Mississauga – The first full week of May is Children’s Mental Health Week, a time when children’s mental health agencies and professionals shine a spotlight on the successful, high quality treatments that are available to help the 1 in 5 children and youth who have a mental health disorder.
Signs that a child or youth has a mental health issue may include: worrying constantly, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, not doing things the child used to enjoy, lacking energy or motivation, disruptive behaviour, falling grades at school, frequent outbursts of anger, hurting oneself or others, property damage, obsession with weight, frequent mood swings, drinking alcohol/using drugs, and more. If these characteristics are inappropriate for the child’s age, last a long time, are intense, and/or interfere with the child’s and family’s life, mental health treatment may be needed.
For Peel residents, Peel Children’s Centre and Nexus Youth Services help over 5,050 children, youth and their families each year with a range of programs such as counselling, crisis support, a youth drop-in centre, community outreach, day treatment in schools, and residential treatment. The age ranges served are 17 and under for Peel Children’s Centre and 12–24 for Nexus Youth Services.
“Our agencies work with children, youth and their families in a respectful manner, building on their strengths and creating treatments that are specific to their unique needs,” said Humphrey Mitchell, Executive Director of Nexus Youth Services and Peel Children’s Centre. “All services are free of charge and we are committed to removing barriers to treatment – for instance, by meeting with clients in their home or the community, coordinating with other service providers, using language interpreters, and providing child care during appointments at Peel Children’s Centre.”
Both agencies recently completed accreditation through Children’s Mental Health Ontario with a score of 98.6%, ensuring that they meet strict standards for quality and accountability.
“Being accredited every four years is part of our commitment to continuous quality improvement so that we provide high quality services for the children, youth and families that we serve,” Mitchell said. “We also measure the outcomes of our treatments to ensure that they are effective.”
Mitchell encourages children, youth and families to call Centralized Intake Services, which provides access to four agencies in Peel Region: Associated Youth Services of Peel, Nexus Youth Services, Peel Children’s Centre and Trillium Health Centre – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. “Just call 905-451-4655 and an Intake Worker will help determine which service can best meet your needs,” said Mitchell. “Youth over the age of 12 can make the call themselves.”
Peel Children’s Centre also provides a 24/7/365 mobile Crisis Response Service at 416-410-8615. This phone number is toll-free from anywhere in Peel Region. The Crisis line supports children and youth as well as their parents or other caregivers.
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