May 2 – 6, 2016 is Children’s Mental Health Week, a national annual campaign that aims to raise awareness about child and youth mental health challenges and promote an understanding that help is available and treatment works. In the lead up to this year’s campaign, staff at Peel Children’s Centre worked together to engage clients and staff to develop resources that are relevant and helpful to the children, youth and families in our community. The following blog was written in response to the feedback we received from our colleagues and our clients, and we hope it helps. You can also download a printable version of the blog via the link at the bottom of this page.
Are you feeling sad, lonely, upset or overwhelmed? You may not realize it, but the help you need may be closer than you think. Here is a list of people and organizations who can support you during difficult times in your life.
Family & Friends
Talk to a family member or friend who you trust and share your feelings with them. This could be your parents, your grandparents or aunt or uncle, your brother or sister, or a friend at school. Talking to people who are close to you can help you feel safe and supported.
Teachers, guidance counsellors, classroom support workers and your school’s social worker are specially trained to support students when they need help. They will listen to your concerns and help connect you to other forms of support within your school and in your community, like Peel Children’s Centre. If you don’t know how to find your school guidance counsellor or social worker, ask a teacher you trust for help.
There are many different kinds of counsellors. Your pastor, rabbi or other religious leader can give you guidance if you go to them with a concern. You can also talk to a counsellor who is specially trained to work with children and youth. If you want to meet with a child and youth counsellor, you can contact Mental Health Services for Children & Youth (Centralized Intake) by calling 905-451-4655 to set up an appointment. If you are older than 12 years old, you don’t need your parents’ permission to ask for an appointment.
Share your worries with your doctor. If it helps, bring someone along for support. Your doctor can rule out causes for symptoms, refer you to other services, like a psychiatrist, or prescribe medication that may be helpful.
Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone (KHP) is a free phone counselling service for children and youth, up to age 20, that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also offer counselling online via a chat service that is available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. This is a free and anonymous service, which means you don’t have to tell them your name. Call 1-800-668-6868 or visit www.kidshelpphone.ca to talk to a KHP counsellor.
Nexus Youth Centre
If you are between the ages of 14-24, you can go to the Nexus Youth Centre to talk to a Child & Youth Worker and other youth your own age who can help. This is a free drop-in space for youth so you don’t need to make an appointment first. The Nexus Youth Centre is located on the second floor of the Mississauga Central Library, across from Square One (301 Burnhamthorpe Road West, Mississauga). For more information, visit www.nexusyouth.ca or call 905-566-1883.
Crisis Response Service
Peel Children’s Centre offers a Crisis Response Service for children and youth under 18 that is available any time of the day or night, every day of the year. If you are in trouble and need to talk to someone right away, you can call 416-410-8615 to talk to a Crisis Worker. If you are over 18, you can call CMHA Peel’s Crisis Support Line at 905-278-9036. These services are free and confidential.
Tangerine Walk-In Counselling
You don’t need to book an appointment to visit Tangerine Walk-In Counselling, you just show up. This service is offered 3 days a week at several locations in Mississauga and Brampton. Some locations serve youth up to age 18 and others serve youth up to age 21. Visit www.tangerinewalkin.com for more information about hours and locations. This service is free and confidential.