It can be overwhelming when a child or youth is experiencing mental health challenges. Often it is difficult to know who to talk to or where to get help. It is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources and places to find support.
Here are a few options to help your family learn about what may be going on for your child, and where to start when you are looking for treatment and support options.
1. Reach out for help
Reaching out for help is key to supporting your child. To help you better understand who you can reach out to and what to expect when you do, watch our two videos below.
Part 1: Where can Families Start? Supporting Children & Youth with Mental Health Challenges
This video describes B.C.’s mental health system and describes four different health professionals families can connect with if they are concerned about their child or youth's mental health.
Part 2: What can Families expect Along the Way? Supporting Children & Youth with Mental Health Challenges
This video describes what families can expect when they meet with a health professional about their child’s mental health for the first time, and how to prepare themselves and their child for that first meeting.
For more information on accessing mental health supports and services in BC, you can also try out our new Ask Kelty Mental Health tool. Simply type in your question to the tool, and see answers to questions families have when looking for support options for their child. This includes suggestions for common challenges like "what can I do while my child is on a waitlist?"
2. Talk to your child about what’s going on, and learn more about different mental health and substance use challenges and disorders
Mental health challenges and disorders have many different signs and symptoms and can look different for each child or youth. They can impact how a person thinks, feels and behaves.
Learn about some common signs and symptoms you might notice, as well as about different challenges and disorders and what you can do.
If you have an older child, youth, or young adult, here are some for tips for parents and caregivers on talking to your youth about mental health, as well as where to go for resources for youth. Find more tips here for starting a conversation with children.
3. Connect with us at the Kelty Centre
We have parent peer support workers who have lived experience with mental health challenges in their families. They offer non-judgmental, compassionate peer support, and can also help walk you through these different support options.
It’s important to remember that mental health challenges and disorders can be treated effectively. Connecting children and youth to services that can help support their mental well-being is important. Remember to trust your instincts, and connect with help if you feel your child needs it.