The holiday season can be tough for some, and also for those already struggling with mental illness, including children and youth.
Many British Columbians are searching for help and the government is reminding residents there are child and youth mental health intake clinics across the province.
"With school in full swing, midterms over and the holiday season on the horizon, December makes sense as a time for parents to check in with their children to see how things are going," says registered nurse Wade Maybie in a press release.
Areas of concern seen in children and teens include anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, emotional deregulation, family conflict and trauma, self-harm and alcohol and drugs.
"I don't always live what I teach. I'm aware of how easy it is to get caught up in our own stuff," Maybie, a father of four, says in the release. "Sometimes what we're doing is helping parents come down 'off the cliff' of their own anxieties about their children. Self-awareness and self-forgiveness are important."
December is a great time to check in with your kids. Did you know there are 100 intake clinics in BC where children & youth who may be struggling with mental health challenges can get assessed and connected to supports and services? https://t.co/rTznIwdUT0 @Foundrybc @KeltyCentre pic.twitter.com/fK0aZ35JID— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) December 6, 2018
Clinics can include social workers, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and other clinicians. There are currently 100 walk-in intake clinics throughout B.C. The Prince George clinic is Intersect Youth and Family Services, located at 1294 Third Ave. Clinic hours are 9 to 11 a.m., Monday to Friday.
The reminder from the government comes at a time when School District 57 is committing to mental health literacy after the death of two College Heights Secondary students.
Those aged zero to 19 are able to access services with an intake interview at Intersect. The information submitted will then be reviewed at a follow-up meeting. Situations are determined on a case-by-case basis and the intake team and coordinator will determine the priority level for services.
The clinic is primarily funded by the Ministry for Children and Family Development. The organization is also a United Way member agency and receives annual grants from local and provincial charities and organizations. They can be reached at 250-562-6639.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can text CONNECT to 686868 (the Kids Help Line) or call 1-800-668-6868. You can also reach the Prince George chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association at 250-564-8644. If you are thinking about ending your life or are concerned about someone who is, you can call 1-800-784-2433 or 9-1-1.