Should you need to seek additional help for any youth you are working with, the following information can assist you along the way. Once you have read through this information, proceed to “Getting Help” for local places to get help, as well as for resources available across Manitoba.
HACK: If you are unable to find the right resource on the first try, keep looking! Ask for recommendations on where to go next if who you’re speaking to isn’t able to provide what you need. Most will try to assist you in finding the proper information, even if they have to direct you elsewhere. To receive the most helpful assistance, be open about what resources you need and ask direct questions about where you might be able to find them.
What Might Be Asked
This information is helpful to have on hand to process help requests. Here are some things to consider before you make a call. Remember, you can always call 911 in an emergency and you will be assisted immediately.
- Consent of the parent/legal guardian of the youth you are calling about. Note that you do not need this consent in emergency situations. If you do not have consent, you can still describe the situation without providing identifying data, and receive guidance about next steps – places to seek help, how to approach the parent/legal guardian with information, or how to discuss options and possibilities for a specific situation.
- The full name of both yourself and the child or teen you are calling about.
- The age and date of birth of the youth you are calling about.
- The legal guardian of the child or teen you are calling about. You may need to confirm this information beforehand if the youth is in care or new to your school or service. The legal guardian will need to be involved as help progresses, as they will need to consent for treatment, or provide transportation, additional information or other assistance as required.
- Whether the youth’s legal guardian or next of kin is aware of the effort to seek further help. As a helper or educator, you might need to call ahead to determine if a resource is the correct one for the situation, and the person you get in touch with may want to know the status of your inquiry for assistance.
- A current address
Other basic data might be asked but not always necessary:
- Name of the school attended
- Family physician if known,
- Other agencies or resources such as a counsellor or child welfare agency.
As the process evolves, a Manitoba Health Services card number may be needed. The family or guardian will be asked for this information, which is found on a purple card issued with the family name, and all dependents listed. It is also a good idea to make a list of things the family or guardian may need to take if they attend an appointment for assistance.
You will also likely be asked for:
- A recent history of the concern you are calling about. For example, if you are concerned that a child or teen may be contemplating suicide, you will be asked the reasons for your concern. Recent actions, statements, changes in behaviour, increased use of drugs or alcohol, recent legal charges and changes in living situation are all examples of information that might be important.
- Other history information such as previous involvement with health services, a list of any medications being taken, any previous hospitalizations, major health problems or legal concerns.
- A social history of the child or teen you are calling about, communicated to the best of your ability. You may have known the child or youth for a long time, or only a few weeks. You can inform the resource you have contacted of your level of involvement and provide information about family, school, friendships and culture as you are able to.
Try to keep in mind that you may be asked to provide information more than once, especially if you are approaching one or two places for assistance. Though this may seem frustrating, it will help to determine the best resource or service for the situation. Good, consistent information will assist the provider in giving you the best direction, and hopefully the best help possible.
Find out about how to resolve Disagreements About Seeking Help.