By Bryn Askwith, Program Manager, BC Children’s Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre

Physical and mental health are closely connected and can very much influence one another. For parents and caregivers supporting children and youth with CHD, or children and youth living with CHD, it is understandable that both may experience more psychological and emotional challenges. Increased stress, anxiety, depression, sleep challenges, and little time for self-care can be a reality, all of which can impact overall mental health and well-being.

Helping children, youth, and families connect with information and resources to promote mental health and wellness is important. BC Children’s Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre provides mental health and substance use information and resources, help with mental health system navigation, and peer support to children, youth, and their families from across the province. We also provide these services to people of all ages with eating disorders or disordered eating concerns. All services are free of charge. You can reach the Kelty Centre by phone (1-800-665-1822), in person, or by email (keltycentre@cw.bc.ca).

How can we support you and your family?

Peer support

Wherever your family is in your mental health journey, you may want to talk to someone who has been though something similar. The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre offers non-judgmental, compassionate peer support to families, caregivers, and youth. Parent and youth peer support workers with lived experience in mental health can discuss coping strategies, self-care, and helpful resources. Connect with a peer support worker 9:30 am–5 pm by phone (1-800-665-1822), in person, or by email (keltycentre@cw.bc.ca).

Online resources and tools

Through websites we offer online tools (e.g., apps, videos, toolkits, podcasts) and connect you to provincial mental health services.

  • keltymentalhealth.ca – Contains evidence-based information created by trusted health experts at BC Children’s Hospital to help parents and caregivers, schools, and health professionals support child and youth mental health and wellness.
  • foundrybc.ca – Foundry offers young people ages 12–24 health and wellness resources, services, and supports—online and through integrated service centres in communities across BC.

For mental health challenges that may be a part of the journey for heart families, below are some additional resources that can help. These resources (all available at keltymentalhealth.ca) were featured in a CHN presentation in February 2019, Finding Resources to Support Child and Youth Mental Health. The presentation is available from the “Helpful Links” tab on CHN’s website.

Stress

  • stresslr.ca – an online tool for kids ages 9–11 that provides a fun and engaging way for children to learn about stress, understand how they react to it, and develop healthy strategies to cope with stress in their daily lives.

Anxiety

Depression

Sleep

ADHD

Self-care resources

Stay connected with BC Children’s Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre for the latest in mental health and substance use resources and information:

@keltymentalhealth
@KeltyCentre
@keltycentre
@KeltyMentalHealth

“Finding Resources to Support Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health” is from our summer 2019 newsletter, Heart Matters. See our Newsletters page for more stories and to subscribe.

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