Learn More About Child and Youth Mental Health

The contents below contain family-friendly resources that offer in-depth information on general and specific topics in mental health.

All resources displayed on this website are for informational purposes only. Treatment advice, including assessment, should only be provided and/or performed by trained professionals.

Promoting Mental Well-Being

Happy and Healthy Kids

SickKids' Happy and Healthy Initiative examines the mental health issues facing children and families today and provides tipsheets on how to foster happy and healthy environments where children can learn and grow.

Tip Sheets (HTML)

Being Prepared: Knowing when to seek help for your child

A list of warning signs in younger children, pre-adolescents, and adolescents. Part of a series called Facts for Families.

Washington, DC, United States: The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry(July, 2004)

Factsheet (HTML, 2 pages)

Mental Health Disorders: Ideas for Families

When Something's Wrong: Ideas for Families

When Something’s Wrong: Ideas for Families was designed by Canadian Pyschiatric Research Foundation to give parents, caregivers or other family members useful strategies to cope with and assist children and youth with mood, behaviour, or thinking difficulties (e.g., social withdrawal, disorganized thinking, hostility, aggression, agitation). This handbook is useful on three levels: 1. It can help reassure you that your child’s behaviour is normal for his/her age and stage of development; 2. It can assist you in knowing when to seek help or extra support; and 3. If your child has already been diagnosed with one of these conditions, it can suggest many practical and useful coping strategies and direct you to resources and supports in your community.

Toronto/ON, Canada: Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation(2004)

Managing Problem Behaviour in Children (PDF, 12 pages)
Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders (PDF, 35 pages)
Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders (PDF, 12 pages)
Borderline Personality Disorder (PDF, 10 pages)
Eating Disorders (PDF, 11 pages)
Impulse Control Disorders (PDF, 20 pages)
Mood Disorders (PDF, 15 pages)
Schizophrenia (PDF, 11 pages)
Suicide (PDF, 10 pages)
Tourette Syndrome (PDF)
Working with Your Health Practitioner (PDF, 12 pages)
Resources (PDF, 11 pages)

Mental Health Disorders: Overview

A-Z Disorder Guide

A collection of articles covering the full range of disorders and conditions affecting children and youth. These articles are published on the AboutOurKids website.

New York, NY, United States: New York University Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine.

The Guide (HTML, 1 page)

Mental Disorders in Children and Youth

A three-page fact sheet about the most common mental health disorders in children and youth; it offers current statistical information on these disorders. Found on the HereToHelp.bc.ca website.

British Columbia, Canada: BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information(2006)

Mental Disorders in Children and Youth (PDF, 4 pages)
Troubles mentaux chez les enfants et les jeunes (PDF, 4 pages)

Taking Care: Child and youth mental health

The Knowledge Network, in partnership with the BC government and the Mental Health and Community Consultation Unit, produced 4 documentaries on child and youth mental health. Through personal stories of young people, and interviews with parents and experts, these documentaries outline the early signs, symptoms and treatment of four mental disorders. Can be viewed online, and are available in DVD/VHS from the National Film Board of Canada.
  • Beyond the Blues: Child and Youth Depression (2004)
  • Fighting Their Fears: Child and Youth Anxiety (2004)
  • Map of Mind Fields: Managing Adolescent Psychosis (2004)
  • Struggle for Control: Child and Youth Behaviour Disorders (2005)

Bartlett, S., Kuzmickas, N., LeRose M., & Wood, M. British Columbia, Canada: Knowledge Network(2004 - 2005)

Online Videos (Flash & Shockwave, system req: hi-speed, flash, acrobat reader)

Youth and Mental Illness

A two-page brochure that provides an easy-to-understand introduction to children's mental health, including myths and facts.

Davidson, S. & Manion, I. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

Brochure (HTML, 2 pages)

Booklists

These book lists were developed by the Family Resource Centre at McMaster Children's Hospital with feedback from parents, children and clinicians. The resources on these lists can help parents understand more about a variety of childhood problems, and what treatments or interventions are effective.

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: Family Resource Centre, McMaster Children's Hospital.

Link to Booklists (HTML, 1 page)

Anxiety Disorders

About Anxiety Disorders

Topics include: Real Life Stories. What are the symptoms? Who is likely to have it? Why does it happen? How is it treated?

Goodman, R. & Gurian, A. New York, NY, United States: New York University Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine.

Article (HTML, 4 pages)

Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada

General site on anxiety disorders with some information specific to childhood anxiety.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Link to Site (HTML)

Anxiety Booklist

List of popular books and web resources related to anxiety problems in children and youth. The selection is based on parent and child feedback, and from on-going reviews at the Family Resource Centre. In conjunction with McMaster Children's Hospital and the Offord Centre for Child Studies.

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: McMaster Children's Hospital(2004)

Booklist (PDF, 1 page)

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)

About Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Topics include: Real life stories, What are the symptoms?, Who is likely to have it?, Why does it happen?, How is it treated?

Verduin, T. New York, NY, United States: New York University Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine.

Article (HTML, 5 pages)

Attention Deficit Disorders

A discussion of the effects of ADD and ADHD on children and their families.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Mental Health Association.

Article (HTML, 2 pages)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A detailed booklet that describes the symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping.

National Institute of Mental Health. Bethesda, Maryland, United States: National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services(2006)

Booklet (HTML, 18 pages)
Booklet (PDF, 28 pages)

Attention Problems Booklist

List of popular books and web resources related to attention problems in children and youth. The selection is based on parent and child feedback, and from on-going reviews at the Family Resource Centre. In conjunction with McMaster Children's Hospital and the Offord Centre for Child Studies.

