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Canadian Mental Health Association Webinar Series: Child and Youth Mental Health

Webinar Series: Child and Youth Mental Health

The following is a series nine of webinars developed by the Canadian Mental Health Association-Ontario.  The views expressed in these webinars are that of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NPAA.

The Basics: What Are Complex Mental Health Needs?

This is an introductory webinar exploring some of the ways children and youth develop “complex” mental health needs. Webinar participants will also learn about the systems transformation taking place within the Ministry of Child and Youth Services (MCYS) and the commitment to changing the way services are delivered for children and youth with complex mental health needs and their families.

This is the first of a total of nine webinars offered as part of CMHA Ontario’s Working with Children and Youth with Complex Mental Health Needs Training Project.

Adopting a Health Equity Approach

Access to medical services alone does not create optimal health for children, youth and their families. The link between social factors and health outcomes are now strongly established. Factors such as social inclusion, freedom from discrimination and violence and access to economic resources have a significant impact on the mental health of children and youth. This primer webinar offers a basic introduction to the social determinants; the impact on children and youth with complex mental health. Using a health equity lens, the webinar will also explore some promising practices used for working with children and youth with complex mental health needs.

This is the second of nine webinars offered as part of CMHA Ontario’s Working with Children and Youth with Complex Mental Health Needs Training Project.

Navigating the Youth Criminal Justice and Mental Health Systems

This webinar will provide an overview of important legislation and key justice-related terminology that impact youth with mental health and addictions issues. There will be a focus on walking service providers through the pathways from the justice system to the mental health system for youth and the key issues affecting youth with lived experience of mental health and addictions who come into contact with the law.

Bridging Social Media and Mental Health Support for Youth

How do we use social media to promote early identification of mental health problems, provide timely early intervention, and develop help-seeking skills in youth with complex needs? This webinar describes mindyourmind’s youth engagement through social media as a concrete model and set of best practices that can transfer to organizations and service-teams in youth mental health. Areas of focus include particular methods of employing social media to reduce stigma, normalize conversations about mental health, and increase youths’ capacity to navigate the system and advocate for themselves. Presenters share principles and resources for practitioners to use in their work with youth, including web- and mobile-based interactive psycho-education and system-navigation tools. A discussion of the development of multi-sectoral social media policies is included.

Better Mental Health Outcomes for Aboriginal Youth

This webinar will support service providers in understanding the impact of colonialism on mental health outcomes for Aboriginal youth. The webinar will also look at the work of the Child and Parent Research Institute’s (CPRI) integrative practices of Aboriginal traditional holistic knowledge with western clinical approaches to create unique culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal kids and their families in the mental health system. The incorporation of ceremonies, practices, education and traditional strategies (Aboriginal worldview) offer grounding, validation and capacity development for all while seeking to link and blend contributions from western health practices (mainstream worldview).

Child Protection Laws: Overview & Obligations

Using a strength-based approach, this webinar focuses on increasing the knowledge of direct service providers on child protection services. This will be done through information sharing on the mandate of children’s aid societies and the duty to report with a special focus on professionals. Key issues addressed will include an overview of child protection services with families struggling with mental health issues and some of the situations that cause concern. It will also focus on strategies that children’s aid societies use to work in collaboration with families and communities in ensuring the safety of children and youth.

Racism Impacts: Children and Youth Mental Health

When analyzing the impact of race and racism on children and youth, it’s important that we examine the systemic constraints placed on racialized communities that take the form of unquestioned norms, assumptions, behaviours and symbols that are subtle institutional rules. When a racialized youth or child is social contracted as deviant, disordered and destructive, they begin to internalize these social differences as ascribed identities which becomes self-defeating, self-limiting and self-destructive. As a result of these social, cultural and political barriers, many opportunities are usually lost to this sub-group and then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. This is where mental health psychosis and substance abuse become the norm for this sub-group as a way to numb their pain and escape from this fixed reality. This webinar will look at the racism and other oppressions experienced by transitional aged youth and the anti-racism/anti-oppression framework used in the service delivery for this population.

Gender Independent Children

There have always been gender independent kids – kids who march to a different beat when it comes to gender. However as we see more and more examples of gender variance, creativity, and diversity in dominant culture, and as that culture evolves making room for expansive gender possibilities, young people internationally are coming forward more and more and asserting their gender independence. The numbers of children, youth, and families identifying this as an issue or aspect of their lives is increasing fourfold at gender-focused centres around the world. Services here in Ontario are also seeing this dramatic increase, yet few providers have received training about the needs of these families. This webinar will be an opportunity to start a discussion about developing responsive strategies that are affirming and supportive. We will be sharing information about affirming practices for working with gender independent kids and their families, based on leading international models, a review of the literature and current Canadian research, and extensive consultations with providers, parents, researchers, program developers and others from across Ontario.

Children, Youth, Mental Health & Addiction

CPRI Child and Adolescent Psychiatry will provide an understanding of the effects (intoxication & withdrawal) of illicit substances on young people and will review the difference between abuse & dependence. An overview will be provided to assist with understanding how the effects of substance abuse and dependence can be confused with psychiatric illness. We will help increase dialogue between us so that we can better treat / assist youth who suffer from substance use & possible mental health issues.