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Mental Health Resources

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Mental Health a Priority at the OCDSB


Mental health has been a priority for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board for many years. A variety of programs dealing with mental health have been taught in our schools. These programs include the curriculum centered topics, or programs like Friends, Best Buddies, ASIST, SafeTALK, addictions and counseling to name a few. The district also has specialized staff trained to deal with issues of gender, safety, suicide prevention, grief and family matters. Psychologists, Social Workers, Guidance Counselors and Child and Youth workers support the needs of our students, along with their teachers and principals.


Since 2008, our district has had a mental health framework which deals with promotion, prevention, early intervention and crisis prevention. Staff continues to be trained on suicide prevention using ASIST and SafeTALK training and many other issues like resilience, anxiety and psychosis throughout the year.


The OCDSB has two formal protocols in place to liaise quickly with community partners when a student is experiencing a mental health crisis.  The OCDSB also has many external partnership agreements with community agencies to augment mental health supports for students.


As part of our strategic plan, a new mental health framework has been developed to assist all partners, students, parents, staff and community in understanding how our district will address mental health. Learn more by reading: Toward an Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Mental Health Framework


This website has a variety of resources, as do our schools to assist parents and students.  While our district informs regarding these websites, articles and opportunities, there is no endorsement of a particular program or service. The website is regularly updated to reflect the information that staff feel would be of most support to our families.



Ontario 211 is a free, confidential and easy-to-use website and hotline that connects Ontarians with reliable information on local community and social services in more than 150 languages. By dialling 2-1-1, callers reach a certified information and referral specialist who provides accurate information to help connect people to services and a wide variety of local support programs. - Improving Mental Health Services for Children and Youth - The Crossroads Children's Centre works with children and their families struggling with severe emotional, behavioural, and social difficulties.  This is accomplished through a wide range of services and targets children up to the age of twelve. - The Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa serves youth aged 12 and older.  They focus on youth with difficulties affecting their physical and/or emotional well-being and development, and support youth in making positive health and lifestyle decisions.  They offer programs and services in the areas of mental health, employment, youth justice, housing and more. - Youth Net/Reseau Ado Ottawa is a bilingual regional mental health promotion and intervention program run by youth, for youth (based on CHEO).  One of their main objectives is to help youth develop healthy coping strategies for stress, which they do through various recreational activities described on the website. - This is the website of the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO. Among other resources, the Centre is piloting Med Ed, an innovative, youth friendly resource that contains information about medicines used in the treatment of mental disorders. This tool was created to help youth and their caregivers exchange information about medication so they can make informed decisions about treatment. - Hosted by the Centre of Excellence, this is an interactive health and mental health literacy program for youth, parents and teachers.  It gives youth reliable information in a variety of formats while providing schools with timely information about students' health and mental health needs.  Users must create an account. - An easy to navigate directory of hundreds of services and resources in the Ottawa area (services in other geographic areas are also accessible.  Also features an extensive mental health library. - The Child and Youth Mental Health Network site is dedicated to finding ways to enhance and transform the Children's Mental Health System in the Ottawa region using a System of Care approach. - The Child and Youth Mental Heath Information Network works collaboratively to produce and disseminate high-quality, evidence based information about child and youth mental health problems that informs and educates young people, their families, mental health professionals, etc. -The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health site offers extensive resources, including many specifically for teachers and schools.  Parent and family resource materials are also available.  There are online tutorials and listings of other professional development opportunities. - The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario develops and provides public policy advice that promotes mental health and improves the lives of people living with mental illness.  The site includes an extensive set of fact sheets, including some specific to children, youth and parenting. - This is the Children's Mental Health Ontario site.  They represent and support the providers of child and youth mental health treatment services throughout Ontario.  The "Resources" section includes some tools for teachers and parents. - A gateway to information on comprehensive school health and health promoting schools.  Provides links to research, reports, how-to manuals, planning& assessment tools, lesson plans etc. - Mindyourmind is a non-profit mental health engagement program that works with youth, emerging adults and the professionals who serve them to develop reliable and relevant resources and communication platforms to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and increase access and use of community support.  mindyourmind inspires youth to reach out, get help and give help. - The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a non-profit organization created to focus national attention on mental health issues and to work to improve the health and social outcomes of people living with mental illness.  The MHCC recently launched a major Anti-stigma / Anti-discrimination campaign to reduce the stigma of mental health in Canada. - Part of the Massachusetts General Hospital website, this site was created for - and by- parents, educators, and clinicians working together to support children and teens with mental health conditions.  It offers specific resources for young people with depression bipolar disorder, attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, and anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. - A program in the Department of Psychiatry at the non profit Massachusetts General Hospital that trains adults in a new way of helping kids with social, emotional and behavioural challenges.  Includes an orientation to the Collaborative Problem Solving approach for educators. - The Jack Project at Kids Help Phone promotes young people’s mental health by providing them with much-needed information and support as they move from late-high school into college, university, or independent living. We also equip key adults – parents, family members, and educators – with the knowledge they need to support the young people in their lives. - is a project of the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health, a partnership between Sun Life Financial, Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre. The site seeks to advance the understanding of mental illness and to improve the lives of young people with mental disorders. - From trouble with homework to dealing with loss and grief to thoughts of suicide, kids can talk to Kids Help Phone about anything. Professional counsellors provide anonymous, confidential and non-judgemental support. -The Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health unites education, mental health, community and health sectors in a movement to promote the priority of social and emotional well-being as a part of healthy child development in Ontario and to make it a priority that drives integrated public policy in the province. - Mental Health Walk-in Clinic. The Walk-in Clinic at Crossroads helps families to get started on the road to understanding. Do you have concerns about:
Your child’s behaviour, your child’s emotional state, your child’s mental health diagnosis (e.g. anxiety, depression, ADHD), school-related issues, your child’s struggles with peers, a family conflict, or other parenting issues? Through a single counselling session, our experienced, professional staff help identify issues and equip families with tools and strategies to address their concerns. The focus of the session is determined by each family’s unique needs.





Tips for Parents - Responding to a Traumatic Event


Information for Families about 13 Reasons Why


A Free Mental Health Information Evening for Parents of chidlren 10 to 17 years. - A public health nurse will provide information about healthy adolescent development,  warning signs of mental health problems and give practical advice to parents around communication, role modeling and resolving conflicts. Centre Psychosocial and Youth Services Bureau will present information on mental health and their services.


"Open Minds, Healthy Minds" - Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy - is our plan to support mental health throughout life, from childhood to old age, and to provide the integrated services and supports that Ontarioans need if they experience a mental illnes or addictions.


Hear Me, Understand Me, Support Me - VALIDITY team, CAMH, (2005), Hear Me, Understand Me, Support Me: What young women want you to know about depression. Toronto: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health


User guide that may be helpful in facilitating dialogue 


Summary of the School-Based Mental Health and Substance Abuse Consortium and its work


Invitation to get involved in future School-Based Mental Health & Substance Abuse Consortium activities


The Royal Youth-video 


Anxiety Pamphlet - What causes anxiety? How long do they last? 


Tips for Parents - Anxiety Disorder Association of BC provides useful tips for parents to help your anxious child 


Tips for Teachers - Anxiety Disorder Association of BC provides useful tips for teachers to help anxious students 


My Health Magazine: Health Literacy Program for Students, Educators, Parents, and Allied Health Professionals


The Health of Canadian's Young People  - The Canadian HBSC report is part of the World Health Organization’s collaborative cross-national study that we have been part of for more than 20 years. This research greatly increases our understanding of young people’s health, but also guides health education and health promotion policy and programs in Canada and in the more than 40 countries participating in the study.