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: McMaster Children's Hospital(2004)

Booklist (PDF, 1 page)

Autism (Spectrum Disorders)

Autism Spectrum Disorders

A brief overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders compiled by Autism Ontario

Overview (HTML)

Behaviour Disorders (Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Conduct Disorder (CD)

About Conduct Disorder

Topics include: Real Life Stories. What are the symptoms? Who is likely to have it? Why does it happen? How is it treated?

Goodman, R. & Gurian, A. New York, NY, United States: New York University Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine.

Article (HTML, 4 pages)

Conduct Disorder

Part of the Facts for Families series developed by The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Washington, DC, United States: The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry(July, 2004)

Factsheet (PDF, 3 pages)

Behaviour Problems Booklist

List of popular books and web resources related to behavior problems in children and youth. The selection is based on parent and child feedback, and from on-going reviews at the Family Resource Centre.

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: McMaster Children's Hospital(2004)

Booklist (PDF, 1 page)

Eating Disorders

Eating Problems in Children and Adolescents

A plain-language summary of current and relevant research from around the world as it relates to Eating Problems in Children and Adolescents. Specifically designed for parents.

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: Centre of Knowledge on Healthy Child Development, Offord Centre for Child Studies(2010)

Pamphlet (PDF, 2 pages)
Pamphlet (PDF, 2 pages)
in Punjabi (PDF, 2 pages)

About Eating Disorders

Topics include: Real Life Stories. What are the symptoms? Who is likely to have it? Why does it happen? How is it treated?

Goodman, R. & Gurian, A. New York, NY, United States: New York University Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine.

Article (HTML, 4 pages)

Mood Disorders (Depression, Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression))

About Depressive Disorders

Topics include: Real Life Stories. What are the symptoms? Who is likely to have it? Why does it happen? How is it treated?

Gurian, A. New York, NY, United States: New York University Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine.

Article (HTML, 5 pages)

Fact Sheets about Mood Disorders

What you need to know about various mood disorders, prepared by the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario.Fact sheets (HTML)

Mood Problems and Depression Booklist

List of popular books and web resources related to mood problems and depression in children and youth. The selection is based on parent and child feedback, and from on-going reviews at the Family Resource Centre.

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: McMaster Children's Hospital(2004)

Booklist (PDF, 1 page)

About Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

Presents a comprehensive overview of manic-depression in young people; including a discussion of the role of genetics, an historical perspective, and its relationship to substance abuse and addiction.

United States : The Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation.

Article (HTML, 9 pages)

Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Illness)

Topics include: Real life stories. What are the symptoms? Who is likely to have it? Why does it happen? How is it treated?

Goodman, R. & Gurian, A. New York, NY, United States: New York University Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine.

Article (HTML, 4 pages)

Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depressive Illness) in Teens

Part of the Facts for Families series developed by The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Washington, DC, United States: The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry(July, 2004)

Factsheet (PDF, 2 pages)

Schizophrenia

What is is Schizophrenia

Learn more about schizophrenia from The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario.

Learn More (HTML)

Schizophrenia In Children

Part of the Facts for Families series developed by The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Washington, DC, Canada: The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry(Nov, 2004)

Factsheet (PDF, 2 pages)

Youth and Psychosis: What parents should know...

Discusses the signs of psychosis, what parents can do to help, and treatment outcomes.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Youth and Mental Illness: Early Intervention Project, Canadian Mental Health Association(March, 2007)

Pamphlet (PDF, 2 pages)
Link to webpage (HTML, 1 page)

Substance Abuse

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

A guide to understanding, preventing, identifying and addressing mental health and substance abuse issues in youth by the Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse and The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.

Topic Summary (PDF)

Substance Abuse Treatment

Information about the types of available services in Toronto and across the province prepared by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Online Pamphlet (HTML)

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome

Resources on Tourette Syndrome prepared by the Tourette Syndrome Association of Ontario.

Resources and Information (HTML)

Finding Services/Navigating the System

Find a Centre Near You

Find an accredited Children's Mental Health Centre in your community using Children's Mental Health Ontarios Find a Centre tool.

Find a Centre

Children's Mental Health Resource Guide

Parents for Children's Mental Health (PCMH) in Waterloo Region has, with community support, assembled a Resource Guide aimed at helping parents navigate the system and learn advocacy tools to help their child to succeed. The guide is written in the parent voice, by people who have experienced first-hand what it means to raise a special needs child with mental health concerns in Waterloo Region. Although many of the listings here are regional, similar services do exist in other regions of the country. The key is knowing what is available and what to ask for!

Waterloo/ON, Canada: PCMH - Waterloo Region(2010)

The Guide (web-based version) (HTML)
The Guide (PDF version) (PDF, 210 pages)

Child and Youth Mental Health Information Network Information Flyers: Family Friendly Information about Child and Youth Mental Health

These downloadable handouts provide practical, evidence-informed information about child and youth mental health. They are specifically written for families; but health (and school) professionals will find them helpful as well.

Canada : Child and Youth Mental Health Information Network (CYMHIN)(May, 2009)

Answers to Your Questions About Getting Help (PDF, 2 pages)

This fact sheet provides information about: the first steps to getting help, who provides services and at what cost, how to connect with the school, and much more.

What You Can Expect From A Mental Health Professional (PDF, 2 pages)

This fact sheet describes what you can expect to happen when you contact and child and youth mental health service - from intake to treatment.

Challenges & Choices: Finding Mental Health Services in Ontario

This guide is written in plain language and directed to clients and families who are looking for mental health services in Ontario. You could be looking for services for yourself, a family member, partner or friend. Or you could be a health care provider who wants to help clients and families find out about different services and how to use them.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health(2003)

Services at different life stages: Services for children and youth (HTML)

Chapter 5 - page 43


For Parents and Families