Children and Youth
Find services & information for children and youth
Children and youth are those persons who are age 19 or younger, have not reached legal adulthood and remain under the care of an adult. Examples include infants, babies and newborns (0 to 1 years), toddlers (2 to 3 years), preschoolers (4 to 6 years), children (7 to 12 years), adolescents, school aged children (6 to 18 years), or teenagers and youth (13 to 19 years).
Services for children and youth are provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development, health authorities and community agencies. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health concerns, refer to Getting Help for Children with Mental Health Concerns (FamilySmart™) or visit B.C. Mental Health Walk-in Intake Clinics to speak with a mental health therapist or clinician in your community.
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call one of the following numbers:
- 9-1-1: Call 9-1-1 if you are having a medical emergency. Available 24 hours a day.
- 1-800-SUICIDE: Call 1-800-784-2433 if you are having a crisis or are concerned about someone who may be. Available 24 hours a day.
- Helpline for Children: If you are a child or youth and would like to talk to someone call the Helpline for Children at 310-1234 (no area code needed), toll-free anywhere in B.C. to access emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health and substance use. Available 24 hours a day.
- Kid’s Help Phone: Call 1-800-668-6868 to speak to a professional counsellor. Available 24 hours a day.
- VictimLinkBC: Call 1-800-563-0808 (toll-free) for confidential support. VictimLinkBC provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence. Available 24 hours a day.
- Youth in BC Distress Line: Call 604-872-3311 or 1-866-872-0113 (toll-free) to speak with counsellors and trained volunteers who are committed to helping youth in crisis. Available 24 hours a day.
Navigating the Mental Health System
Navigating the mental health system can sometimes be a confusing process. You may not know what your treatment options are, or where to start. Don’t let this deter you; the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre and Kelty Eating Disorders can help you find information and support.
- Call toll-free from anywhere in B.C.: 1-800-665-1822; Lower Mainland: 604-875-2084. Available Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5pm Pacific Time.
- Visit in person if you want more information or prefer face-to-face support: BC Children’s Hospital, Mental Health Building, 4555 Heather Street, Vancouver, B.C., Room P3-302 (3rd Floor)
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Services and Resources Available
Online DirectorySearch for services available across the Province and in your community or check out the following phone, in-person, online, and chat or email services and resources to get started.
The services and resources listed below all include or focus exclusively on children and youth. While some of the services and resources provide general help and support, others are specific to mental health issues, addictions and substance use, or body image and eating disorders. Read the descriptions below to learn more.
Support at School
Some school districts provide support services and programs to help prevent mental health problems from being a barrier to learning.
- BC K-12 School and District Contact Information: Contact your local school district for information about what support services and programs are available in your district.
- What to Expect from Your Child’s School in Children's Mental Health: Learn about what role the school plays to ensure that all students, including children with mental health issues, have equitable access to learning opportunities.
If you or someone you know needs help, call one of the following numbers:
- BC Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service: Call 604-660-9382 in the Lower Mainland or 1-800-663-1441 toll-free anywhere in B.C. Available 24 hours a day.
- HealthLink BC: Call 8-1-1 (toll-free) if you need non-emergency health information or advice. Available 24 hours a day.
- Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre: Call toll-free from anywhere in BC: 1-800-665-1822; Lower Mainland: 604-875-2084 for peer support, assistance in navigating the mental health system and accessing resources, and information and education about mental health and substance use challenges. Available Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5pm Pacific Time.
You can search for in-person services across B.C. using the online directory or with the Kelty Mental Health, Help Finder Tool or the Kelty Eating Disorders, Find Programs Near Me Tool. You can also visit your health authority website to find services and resources in your area.
- First Nations Health Authority: Mental Wellness and Substance Use
- Fraser Health: Mental Health and Substance Use
- Interior Health: Mental Health and Substance Use
- Island Health: Mental Health and Substance Use
- Northern Health: About Mental Health & Addiction Services
- Provincial Health Services Authority: BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services
- Vancouver Coastal Health: Mental Health and Substance Use
- BoosterBuddy Mobile App: A free, mobile app for young people to check in on their feelings each day, learn coping skills and keep track of appointments, medications, and tasks. Created in part by a youth design team in the Vancouver Island Health Authority.
- Dealing with Depression (DWD): A resource for teens who have been coping with depressed mood. It teaches a set of skills you can apply to your own life to overcome depression.
- Mindshift: A free, mobile app designed to help teens and young adults learn how to relax, develop helpful ways of thinking, and identify active steps that will help them take charge. Created by AnxietyBC.
- Rise Up + Recover: An app provided by the Recovery Warriors and recommended by mindcheck.ca for youth struggling with food, dieting, exercise, and body image.
- Stresslr: A free web app that provides a fun and engaging way for children ages 9 to 11 to understand what causes them stress, how they react to it, and to develop healthy strategies to cope with stress in their everyday lives.
- Anxiety Canada: Provides self-help, peer reviewed and trusted resources on anxiety. Online resources include educational videos on YouTube, information exchange on Facebook, downloadable articles and resources, and the Mindshift App.
- HeretoHelp: Provides information related to mental health and substance use. The website includes personal stories, self-help resources, and information about getting help now.
- Jessie’s Legacy: Provides eating disorders prevention education, resources and support for youth, families, educators and professionals including the Eating Disorder Prevention Toolkit and Jessie’s Legacy Blog.
- Kelty Eating Disorders: Provides resources and peer support to people of all ages with eating disorders or disordered eating concerns.
- Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre: Provides mental health and substance use information, resources, and peer support to children, youth and their families from across B.C.
- Kids Help Phone – Kids: Provides confidential support and information about bullying, violence and abuse, feelings, internet safety and more.
- Kids Help Phone – Teens: Provides confidential support and information about bullying, dating, emotional health, violence and abuse, LGBTQ, physical health and more.
- mindcheck.ca: Helps young people identify and understand the mental distress they may be experiencing and to link them to the skills and strategies they need to manage these problems.
- MindHealthBC: Provides easy access to information and resources related to mental health and substance use conditions.
- Open Mind: Provides mental health tools and resources for youth and young adults who may be facing new experiences, challenges and pressures.
- Youthspace.ca: A community of volunteers who can provide emotional support, crisis response, and more. Connect by chat, email a counsellor, or find information and resources on their website.
- Kids Help Phone – Live Chat: Chat counselling lets you connect one-on-one, real time, with a Kids Help Phone counsellor, on the web or from a smartphone. Chats are for youth up to age 20. Available Wednesday to Sunday from 3pm to 11pm Pacific Time.
- YouthinBC Online Chat: Get support, information and resources for youth in B.C. and Yukon. Online chat is available from noon to 1am Pacific Time.
- Youthspace.ca Online Chat: A community of volunteers who can provide emotional support, crisis response, and more. Available 6pm to midnight Pacific Time. Also available by text at 778-783-0177.
- BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information: Help and support via email at email@example.com. Let them know where you’re writing from so they can provide community specific information. A volunteer will email you back within 3 business days.
- Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre: Get information and support about mental health and substance use challenges via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Youthspace.ca E-Counselling: Email a youth counsellor for support with a variety of issues including: social life, family conflict, school and work challenges, addictions, violence and abuse, mental health, and more. You can expect a response within 5 business days.