Children and Youth

Best Start is Ontario’s Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre which supports service providers working on preconception health, prenatal health, and early child development.  The Centre is a key program of Health Nexus, a bilingual health promotion organization that works with diverse partners to build healthy, equitable, and thriving communities.  [See also Red Flags, below, for the Quick Reference Guide.]

Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC), is a national, non-profit, umbrella organization providing leadership in education and advocacy for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder organizations and individuals across Canada.

Child and Youth Mental Health Toolkits    A practical, user-friendly resource for screening, assessment, and treatment of child and youth mental health problems commonly presenting in primary care.

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario – Mental Health     CHEO has created this mental health Web site to help navigate the many services and resources available to children, youth, and their families.

Children’s Mental Health – Ontario     CMHO represents and supports the providers of child and youth mental health treatment services throughout Ontario.  Core membership consists of more than 80 community-based children’s mental health centres that serve some 150,000 children and their families annually.

Crossroads Children’s Centre     The Centre is a fully accredited children’s mental health centre that provides services for children with complex mental health needs up to age 12.  The multidisciplinary Crossroads team has specialized expertise in delivering treatment and related services for children with severe emotional, behavioural, and social difficulties.

Do It For Daron     DIFD created a dialogue that was missing in the community, one that is bringing hope and inspiration to thousands of youth.  The movement has also raised thousands of dollars to support youth mental health research and education led by The Royal.  The site offers information on youth suicide.

Have That Talk     A mental health video campaign created by Ottawa Public Health to give parents more information about mental health and to enable them to discuss mental health issues with their child or teen.  Public Health has also produced a one-page brochure, entitled Children and Mental Health: What Every Parent Should Know, in English and French, which provides parents with many useful suggestions and resources. is a national network of young leaders transforming the way people think about mental health though initiatives and programs designed with the input of young people.  The organization encourages and enables young people to become leaders in the mental health conversation.  These leaders identify barriers to positive mental health in their communities and work to break down those barriers through conversation, camaraderie, creativity, and community building. listens to and reflects the youth voice because they need, and deserve, to be the key voice in the conversation about their own mental well-being.  A free guide, Opening the door to better mental health for your youth, is designed to help parents and caregivers forge and strengthen connections with their child and support their youth’s mental health.  See also, powered by, for additional information and resources.

MindMasters2   The Child and Youth Health Network for Eastern Ontario (CYHNEO) and CHEO created MindMasters 2 in 2016.  It builds on and enhances the evidence-based resource, MindMasters, by bringing together new techniques and technology to meet the needs of today’s children.  The MindMasters series are mental health promotion resources that help children master emotional regulation to cope with stress through relaxation, positive thinking, and mindfulness-based techniques.

Mind Your Mind    A program of ConnexOntario Health Information Services, funded by the Government of Ontario, mindyourmind works with young people aged 14-29 to co-create interactive tools and innovative resources to build capacity and resilience.  The site offers information about mental health issues and illnesses.

Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (OCECYMH)    Works with mental health agencies to build an effective, accessible system of care; offers professionals on the front line of care a diverse collection of tools, services, products, and training.

Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)    Describes the Board’s programs dealing with mental health and offers many links to resources.

Ottawa Catholic School Board Mental Health Resources (OCSB)  Describes the Board’s programs dealing with mental health, focusing on awareness, prevention, and early intervention.

Ottawa Catholic School Parents’ Association Mental Health Resources  (OCSPA)  Provides links to presentations and Web resources for school councils and parents.

The Parent Resource Centre, a children’s charity with more than 40 years of service in the child and youth sector, is a leader in family support programs and comprehensive training for professionals.  With a focus on child development, parent support, training, and research, the PRC aims to have a lasting impact on the well-being of children.  Through using best practices, the Centre offers a holistic approach to support children, parents, and caregivers, as well as front-line service providers who work with and nurture children.

Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario (PLEO)   The Ottawa chapter of Parents for Children’s Mental Health (PCMH), PLEO provides support and information to parents and caregivers with children, youth, and young adults to age 24 who are facing mental health challenges.

Red Flags is a Quick Reference Guide designed to assist Early Years Professionals in Ottawa in determining whether there is a need to refer families or caregivers to seek out additional advice, screening, assessment or treatment for their child.  It is not an assessment or diagnostic tool.  [See also the entry for Best Start, above.]

Roberts Smart Centre     An accredited children’s mental health centre that delivers specialized bilingual treatment and clinical services designed to improve the lives of youth living with complex behavioral and emotional needs, involving and supporting families and collaborating with partners in an integrated community-based system.

School Mental Health-Assist    A provincial implementation support team which operates in conjunction with the Ontario Ministry of Education to help Ontario school boards promote student mental well-being, and to enhance support for students who struggle with mental health and addictions problems through a focus on leadership, capacity-building, and implementation support.  Among other resources, the Web site site offers a useful one-page handout on personal resiliency.

Teen Mental Health     An initiative of Halifax’s IWK Health Centre, a primary clinical resource for pediatric and obstetric teaching affiliated with Dalhousie University, the program‘s vision is to help improve the mental health of youth by the effective translation and transfer of scientific knowledge.

Transitional Aged Youth Service (TAY)     An outpatient, community-based clinic offered by The Royal, and located at the Carlingwood Mall, which provides multidisciplinary, recovery-focused care to youth, aged 16 to 25, with concurrent substance use and mental health disorders. Services may include diagnostic assessment, case management, individual or group therapy, and access to psychological, medical, and psychiatric care.  Physician referrals are not required.  For details, see the flyer; phone 613-722-6521, ext. 7225; or Email

Understanding Eating Disorders in Adolescence – useful resources and links.

Upstream Ottawa’s mission is to offer adults, youth, and their families the community-based supports and services they need to rebuild lives affected by persistent mental illness.  Created in 1985, it offers a variety of services, such as a psychiatric assessment clinic and social and recreational group events.  Funding is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Champlain Local Health Integration Network.

Walking the talk is a toolkit created in 2017 by the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health for agencies to engage with youth in mental health by learning skills and working on issues they’re passionate about to contribute to social change.  The toolkit provides a better understanding of youth engagement and how it can directly benefit agencies in Ontario’s child and youth mental health sector.

Youth Net     Youth Net/Réseau Ado Ottawa is a bilingual intervention program that works from a youth engagement philosophy, offering alternative support services for youth.  Programs and services focus on prevention, intervention, education, research, and advocacy.

Youth Services Bureau – Mental Health     The YSB works with various community partners to deliver integrated programs and services in 20 sites across Ottawa.  Building on the resources available in their immediate environments, the Bureau guides high-risk youth through threats to their physical, sexual, and mental well-being.