For many children, childhood and adolescence can be intense and difficult to navigate.
Young people, already coping with developing brains and personalities, often find themselves manoeuvring through challenges in relationships, family dynamics and, in some cases, trauma.
These pressures can take a toll on mental health, leading to anxiety issues, compulsions, substance use problems and depression. For those children living with severe mental illness, many life changes and triggers could lead to distress.
Each year, BC Children’s Hospital, the province’s only pediatric acute-care hospital, meets the needs of children and adolescents with existing and emerging mental health problems.
In 2014 alone, the hospital’s Mental Health Outpatient Program received 14,236 visits. That same year, 1,063 children and youth visited the Emergency Department with mental health concerns. BC Children’s Hospital meets this growing need for mental health care by conducting assessments, providing outpatient services and running inpatient programs.
Resources such as the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre and the popular website, mindcheck.ca, provide mental health information, resources, and support to children, youth and families across the province.
Mindcheck.ca is an attractive, interactive website focused on early intervention. It’s designed to help young people become aware of changes in their thoughts, feelings and behaviours that may indicate possible emerging mental health challenges, and to take action to prevent them from becoming more serious.
The site has a wide reach. In 2014, mindcheck.ca received 98,792 visits and the resources available on the website (self-help guides and apps, worksheets, self-assessments and games) were downloaded 3,169 times for the benefit of young people in 168 countries.
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