Many supports are available for children, youth and families to help with mental health challenges and keep young people on the path to success.
Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) Intake Clinics have adapted their services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic so clinicians can be available in-person, via telephone and virtually. At about 100 intake clinics across the province, CYMH clinicians provide initial assessments and ensure children and youth are connected to the right supports. CYMH teams can provide support through individual or group treatment, family therapy interventions and in-home support. Find the nearest clinic:
Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre is an accredited in-patient facility that offers specialized programs and services to address the needs of young people (12 to 17 years old) who have any number of mental health concerns or troubling behaviour.
Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services offers mental health assessment and treatment services to youth who are in custody or under community supervision. This is usually because of mental illness, behaviour problems, or involvement in violent or sexual offences.
EASE – Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators helps educators bring mental health support right into the classroom. EASE is a collection of resources focused on anxiety prevention, specifically designed for use with students in kindergarten to Grade 7 in British Columbia. EASE is available online to allow more educators throughout the province to access the workshop and classroom resources. B.C. educators can access the online workshop here:
EASE at Home is a collection of select EASE resources adapted for use by parents and caregivers at home, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategies and activities help parents support their children in understanding and managing their anxiety, and together, they can practice breathing exercises, build routines to create consistency, and find fun ways to stay physically active during the pandemic and beyond. Find the full collection of EASE at Home resources here: https://healthymindsbc.gov.bc.ca/ease-at-home/
The Ministry of Children and Family Development also partners with organizations across the province to bring mental health and wellness supports right into communities:
Foundry BC centres offer one-stop wellness supports and social services for youth, aged 12 to 24 years, including CYMH intake services. Youth can visit any of the 11 centres throughout the province, join an online drop-in session, or talk to someone through an online chat or by telephone to get the help they need, when they need it. Learn more: https://foundrybc.ca/
Confident Parents, Thriving Kids offers telephone-based supports for parents of children (aged three to 12 years) with anxiety and behavioural challenges. The programs, delivered by the Canadian Mental Health Association–B.C. Division, coach parents on childhood anxiety and behavioural issues that may arise during specific situations, such as getting ready for the day or being dropped off at school. The phone-based coaching empowers parents, helping them develop skills and strategies to support their child. Learn more: https://welcome.cmhacptk.ca/
FamilySmart provides one-to-one support, tools and tips for families whose children or teens are experiencing mental health challenges. The programs bring together young people, families and service providers to learn with and from each other, helping to develop strong, positive family relationships. Learn more: https://familysmart.ca/
Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 for young people who need to talk to someone at any time of the day. Through phone, text or online chat, children and youth can start a conversation with someone they can trust about anything they are struggling with or curious about. Learn more: https://kidshelpphone.ca/
In 2020-21, A Pathway to Hope funding has expanded mental health and substance use services through:
- continued support for early intervention and prevention initiatives;
- integrated service delivery teams that bring child and youth mental health and addictions services into schools; and
- Step-up, Step-down services that provide more intensive services for children and youth in the community or when they are transitioning out of hospital-based services.
Child and youth mental health statistics:
- Early signs of anxiety problems can be missed when children struggle with internal worries and physical distress. Some children are at greater risk of developing an anxiety disorder, which affects up to 4% of children and youth in B.C.
- An estimated 12.7% of children aged four to 18 years, or nearly 95,000 children in B.C., will experience mental disorders causing significant symptoms and impairment at any given time.
- 70% of mental disorders begin before the age of 25.
- Indigenous children and youth are often disproportionately affected by mental health challenges because of intergenerational trauma, discrimination, social determinants of health and mental health service gaps.
- Approximately 29,000 children and youth receive community-based CYMH services annually, over double the number who received these services in 2003.
To learn more about child and youth mental health, visit:
To read A Pathway to Hope, visit:
To see a map of mental health and substance use services throughout B.C., visit: