We have a range of mental health services for children, youth, and caregivers, providing short-term to long-term support. If you are concerned, talk to us. No problem is too small or too large – we will work with you and your family to find a path forward.
Note: If this is a mental health crisis or if you have concerns that a child or youth is at risk of harm please call DCAFS directly at 519-941-1530 or call 911.
Research has shown that early intervention is critical to providing a hopeful and healthy future for children and youth, as well as their families, their school, other kids, and the community.
Every child/youth’s mental health is important. Through care and working together, we can build healthy minds, healthy lives, and healthy communities.
- 1-in-5 kids in Ontario struggles with their mental health,
- Suicide is the second most common cause of death in teens… (the first is accidental)
- There is no shame in having a mental health issue and no blame.
Although a child or youth who’s depressed, angry, or anxious may feel isolated and/or alone, the problem can affect more people than most of us realize. These problems can be painful, serious, and very real.
Mental Health difficulties can happen to any young person, regardless of age or circumstances. Left untreated, kids in distress can turn to drugs/alcohol, become suicidal, drop out of school, become violent or withdraw into silence and isolation.
Possible Signs & Symptoms Of A Mental Health Issue
The way a child/youth acts or behaves may be a sign that he/she has a mental health concern. Ask yourself if the child/youth’s behaviour is unusually intense; whether they have been acting like this for a while; whether the behaviour is age appropriate; and if the child/youth’s behaviour is having a negative impact on the family or at school. It is important to take the signs seriously and seek help quickly.
Signs to look for:
- Poorer grades and performance at school
- Avoidance of family or friends
- Frequent outbursts of anger or rage
- Loss of appetite, excessive or binge eating
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Rebelling against authority at home, school and/or work
- Alcohol consumption and/or other substance use
- Disinterest in doing things they used to enjoy
- Damaging other people’s property
- Consistent excessive worrying or feeling paranoid
- No longer taking care of their appearance
- Obsession with weight, noticeable rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of energy and motivation
- Bullying others
- Being victimized by a bully
- Self-harming behaviour including visible marks such as cuts
- Addictive behaviours such as gaming
- Getting sick frequently, especially during exams/competition