YOUNG MINDS: Finding treatment for youth

Dr. David Smith addresses services provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development

  • Dec. 15, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Peace Arch News publishes a monthly column for the White Rock-South Surrey Division of Family Practice addressing issues surrounding youth mental health.

This month, Dr. David Smith addresses services provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

When a mental-health issue arises with a child or youth, many families are surprised to learn that the responsibility for community-based services for assessment and ongoing treatment rests with the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

While your child or teen may initially get help from a family doctor, an emergency room visit or a hospital admission, if ongoing treatment is needed you will likely access it through one of more than 90 walk-in intake clinics provided through the ministry’s Child and Youth Mental Health Services (CYMH).

In White Rock, the clinic is housed with the Vine Youth Clinic at 15455 Vine Ave., across from the Peace Arch Hospital ER, with intakes every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (For other regions, call Service BC at 1-800-661-8773.)

If urgent care is required, you can contact the office during regular hours – you do not need to wait for an intake clinic. In an emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency room.

The following numbers can also help during a mental-health or substance-use crisis:

1. Crisis Line 310-6789

2. Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

3. YouthinBC 24/7 crisis line at 1-866-661-3311, or their online chat, noon-1 a.m. daily.

Like a walk-in-medical clinic, you can visit the ministry clinic with your child during intake hours, or teens can show up on their own without parents, if preferred. Once there, you’ll fill out an information form, including symptoms and concerns.

An intake clinician will meet with you privately to engage in a brief pre-screening interview.

The clinician will decide: Is an urgent response required? Do you simply need more information, resources and/or validation and support? Would a referral to another community service best meet your child’s needs? Or is a full intake interview needed?

If a full intake interview is needed, the clinician will take more time to determine your need for services. These may include anything from assessment, diagnosis and treatment by a specialist psychiatrist, or to work with other mental-health practitioners, such as a nurse or clinical counsellor.

At the end of the intake meeting, you will get a brief plan for initial supports and services.

While there may be wait-lists for specific treatments, the intake process is greatly simplified and only takes a couple of hours.

“The process is becoming simpler, clearer and more responsive to children, youth and families,” notes Terry Cardle, supervisor of CYMH services for White Rock.

Parents agree. As one of my patients recently noted: “I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and welcoming this experience has been…. The clinician made us feel comfortable and at ease while talking about some really tough issues concerning my daughter.”

Dr. David Smith is a B.C. adolescent psychiatrist. The White-Rock South Surrey Local Action Team is one of 64 teams working together across B.C. to increase the number of children, youth and their families receiving access to mental health services.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (File photo)
Surrey mayor taking it on the chin during budget public hearing

So far, he’s cut five callers off during Monday’s virtual meeting

The entrance at Fleetwood Villa in Surrey. (Photo: dignified.ca)
Fleetwood Villa resident tests positive for COVID-19, leading to ‘outbreak’ at facility

Fraser Health says it’s ‘critically important’ for people in the region to use COVID-19 assessment tool

A Surrey protest now in week 12 against a local resident has frayed the nerves of neighbours fed-up with the group’s presence. (Submitted photo)
Surrey neighbourhood fed-up with strange protest

Surrey Mounties say they’re monitoring the situation

Bhupinder Hundal. (submitted photo)
Surrey’s Bhupinder Hundal hired as news director of B.C. broadcaster

Grad of Princess Margaret Secondary now managing Global station

Surrey-White Rock MLA-elect Trevor Halford and Surrey South MLA-elect Stephanie Cadieux have each been given a portfolio as an Opposition critic. (Contributed photos)
BC Liberals give Halford, Cadieux critic responsibilities

Surrey South and Surrey-White Rock MLAs to help keep eye on majority NDP government

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
32 family members respond to Abbotsford care home’s plea for staffing help during COVID-19 outbreak

Menno Home asks for relief workers for food service, laundry and housekeeping

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
Judge hears Langley development case that could end in mayor, councillors booted out of council

The conflict of interest case was launched by local voters a year ago

Most Read