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When can my child be referred to BC Children’s Hospital?

Based in Vancouver, BC Children’s Hospital provides specialized care for children, youth and their families who live in BC and the Yukon.

The Mental Health Services are for children and youth with complex mental health and substance use concerns. Often these are young people who have accessed and not responded to treatment programs and services in their community, and need more extensive care and specialized services.

These services provide mental health assessment, medication review, and short term treatment. This includes outpatient services (come to the hospital for appointments) and inpatient services (stay at the hospital). Visit the BC Children’s Hospital website for more information.

Services are for children and youth up to and including age 18. But please note that BC Children’s Hospital emergency department (and the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Emergency Unit) are for ages 16 years and younger.


To access mental health services, you need a referral from a health care provider such as your child's family doctor (GP), pediatrician, or a community CYMH mental health clinician. They can find information about referring patients on the website.

If your doctor is unsure about whether or not to refer, they can contact the Compass Line for advice and support for ages up to 25. This line is for medical professionals only, do not call the Compass Line yourself. Some families find it helpful to print this handout and share it with their doctor in case they are unfamiliar with CompassBC.

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