We want our students and their families to know that resources are available to them in the community and online to support their mental health and well-being.
If you are worried about your child’s or your own well-being or mental health, please reach out to one of the resources listed at I need help now from the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council.
COVID-19 Focused Resources
Talking to Children About COVID-19 | WRDSB
Children and youth have many questions as they learn about the virus too, and look to the adults around them for answers. We have compiled these resources to help start and guide these conversations with children and teens.
Maintaining Mental Wellness During COVID-19 | WRSPC
Maintaining Mental Wellness During COVID-19 from the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC) is a list of locally developed information and tip sheets, as well as a list of local, provincial, and national support services that can be accessed virtually during this time. While we all play our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our population physically healthy, the measures we are taking such as physical distancing, self-quarantine, and self-isolation may lead to new or heightened mental health concerns such as loneliness, anxiety, or depression.
Carizon for the Community | Carizon
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Carizon has launched Carizon for the Community, a new self-help website that includes resources developed, collected and curated in the spirit of supporting a family’s mental health. Lots of videos, resources and activities to help adults, caregivers and kids struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.
Jack.org is a newly created national youth website for young Canadians addressing the impact of COVID-19. The site brings together resources and self-help information through an innovative partnership between jack.org, SMH-ON and the Kids Help-Phone. Visit the site at www.jack.org/covid.
Grief, Dying, and Death During a Pandemic | Wellbeing Waterloo Region
Grief, Dying, and Death During a Pandemic was written in April 2020 at the request of the region-wide COVID-19 pandemic response group coordinating psychosocial and spiritual supports in Waterloo Region. The authors include practitioners and scholars in the areas of social work, palliative care, counselling, bereavement, spiritual care, death education, and funeral service.
Anxiety: How You Can Support Your Child | WRDSB
In this video, you’ll hear from WRDSB Secondary School Social Worker Barb Shannon on ways you can support your child as they deal with their anxiety.
The Caregivers’ Guide to Accessing Support for Students with Anxiety by the WRDSB
The Caregivers’ Guide will help parents and caregivers to recognize signs their child may be struggling with anxiety, while also providing resources to help them succeed. This includes a variety of home-based strategies, as well as apps and online support for families of a student with anxiety.
Resources in Waterloo Region
Community Resources in Waterloo Region
The organizations and services listed in this guide provide support and assistance to families of children and youth coping with mental health issues.
These are two brochures available that are helpful for families in need to access community supports:
The Family Outreach brochure contains information on the Family Outreach Program which addresses child poverty. House of Friendship’s Family Outreach Program is a neighbourhood based program funded by the Region of Waterloo that works with families with children aged 17 and under to prevent and reduce the effects of poverty.
The Counselling Works! brochure contains information on the Counselling Collaborative Program, a free counselling service for those who are receiving support through Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program.
Region of Waterloo Public Health also has resources and supports available.
Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC)
WRSPC has resources and information on supports available in Waterloo Region.
Parents for Children’s Mental Health (PCMH)
Parents for Children’s Mental Health (PCMH) offers peer support for parents and caregivers of children experiencing mental health challenges through one on one phone calls and emails, as well as peer-to-peer virtual support groups.
Parenting Now | KW Counselling Services
Parenting Now is a website, supported by KW Counselling Services, for parents and those who care about children. Check out this resource to connect with other parents, learn new skills and ideas, and find support through local services and resources.
Region of Waterloo Public Health
Region of Waterloo Public Health provides many services that may be helpful to youth and students, such as reduced bus fare and health-related matters.
The Be Safe app helps you make decisions in a crisis such as safety plans, and options for getting help in Waterloo Region.
How To Approach Your Child’s Mental Health
Front Door is your starting point for accessing child and youth mental health services and supports in Waterloo Region. They work with parents/caregivers, children and youth (up to their 18th birthday) who are struggling with life’s challenges such as emotions, behaviours, relationships and mental health. They listen, offer support and can help you identify next steps including access to other services.
Here24/7 is your front door to the addictions, mental health, and crisis services provided by 11 agencies across Waterloo-Wellington. All you need to do is reach out. They’ll work together with you to understand what you need and work to get you connected. Here24/7 does the intake, assessment, and referrals for most local government-funded addictions and mental health services. If you need a service outside what Here 24/7 can offer, they’ll do their best to link you directly.
Have THAT talk by Ottawa Public Health
Ottawa Public Health’s “have THAT talk” mental health video campaign was created to give parents more information about mental health. The videos aim to give parents the knowledge and resources they need to talk about mental health with their child or teen. Mental health problems affect 1 in 5 Canadians. Also, 75% of all of these problems start before the age of 24 years. Parents are encouraged to watch these videos to learn how they can have that talk about mental health with their child or teen. By talking about mental health openly, you can help your child become a healthy and resilient adult.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
CAMH provides information about parenting and mental health issues.
Cannabis: What Parents/Guardians and Caregivers Need to Know provides information about cannabis, cannabis legalization, risks, signs of a problem, how to help your child, and where to get more information and support.
School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO)
SMHO works together with Ontario school districts to support student mental health. SMHO has a youth group called THRIVE, which includes the participation of one of our very own WRDSB students. THRIVE has created several resources in the past year to attend to student mental health issues.
Resources for Parents and Families from SMHO
- How to support your child’s mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic
- 12 easy and fun mental health practices to try with children at home
- Personal Resiliency Tips for Helpers Who Support Students
Parenting for Life by the Psychology Foundation of Canada
The Parenting for Life series is an award-winning public education program designed to promote positive parenting skills and the well-being of families. Based on major themes of parenting, there are seven booklets (in English and French) available for parents covering topics from self-esteem to how to talk to teenagers.
Advanced Caregiving for Prevention Parenting & Mental Health by Mental Health Foundations
Created by Mental Health Foundations, this parenting video series is now available to support caregivers interested in “prevention parenting” or who are struggling with the behavioural or emotional needs of their child/loved one.
Shanker Self-Regulation Parent Resources by The Mehrit Centre
Dr. Stuart Shanker’s Mehrit Centre is a social enterprise that aims to work towards a vision of calm, alert and flourishing children, youth and adults by grounding learning and living in mindful self-regulation. These parent resources offer a variety of tools and platforms for parents to learn more about the strategy and connect with other parents who share the same goals.
Nine Tips for Talking to Kids about Trauma by the Greater Good Science Center
Fortunately, parenting and education experts have produced a wealth of resources for having difficult conversations with kids about tragedies such as terrorist attacks. Contained are nine tips distilled from these many resources.
Parent Engagement is Important to Student Success by the Council of Ontario Directors of Education
Parent Engagement is Important to Student Success offers resources that will help families as they guide their children in learning skills that are essential for success at school and throughout life. CODE has produced five booklets with input from parents across Ontario. Three of these booklets are Tool Kits, and are intended for use by parents, guardians, and school staff and leaders. Two of these booklets are Guidebooks and can be used as a resource to support parent engagement and reinforce the information in the Tool Kits.
Have the conversation by Beyond Blue
If you’re worried about someone and avoiding starting a conversation with them about your concerns, simply letting them know you care can make a big difference. With the advice of people who are familiar with depression and anxiety Beyond Blue has developed information that can help people have a conversation that might be difficult.
Anxiety and Stress
Calm in the Storm: Coping with the Stress of Life by the Klinic Community Health Centre
This handbook and its corresponding website contain important information on identifying signs and symptoms of stress, as well as simple, user-friendly methods that can be used by everyone to manage their stress and improve their lives.
Kids Have Stress Too Toolbox by the Psychology Foundation of Canada
Kids Have Stress Too Toolbox is a program created by the Psychology Foundation of Canada to help parents quickly and easily identify and approach mental health concerns with their children. The easy to read guides are available in a variety of languages.
Suicide and Self-Harm
Together to Live by the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health
Together to Live is an online toolkit for addressing youth suicide in your community. The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health created this website as a tool for service providers working with children and youth to help them bring their community together to prevent youth suicide.
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
CASP provides information and resources to reduce the suicide rate and minimize the harmful consequences of suicidal behaviour.
safeTALK by LivingWorks Education
safeTALK is a half-day alertness workshop that prepares anyone over the age of 15, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper. Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources.
Teen suicide: What parents need to know by The Mayo Clinic
Is your teen at risk of suicide? While no teen is immune, there are factors that can make some adolescents more vulnerable than others. This guide created by the Mayo Clinic will help you to understand how to tell if your teen might be suicidal and where to turn for help and treatment.
Self-Injury: A Guide For Parents & Families by Self-Injury Outreach and Support
Self-Injury Outreach and Support is a collaborative effort between the University of Guelph and McGill University. Self-Injury: A Guide For Parents & Families provides information and resources about self-injury to parents and caregivers of those who self-injure, those who have recovered, and those who want to help.
Raising Resilient Children and Youth by CAMH
Get more information on child/youth resilience. Everyone needs skills and supportive people in their lives to help cushion them from problems they may encounter. Introducing even a few positive elements into their lives can shift the balance and help many children and youth flourish.
Resiliency: at Home, School and Work by the CMHA
This short guide, created by the Canadian Mental Health Association, aims to assist parents with building resiliency in their children. Resiliency in children helps them solve problems, cope with challenges and bounce back from disappointments. We can help our children develop attributes or “assets” that enable them to be resilient and will help them throughout their lives.
Teens Can be Resilient…in High School!: A Parent’s Guide by Durham Region Health Department
Produced by the Durham Region Health Department, Teens Can be Resilient…in High School!: A Parent’s Guide was created as a mental health resource for parents of teens transitioning to high school. Entering high school can be a challenging time for both teens and parents. The teenage years are a time when many physical, emotional and social changes are occurring. Teens often experience a range of emotions, as do parents.
Five Science-Backed Strategies to Build Resilience by the Greater Good Science Center
Even for the relatively self-aware and emotionally adept, struggles can take us by surprise. But learning healthy ways to move through adversity—a collection of skills that researchers call resilience—can help us cope better and recover more quickly, or at least start heading in that direction. The Greater Good Science Center has collected 12 of those resilience practices (squeezed into five categories), which can help you confront emotional pain more skillfully.
Mindyourmind by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
mindyourmind is an award-winning, non-profit mental health program that engages youth, emerging adults and the professionals who serve them to co-develop reliable and relevant resources. These resources are designed to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and increase access and use of community support, both professional and peer-based. Through the use of active engagement, best practice and technology, mindyourmind inspires youth to reach out, get help and give help.
Emotionally preparing your kids for College or University by the Child Mind Institute
Adolescents making the transition from high school to college need not only academic skills to ace the classwork, and time-management skills to stay afloat, but emotional problem-solving skills to handle the challenges. As parents, we can’t shadow them in the freshman dorm, but we can help supply them, before they leave home, with a toolbox of skills and habits to use when they become stressed or overwhelmed. Learn how.
Positive Psychology by Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson
This free course discusses research findings in the field of positive psychology, conducted by Barbara Fredrickson and her colleagues. It also features practical applications of this science that you can put to use immediately to help you live a full and meaningful life. Only available in English at this time, with subtitles. Requires 2-4 hours/week for readings and watching videos.