Seek help right away if the youth you are working with is experiencing the following: • Having suicidal thoughts or behaviours, or thoughts of harming others;
- Having trouble with alcohol or drug use, or having other mental health concerns;
- Thinking the symptoms could be linked to a physical health problem;
- Reporting significant trouble with sleep, appetite or changes in mood; or
- Measures to assist the problems have not helped.
Ensure that the child or teen is not left alone during the process of seeking help.
Depending on your role as a helper, you may have access to a mental health resource such as a community mental health worker, school guidance counsellor, school psychologist, nurse or other health practitioner. If you have concerns about a child or teen you are working with, you may consult these professionals for help, within confidentiality policies and PHIA guidelines. If you do not have access to this type of resource, you may need to contact a referral centre by telephone.
Manitoba also has Child and Adolescent Mental Health services available through the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) across the province. You can obtain more information by going to the website of your RHA and following the links to mental health services.
Early Help is Important
Experts agree that the earlier problems are identified, the earlier treatment can begin, which leads to a more complete recovery. This is true of most illnesses like diabetes, but also true for mental health problems and concerns. Early help means the symptoms may not become as severe and there is less disruption to home, school, work or in the community.
There are many ways to help – medication may be an option, and counselling is often recommended. Counselling can help with many factors – finding ways to cope with stress, finding strengths and finding helpful activities such as exercise, meditation, and relaxation techniques.
Find out about Next Steps.