Orientation to Child

New youth mental health reference guide now available

Guide written for families who are dealing with mental health issues within their homes

  • Dec. 6, 2016 5:00 p.m.

Terry Farrell

Record staff

 

 

A reference guide for families seeking help in addressing youth mental health issues in the Comox Valley and Campbell River areas has been updated and is now available.

The second edition of Orientation to Child, Youth & Family Mental Health And Substance Use Services is being distributed to doctors, schools and youth service providers throughout the respective communities. (The first edition of the guide was published in 2014.)

Colleen Clark, parent-in-residence for the Comox Valley & Campbell River chapter of Families Organized for Recognition and Care Equality (FORCE), said the guide plays an important role in assisting families who are dealing with mental health issues within their homes.

The guide is a result of an inquest following the death of Hayden Kozeletski, a Campbell River teen who took her own life in December of 2010.

“One of the recommendations from the jury was that an orientation guide similar to the one that existed in Victoria be created for the Comox Valley and Campbell River,” said Clark. “The guide is written in layman’s terms, so the families can understand the terminology… written by families, for families, to help them navigate the mental health system. It’s also there to help them understand what mental health is, and what different types of mental health challenges exist for their kids.”

The guide has listings to various crisis lines, including the Native Youth Crisis Hotline, and the Kids Help Phone. It also provides families with overviews of a variety of mental health issues, such as depression, self harm, eating disorders and personality disorders.

“A lot of what we are trying to do here is reach the parents of the younger kids, so they can educate themselves as to what to look out for, whether it be kids of pre-school or toddler age, or when they make their way into teenage years,” said Clark.

In addition to tips on what to watch for in your child’s behaviour, the guide also offers steps to take to address the situations.

“It helps parents navigate services through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, as well as Island Health, and the provincial services that exist, and all the smaller service providers that are in our community are also listed,” said Clark. “The child mental health system is made up of so many different systems – even the education system – because there are so many education options now for our kids.

“We will be doing a launch into the community starting (this) week, so they can ask their GP about it, or any service providers they are linked up to; they can ask the ministry; if they are in School District 71 they can talk to their school counsellor about getting a copy, or they can contact me.”

Clark’s phone number is 1-855-887-8004.

The guide is also available online, in pdf form, at http://bit.ly/2h3MZ9t

The guide was funded by Island Health.

The Comox Valley local action team, made up of doctors, service providers, parents and youth, also contributed a significant amount of money to fund more copies of the guide.

“Because of that, we are able to get hundreds of more copies into the community,” said Clark.

She noted efforts to erase the stigma surrounding mental health are ongoing.

“We do have a long ways to go in erasing the stigma, but I have been involved for the last four years and I have seen a bit of a change, so there’s a lot of hope,” she said. “A lot of families won’t reach out, because of the stigma, and the shame that they feel goes with that; the blaming that parents sometimes receive. So a lot of education has to happen, just with the public in general.”

 

Just Posted

Elizabeth May juggles Island tour to make stop in Comox

Green leader takes exception to latest tactics from the NDP over minority government question

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to campaign in Port Alberni

Singh joins Courtenay-Alberni candidate for rally to kick off final weekend before election

Comox Valley Regional District agrees to Union Bay governance study

Process will consider whether community should convert services to the region

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read