The ability to thrive and manage life’s difficulties is greatly influenced by our mental wellbeing from an early age. Children and youth need supports in their lives to help navigate the challenges that come along with mental health, and to connect them with the necessary support and services. This workshop provides a general overview of the common mental illnesses for children and youth, including the signs and symptoms, themes for treatment, and the controversies that surround some of the diagnoses. Participants will learn tips for informal support of children, youth, and their families struggling with mental health concerns.

Please note: This workshop is not a skill-building workshop and does not provide training for clinical therapy – the aim of the workshop is to provide understanding and awareness of mental health concerns in children and youth.

Some of the Topics Reviewed

  • Larger Context of Mental Health in Children and Youth
  • Controversies and Debates
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Depression and Bipolar Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Considerations Related to Self-Injury and Suicide
  • Mental Illness and Addictions
  • Tips and Resources for Supporting

Target Audience

This is an introductory level workshop intended for school personnel, child care providers, social workers, social service and health care professionals, youth corrections officers, parents, and anyone working in a helping role with youth struggling with mental illness.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, case study exercises, personal reflection, and small group discussion.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • List the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues in the younger population
  • Identify the contextual factors and key controversies in diagnoses
  • Describe the interaction between mental health vulnerability and other risk factors
  • Summarize the common themes for treatment and tips for supporting families