CHEO has more emergency room visits for mental-health-related issues than any other children's hospital in Ontario, according to a new report.

The Royal Ottawa Hospital and Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario released their second annual Mental Health report card Thursday morning.


CHEO has more emergency room visits for mental health than any other children's hospital in Ontario according to a new report. (CBC)

It found mental health was the subject of 2,900 emergency room visits at CHEO in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The number of visits is up 64 per cent from three years ago, and is the highest number of pediatric mental health visits to emergency rooms among hospitals in the province.

The report suggests the high numbers are a result of increased awareness of mental illness and the willingness among young people to seek help.

For the past five years, The Royal and CHEO have partnered to form the Children and Youth Specialized Psychiatric and Mental Health Services program.

Early intervention 'urgent' for young people

"The number of parents, kids and youth now willing to step forward and ask for help for mental health continues to grow," said Alex Munter, President and CEO of CHEO, in a press release.

"This makes it even more urgent to provide the early intervention and treatment that can change young people’s lives forever," he said.

"Studies have shown that the earlier a person receives treatment for mental illness, the better their chances for recovery," said George Weber, President and CEO of The Royal, in the press release.

"We need to put the mental health of our youth on equal footing with physical health. You simply can’t have good health without mental health," said Weber.