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Research shows that 15 - 20% of children and youth have mental health disorders.

It can be easier to recognize and treat symptoms of physical illness, such as a fever, than identify and support a child's struggle with mental health issues. Learning about mental health issues and accessing appropriate resources can help you help a child experiencing significant distress and impairing their functioning at home, at school, with peers or in the community.

Why is early diagnosis and treatment important?

Early diagnosis and treatment for a mental health disorder is essential to ensuring better long-term health of your child. By not taking this step, a child can suffer unnecessarily.

What do I do if I think my child is having mental health challenges?

  1. Families have a central and essential role when it comes to nurturing the best possible health outcomes of their children.
  2. Paediatricians (available upon referral) and doctors can be excellent resource for children and families when attempting to navigate the array of mental health services available from community to community within BC.
  3. Help is available. See below.

Where can I go for general information about mental health?

The Kelty Resource Center is the provincial resource centre which provides children, youth, parents and families with appropriate information, options for support and treatment in BC in all areas of mental health and substance use. The centre also offers peer support to parents, youth and people of all ages struggling with eating disorders through email, phone or drop in. 
The F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids' Mental Health (Families Organized for Recognition and Care Equality) is a provincial organization that provides families with an opportunity to speak with other families who understand and may be able to offer support or advice on what has worked for them.

See links below for additional information.

The Child and Youth Mental Health website of the Ministry for Children and Family Development (MCFD) British Columbia.
Children's Mental Health Ontario represents and supports the providers of child and youth mental health treatment services throughout Ontario. This is also a great resource for BC parents.
eMentalHealth.ca is a non-profit initiative of the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO and provides anonymous, confidential and trustworthy information.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), BC Division exists to promote the mental health of British Columbians and support the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness.
The Children's Mental Health Research Quarterly  is an electronic publication prepared for Child and Youth Mental Health Services with British Columbia's Ministry of Children and Family Development. 
Teen Mental Health  is a project of the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health, a partnership between Sun Life Financial, Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre with the vision to improve the mental health of youth by the effective translation and transfer of scientific knowledge.
Early Warning Signs about Children's Mental Illness Not Evident to Many Canadian Parents, a report of a 2011 survey of interest to parents.
MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends, produced  by U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a collection of Audio Interviews with experts in children's mental health to offer families practical advice on fostering positive emotional development in their children.
The Offord Centre for Child Studies has developed a series of handouts for parents on eight of the most common child and youth mental health problems. They are available in 9 languages. 

Resources for specific mental health disorders


Anxiety BC- Parent Info
Anxiety Canada

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

C.H.A.D.D. Vancouver Chapter
Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance

Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada

ADHD and you

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Society of British Columbia
Autism Community Training BC
Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and related Disorders
Autism Speaks Canada

Bipolar Disorder
Conduct Disorder

Healthlink BC
Mood Disorders Association of BC


Mood Disorders Association of BC

Eating Disorders

Centre of Knowledge on Healthy Child Development
Looking glass BC
Kelty Mental Health - Eating Disorders


Anxiety BC

Substance Abuse

BC Mental Health & Addiction Services
BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information
Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC)


British Columbia Schizophrenia Society

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada