Child & Youth Mental Health

Youths are exposed to many situations throughout their pre-teen and teen years, which can have an effect on their mental health. Fear, stress, anger, excitement, and even anxiety can be normal responses to many situations in a youth’s life. As children grow and change, so do their actions and reactions, and with growing maturity comes a better ability to keep behaviour in check and manage stressful situations. But how do you distinguish between “normal” responses and behaviours in children and teens, and those behaviours that are perhaps beyond regular, everyday feelings and situations? The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) suggests that up to 70% of mental illnesses will present themselves before a child reaches their 18th birthday - therefore having a great impact on development and learning. If your child’s behaviour, either at school, at home, or in social situations is causing you concern, or if that behaviour is becoming common and disruptive, it might be time to reach out to a professional for help. They can help you evaluate and distinguish between age-appropriate actions and responses in your child, vs a possible mental health disorder or condition. Causes of mental health disorders can vary widely, from biological and genetic disorders, to underlying mental health issues, to environmental causes or school-life-family pressures and stress. Do you have questions specific to youth mental health? Would you like guidance or information from a mental wellness professional for yourself, a friend or loved one? Are you looking for resources and options within your community to help you manage mental health or face challenges that it may present? Kinjunxion is here to help with sources of support and information.

You are not alone. Connect with others who may be going through the same thing, find professional help and resources near you. The Kinjunxion community is here to help.

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McMaster Children's Hospital - Child and Youth Mental Health Outpatient Service and Home Based Services - Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre, Level 3

Supports children and their families with moderate to severe emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, who have not responded to traditional out-patient services. The staff are Child and Youth workers and Early Childhood Educators, and are part of a large outpatient team, including child psychiatry.

Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services - Hamilton

Offers community-based, office-based, and day treatment programs for children and youth who face emotional, behavioural, and mental health challenges. A wide variety of programs and services for children, teens and adults with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder are offered.

Programs in Hamilton include day treatment at Delta Secondary (HAM2899), day treatment at Hill Park Secondary (HAM0840), ASD Adult Residential Program (HAM0586), ASD Adult SIL Program (HAM2868), ASD Day Supports Program - a Transition to Adulthood group at Woodview Manor (HAM2866), ASD Children and Teen groups and camps and Adult ASD Vocational and Passport services (HAM1428) (HAM2866).

Parents for Children's Mental Health - Family Support Group - Burlington Chapter

Peer to peer support group for parents of children and youth with mental health disorders/illnesses
* provide support, education, and empowerment by linking networks of families, communities, agencies and government

McMaster Children's Hospital - Pediatric Eating Disorders Program - Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre, Level 4

Provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary assessment for all new patients with eating problems on an in-patient, out-patient, day-treatment basis. Families and caregivers are integral to the treatment process. Further information is available from the National Eating Disorders Information Centre at 1-866-NEDIC-20 or www.nedic.ca

McMaster Children's Hospital - Child and Youth Mental Health Program - Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre, Level 3

Provides outpatient, inpatient, day hospital and emergency mental health services for children, youth and families dealing with mental health concerns.
There are two locations - McMaster Children's Hospital and Ron Joyce Children's Health Center.

Joseph Brant Hospital - Community Mental Health Outpatient Services - Burlington - Joseph Brant Community Health Centre (Brant Centre)

Community Mental Health provides a continuum of care from assessment or consultation, to specialized treatment supports for clients with complex and serious mental health disorders.

Child and Adolescent Clinic (CAP)
Provides support to children/youth under the age of 18 years.
* Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist works with Social Worker to assess and provide treatment recommendations on complex cases.

Concurrent Disorders Clinic (Addictions & Mental Illness)
Specialized assessments of clients with co-occurring mental health and addictions disorders.
* psychiatrists work with Social Worker to identify clients who would benefit from longer term individual treatment.
* clinic staff also provide "Health & Hope Group," a 10-week psycho-educational support group for people who experience difficulties with both a mental health issue and substance abuse issue.

Early Intervention in Psychosis (Phoenix)
Regional clinical program provides service to clients 14-40 years of age experiencing a first episode of psychosis.
* jointly managed by Joseph Brant Hospital, Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, North Halton Mental Health Clinic, ADAPT, and the Halton-Peel Schizophrenia Society.
* for more information, see separate listing here

General Psychiatrist Consultation Clinic
Assessment, medication review, and treatment recommendations via a "shared care" model with family physicians.
* follow up appointments provided as necessary for more complex cases to ensure the efficacy of medications prescribed and that the recommended treatment plan is working for the client.

Geriatric Psychiatric Consultation Service
Supports clients aged 65 and older who are residents of Burlington, for more details see separate listing here

Halton Homes (homelessness service)
Provides clinical support to Halton Homes service which targets mental health clients at risk of being homeless and provides both clinical case management and housing supports.
* Ontario Ministry of Health supportive housing initiative, lead agency is Summit Housing and Outreach Program.
* for more information see separate listings here

PACT (Program of Assertive Community Treatment)
Community outreach program of Halton Region, is housed at Joseph Brant serving all Halton residents, see separate listing here

PHAST (Prioritizing Health through Acute Stabilization and Treatment)
Access to mental health and addiction services for individuals 16 and older with mental health and/or addiction concerns who have an urgent need for acute stabilization and intervention
* multidisciplinary model, which includes the services of a registered nurse, addictions specialists, social workers, a child and youth intensive worker, a peer support worker, an occupational therapist, a transitional age youth social worker, a case manager and clerical support
* treatment includes stabilization and referral to social service agency partners through a combination of group and one-on-one sessions for individuals and their families

Treatment Services
Available through referral from a physician:
1. Short Term Treatment
Meets the needs of individuals who are experiencing mental health issues such as mood or anxiety disorders.
* assessment, psychiatric evaluation, treatment planning, skill development and coordination of community resources.
* an average of 12 therapy sessions is offered.
* clinicians also offer treatment via several groups, e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for clients with depression or anxiety.

2. Intensive Case Management
Inter-professional team offers comprehensive outreach services to adult clients and their families.
* addresses the multiple needs of clients with predominantly psychotic or severe mood disorders (eg. bipolar) and focuses on the client's goals and effective community reintegration.

3. Medication Clinic
Operates with both RN and Psychiatrist support for the follow up of primarily a chronic population.
* goals are to facilitate the optimal use of psychotropic medications with a view to prevent/reduce hospitalizations and Emergency Department visits, ensure client stability in the community and support clients in maintaining adequate functioning and an enhanced quality of life.

McMaster Children's Hospital - Child and Youth Mental Health Inpatient Service

An inpatient unit for children and youth who require intensive mental health services.

McMaster Children's Hospital - Specialized Developmental and Behavioural Services - Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre, Level 3

Provides assessment, consultation, and treatment services to children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. SDBS also provides support to families with preschoolers with behavioural and/or emotional challenges.

Parents for Children's Mental Health - Hamilton Chapter

Provides support, education, and empowerment to parents and families of children and youth who face mental health challenges. Local chapter of a provincial, family-led organization.

Parents for Children's Mental Health - Family Support Group - Oakville Chapter

Provincial, family-led, non-profit organization that provides a voice for families who face the challenges of child and youth mental health issues * provide support, education, and empowerment by linking networks of families, communities, agencies and government


Services include:
  • peer to peer assistance and support
  • link families to important networks within their communities
  • help families access important resources

Nelson Youth Centres

Major services:
Children's After School Treatment Program: (for ages 6-14)
* group therapy based
* Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Georgetown
* focuses on self regulation, emotional regulation, social competences and managing peer conflict
* children/youth may have a diagnosis of ADHD, Anxiety, and/or Learning Disability
* attend once a week for a twelve week session

Family Support Program:
* parent support group offered in conjunction with the After School Treatment Program
* focuses on effective parenting strategies, promoting positive behaviours and parent child relationships

Half Day Intensive Program: (for ages 7-13)
* for children with severe social/emotional issues struggling to stay in school
* one half day a week during school year
* focuses on development of effective social/emotional skills and learning strategies that enable them to maintain their school placement and function effectively in the home and community

Individual and Family Counselling:
* various counselling formats focusing on effective parenting, family functioning and emotional/behavioural difficulties experienced by the child in the home, school and community

Reconnecting Youth:: (for ages 12-17)
* community based treatment program for youth
* enhances effective community involvement and life skills
* addresses issues such as emotional regulation; mood disorders; social competencies and peer conflict
* individual and family therapy

Saturday Social Skills Program: (for ages 8-12)
* for children with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder
* operates four times a year, eight week sessions
* teaches essential interpersonal and communication skills
* interactive group recreational programming

McMaster Children's Hospital - Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Registration Office - Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre, Level 3

Provides a central referral point to all programs and services. Parents, teens, and professionals in the community may call to inquire about programs and services.