better at meeting the mental health needs of children and youth in our communities?
  • Are we making the best possible use of limited resources to deliver high-quality services?
A. Service Commitments

This section of the plan will:

  • Identify, with specific activities and time frames:
    • How the lead agency and other child and youth mental health service providers in the service area will address the expectations set out in the Service Framework, including who will deliver what services over the projected three-year time horizon
    • Where changes to services or service providers are proposed, the plan will document how the changes will result in improvement to child and youth mental health outcomes, service quality and efficiencies
  • Indicate how, if a change in service providers or in contracted relationships is proposed, it will be handled in a transparent manner with due regard to minimizing disruption to service
  • Set out how services will be designed and delivered in a culturally responsive manner to address diverse populations including francophone and Aboriginal populations
  • Document how a clear, stable point of contact for children and youth with mental health needs and their families, as well as those seeking services on their behalf, will be established and/or maintained
  • Report on the reach and efficacy of programs and services, including how input from parents and youth has been incorporated to ensure that what has been developed works for them, and
  • Describe the process by which the lead agency has engaged and will continue to engage respectfully with all core child and youth mental health service providers in the service area.
B. Continuous Improvement Priorities

This section of the plan will:

  • Monitor and report on the impact of current programs and services
  • Identify improvement priorities, taking into account priorities established by MCYS and the expectations set out in the Service Framework, in areas such as service quality and outcomes, a purposeful approach to wait list and wait time management, and others over the three-year horizon of the plan
  • Set out specific activities and time frames that will support continuous improvement goals and priorities, and
  • Address matters such as data sharing protocols between the lead agency and other child and youth mental health agencies in the service area, that will support monitoring and reporting on performance indicators in order to enable tracking of trends, challenges and opportunities for continuous improvement.
C. Budget

This section of the plan will:

  • Forecast activities, resource allocations and budget over the three-year horizon, including financial implications of planned changes to service delivery.

Community Mental Health Plan for children and youth

System responsibilities are built on key partnerships and collaborations developed at the local level to support young people and their families across the full continuum of needs. Although service areas may differ in terms of their service profile, service patterns, as well as the degree of pre-existing cooperation and collaboration across systems and sectors, the lead agency will be responsible for bringing partners together to create coherence for children, youth and their families. MCYS is working, together with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ministry of Education, to put in place conditions that will support this important work.

The Community Mental Health Plan for children and youth will be a public document that is developed by the lead agency and describes the processes by which:

The lead agency has engaged and will continue to engage respectfully with sector partners such as organizations funded by Local Health Integration Networks, District School Boards, public health units, hospitals, primary health care providers, and those delivering MCYS-funded services (e.g., child welfare, autism services) and others, and

Input from parents and youth has been incorporated to ensure that what has been developed works for them. It will cover the following topic areas:

  • Understanding current needs and services
  • Collaborative planning, and
  • Pathways to, through and out of care.

In developing the plan, the lead agency, child and youth mental health service providers and partners from all sectors involved with child and youth mental health should ask themselves some key questions:

  • Are all those who serve children and youth working together systematically to address mental health needs in the service area?
  • Are the roles and responsibilities of everyone across the continuum of needs and services clear to parents, youth and those seeking services on their behalf, including how services are accessed?
  • Are there shared commitments to address service gaps and expand on opportunities to better meet identified needs?
A. Understanding current needs and services
  • Report on a needs assessment of the current state of child and youth mental health services across the service area, identifying gaps and opportunities for meeting needs across the continuum, and
  • Identify and maintain an inventory of who is providing which services to meet the needs identified.
B. Collaborative planning
  • Establish mechanisms to explore, on an ongoing basis, opportunities to leverage resources, reduce duplication, enhance outcomes, and create added value for children and youth with mental health needs through collaboration and joint planning, and
  • Identify and document commitments and actions to be taken to address shared and agreed upon priorities, together with associated timelines and measures to assess results.
C. Pathways to, through and out of care

Develop and document protocols, processes and partnerships that exist, or will be developed, that will streamline and strengthen clear pathways to, through and from care across sectors.

Next: Applying Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to the “basket” of core mental health services for children and youth in Ontario