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Thursday, December 5, 2019
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Tips & Training

Resources to help support teen mental health

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According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, an estimated 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness, but less than 20% will receive appropriate treatment. Teachers, guidance counsellors and parents are on the front lines of this mental-health crisis, but are not always equipped to deal with it. The following resources are not intended to replace help from a trained mental health professional, but may be useful to teens experiencing mental-health issues or those who work with them.

If you or someone you know needs help now, you can call (1-833-456-4566) or text (45645) Crisis Services Canada. You can also reach a trained crisis responder by texting, live chatting or calling Kids Help Phone.

Anxiety Canada

Anxiety Canada’s “Anxiety in Youth” page is geared toward youth, aiming to help them identify if they are experiencing anxiety, when it becomes problematic, healthy habits that can combat anxiety, common anxiety-related issues and more.

Canadian Mental Health Association

Information on finding help, programs and services, assessing your mental health, peer support and more. Its page on mental health and wellness services for indigenous children and youth may also be useful to professionals working in career development.

Career Services Guide: Supporting People Affected by Mental Health Issues (CERIC)

When properly trained, career service workers play a critical role in helping clients to meet their full employment potential. This CERIC-supported Career Services Guide, available for free online, offers a new lens for understanding people affected by mental illness and practical strategies for engaging them in supportive ways.

Child and youth mental health resources (Fraser Health)

Mental-health self-care tools and resources for children, youth and parents, including tip sheets, booklets and mental health apps for teens.

FamilySmart – Youth & Young Adults

FamilySmart has Parents In Residence (PiR) and Youth In Residence (YiR) with lived experience of mental/health and/or substance use challenges, whom families and youth in BC can connect with. They provide provide peer support, mentoring, system navigation and access to information, resources, networks and education.

Foundry

Foundry offers information, self-checks, tips, apps and tools, resources and stories from other young people related to anxiety, body image and eating, low mood and depression, questioning reality and stress.

HeretoHelp

HeretoHelp shares information about mental health and substance use. It has many resources related to younger people, including this info sheet to help youth learn about and recognize the signs of depression, a guide for parents and youth on resilience, what parents can expect from their child’s school if they are experiencing mental health challenges and personal stories, such as this guidance counsellor’s story about student self-injury and recovery.

Island Health

This Vancouver Island-based organization also has useful resources online, including these guidelines on how to help your teenager keep a healthy mind. This resource aims to help parents contextualize their teen’s behaviour and respond in constructive ways.

TeenMentalHealth.org

Extensive resources related to teen mental health. People working in K-12 might be interested in the “The Mental Health and High School Curriculum Guide,” an evidence-based Canadian mental health literacy curriculum resource designed for use in schools (grades 7-10). TeenMentalHealth.org’s “Learn” section provides information on mental disorders, brain injury, sleep, cannabis and much more, while its “Live” section shares stories and aims to tackle stigma. Resources are available for people supporting a teen with a mental illness, including friends, parents and educators.

Teen Mental Health Toolkit (Healthy Child Manitoba)

While some of these tools are intended for use by trained mental health professionals, the information provided about various teen mental-health issues are relevant to anyone working with this age group. It also includes resources and services.

TeenWork (University of Victoria)

TeenWork is an innovative youth employment program from CanAssist at the University of Victoria. The program is designed to help youth with disabilities and mental health challenges find and retain meaningful, part-time paid employment while attending high school.

Workshop curriculum package for employment specialists (Youth Employment Services)

This package provides resources and tools for employment specialists who are looking to expand their programming and adapt their practices to better serve youth with mental health issues – covering topics such as: basic mental health, how to best adapt employment service practices to fit the needs of youth living with mental illness and how to prepare youth living with mental-health issues for new employment.

Youth peer support in a mental health context (Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health)

Among the findings of this report:

  • Peer support is a term that encompasses many different practices and programs with varying degrees of involvement and support.
  • The benefits of peer support are still not well known, especially within youth peer support in child and youth mental health. The practice is promising but there is a scarcity of literature examining its effectiveness.
  • There are a number of key considerations one should make when implementing a youth peer support program such as becoming aware of stigma, providing a welcoming environment and ensuring adequate support for peer support workers.
Additional reading:

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Lindsay Purchase Administrator
Lindsay Purchase oversees CERIC’s tri-annual magazine, Careering, and the CareerWise website, along with the CareerWise Weekly newsletter. She has a background in journalism, having worked previously as a digital editor and reporter. Lindsay is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Studies program.
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Lindsay Purchase Administrator
Lindsay Purchase oversees CERIC’s tri-annual magazine, Careering, and the CareerWise website, along with the CareerWise Weekly newsletter. She has a background in journalism, having worked previously as a digital editor and reporter. Lindsay is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Studies program.
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