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Development & Resources

Youth Development Resources

If you are a helper or educator dealing with students and young people, it is helpful to seek information on typical development in children and youth. A good place to start is Healthy Child Manitoba for information on early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. This information is a good starting point when considering development and will also help you to gather additional resources if necessary.

Healthy Child Manitoba also offers information on programs, supports and strategies designed to assist families, helping professionals and educators.

It is known that brain development influences youth behaviour, decision-making, and judgment among other traits, and science has made great research progress on brain development in recent years. This research has been made possible by MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) technology, which has provided researchers with new ways of viewing development and brain plasticity (how experiences reorganize neural pathways in the brain.)

Teen Mental Health offers several videos on brain development, explanations of teen behaviour, and a slideshow on “Understanding Mental Health and Mental Illness”.

The Alberta Family Wellness Institute also provides information on brain development and brain plasticity as well as links to addiction. You can access the information at www.albertafamilywellness.org.

You can also visit “Links and Resources” for other helpful sites to visit. Look for the “Helpers & Educators” section.

Curriculum Assistance & Resources

In Manitoba, the department of Education and Advanced Learning has produced a report entitled Mental Health Promotion in Schools. You can download a pdf version for free. The report contains a definition of mental health as well as how to promote mental health in schools, create healthy school environments, and find specific suggestions for activities. The Education and Advanced learning site also has two videos on reducing bullying in schools and on playgrounds, among other resources for educators.

Teen Mental Health is a Canadian, research-based site with a section for educators that includes curriculum. The site also offers a Mental Health High School Curriculum Guide and other relevant downloads for educators, all free of charge.

Appropriate Information for Youth

Many online sites contain a wide variety of information about young people’s physical and mental health, growth and development and challenges like peer pressure, or alcohol and drug experimentation and use.

Since it can be daunting and time-consuming to navigate through all of this information, Stress Hacks has done that for you. The following sampling of Canadian sites are research-based, youth friendly and updated regularly. You may wish to refer to information from these sites in your work with youth, or even to recommend some of these resources to youth you are working with, depending on their issues.

The list is alphabetical, is intended for information purposes only, and is not prioritized in any way.

  • Kids Help Phone is geared towards both kids and teens, and provides a number of ways that kids can contact the site for information. Kids Help Phone also offers “Resources Around Me” so that youth can locate local resources when needed.
  • Mind Your Mind is aimed at a teen demographic and offers a large section of interactive and videos, as well as shared personal expressions (stories, poems, dance and artwork) done by youth.
  • Need Help Now features information on dealing with cyberbullying, removing unauthorized or harmful pictures from the internet, coping and friendships.
  • Teen Talk is a Manitoba-based youth education website focused on sexuality and reproductive health, body image, substance use awareness, mental health and issues of diversity and anti-violence.
  • We R Kids Mental Health focuses on mental health information for parents and caregivers. In addition to mental health resources, the site also offers a section on concussions, post-concussion recovery and information on learning post-concussion.
  • Mindcheck provides support to youth and young adults through education, information, and self-care. Videos of youth sharing their personal stories are also featured here.
  • Teen Mental Health offers mental health resources aimed at teens, young adults, educators, parents and professionals. The site offers large amount of research-based information available for download, including “Transitions,” a tool to help youth adjust from high school to college environments.
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada is the national resource hub in Canada for mental health strategies, information, recovery-based inventory, youth-focused campaigns, news dissemination and more.
  • Manitoba Health: Mental Health and Spiritual Care outlines the Manitoba Mental Health Strategic Plan “Rising to the Challenge” and provides information on mental health services in Manitoba.
  • Healthy Child Manitoba offers information on childhood development from early childhood to adolescence. The site also links to Manitoba Parent Zone, for parenting information and tips.