It can be difficult to know who to talk to or where to get help when you are worried about your child. Perhaps their behaviour has changed in the past while, and they don't seem like their typical selves. They might seem more withdrawn, moody, anxious or fearful than usual. Where do you even begin? Is this something that will pass, or should you seek out help?
BC Children’s Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre is here to help you as you support your child. By reading this, you’ve already started this process.
We know that every child and every situation is different. Here are a few options to help you and your family learn about what may be going on for your child, and options for next steps:
- Learn about different mental health and substance challenges and disorders. What are they? How can you know if your child might be experiencing this challenge? What can be done?
Mental health challenges and disorders have many different signs and symptoms and can look different in different people. They can impact how a person thinks, feels and behaves. Some common symptoms of a mental health challenge or disorder are: changes in mood; changes in the way you perceive things; obsessions; fears; and feelings of anxiety. Visit the Challenges and Disorders section for more information.
- Contact us at the Kelty Centre. We have trained parent and youth peer support workers who have lived experience with mental health challenges personally or in their families. They offer non-judgmental, compassionate support. In addition, we can also help explain different options for treatment and support, and send you a customized list of resources and tools.
- Watch the two videos in the 'Featured Resources' section below.
- Part 1: Where can Families Start? explains the mental health system in BC, and suggests different types of health professionals your family can connect with.
- Part 2: What can Families expect Along the Way? describes what you can expect when meeting a mental health professional for the first time, and how to prepare for this meeting.
- If your child is a youth or young adult, encourage them to check out the Foundry website. Foundry has information for young people on different mental health challenges, self-checks, tips, apps and tools, resources, and stories from other young people.
It’s important to remember that mental health challenges and disorders can be treated effectively. When children and youth are connected to the right services and supports, they can go on to live full and meaningful lives. Remember to trust your instincts, and connect with help if you feel your child needs it.