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Mental health & addictions info for North Shore schools

North Shore school health manual - Section 8

The Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions program is designed to support children, youth and families who are struggling with mental health issues, problematic substance use or concurrent mental health and substance use issues. The team consists of a psychiatrist, clinicians, a social worker hospital liaison, a family therapist and two behaviour support workers.

The goal of the program is to help young people stabilize their health and well being by following individually tailored treatment plans designed to increase wellness and overall functioning.   

We provide the following mental health services:

  • Direct client services
  • Consultation to referring agencies
  • Education, training and support
  • Liaison with schools and community agencies

How do I access mental health services?

Central intake for all MCFD and VCH child and youth mental health referrals are designed and delivered by MCFD. Parents will complete an assessment questionnaire for any child under the age of 12. Youths (12 and older) are encouraged to come with their parent or guardian to complete an adolescent questionnaire. The clinic is held every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9AM – 4PM and is located at #301 – 224 West Esplanade, North Vancouver. For further information, please call (604) 904-4300.

Mental health service

Below is a list of mental health services available to children and youth on the North Shore.

Child and Adolescent Program

The multi-disciplinary team at C.A.P. provides outpatient counseling services to children and youth (6 – 18 years old) and their families who are struggling with mental health issues. Family participation, though not mandatory, is strongly encouraged. Services provided include:
  • Psychosocial assessments 
  • Individual counseling
  • Family consultation, coaching and therapy
  • Play and expressive therapies
  • Psychiatric assessments, consultations & medication management
  • Behavioral consultation and support
  • Social skills training
  • Therapeutic groups
  • Outreach
  • Parent consultation / groups
  • Transition planning
  • Referrals

Therapeutic Day Program

T.D.P. is a day treatment program for youth 14 – 18 years of age who are experiencing significant mental health issues, impairing their ability to attend mainstream high school. This academic / therapeutic program is a joint partnership between the North Vancouver School Board and VCH. The program is staffed by two counsellors, a teacher and a teacher’s aid. In addition to academic instruction, the program also provides:
  • Psychosocial assessments
  • Individual counseling
  • Family consultation, coaching and therapy
  • Individually tailored academic programming
  • Therapeutic groups
  • Transition planning
  • Referrals
  • Outings

Substance abuse services

15th Street Youth Services

15th Street Youth Services provides substance misuse (or concurrent) outpatient counseling services to youth 13–18 years old and their families throughout the North Shore. Services are voluntary, youth-friendly, client centred, culturally relevant, free, confidential and grounded in best practice. Family participation, though not mandatory, is encouraged. Services provided include:
  • Psychosocial assessments
  • Individual counseling
  • Family consultation, coaching and therapy
  • Therapeutic groups
  • Outreach
  • Parent consultation / groups
  • Psychiatric assessments, consultations & medication management
  • Transition planning
  • Referrals

Other program components

Prevention

There are two Alcohol & Drug Prevention Consultants at 15th Street Youth Services; one covering North Vancouver and the other West Vancouver. Together they collaborate and partner with North Shore schools, police departments, parents, community youth service providers, Tsleil Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, and other community partners. Utilizing best-practice research, the consultants plan and implement proactive prevention initiatives that promote community engagement and shared responsibility in the prevention of substance misuse among children and youth. Ongoing core prevention initiatives include:
  • The anti-bootlegging campaign: a poster / media campaign designed to educate the public about the dangers of providing alcohol to minors
  • Let’s Talk Shop: a facilitated parent / youth forum designed to promote positive communication and understanding between parent and youth populations
  • Core addiction practice training & facilitation: an addiction training program targeting health care workers who support youth populations.  

Child and Youth Hospital Liaison

The hospital liaison is responsible for linking children and youth (6–18 years old), identified by Lion’s Gate Hospital as having mental health or substance related issues, to community based resources. The liaison provides assessments, case consultation, short term counselling, referrals & discharge planning. The liaison also works closely with the child psychiatrist on the pediatric ward, assisting families with treatment and discharge planning and bridging services to longer term community supports.

Partnership programs

Constructive Alternative to Teen Suspension

The C.A.T.S program offers early intervention to North Shore teens that have been caught breaking school policy regarding drug or alcohol use. These students attend two consecutive days of programming (9am – 3pm) consisting of psycho-educational information, risk assessments of alcohol and/or drug use, and self assessment activities. The program utilizes literature, movies, group discussions, and personal evaluation to better inform students about the consequences of substance use. 

Social Responsibility Support Program

SRSP is a North Vancouver School District / VCH partnership program that offers a multidisciplinary service for elementary school students with social, emotional, behavioural and mental health challenges. The purposes of this service is to provide consultation, treatment, and group support that is short term (12 to 20 weeks), intensive and involves community agencies. The SRSP program provides support for students who are experiencing moderate to severe challenges that impede their ability to function successfully in their home school. Behaviour support workers, clinicians and teachers work together to help children learn to manage their behaviour, gain self-esteem, and develop the social skills necessary to allow them to attend their home school full time.

Therapeutic Day Program

See above under mental health services. 

North Shore Intensive Youth Outreach Service (iYOS)

iYOS is a new service/program designed to provide youth and their families who have urgent psychiatric and/or substance use needs with rapid access to clinical services. Referrals are received from all sources and made directly to the program. Services provided include:
  • Assessment and crisis intervention
  • Care planning and referral coordination
  • Intensive case management
iYOS is for youth 13 years to 19 years of age and has the following: 
  • Acute disturbance in mood, thinking or behaviour which might manifest with suicidal ideation, mood problems or psychotic symptoms
  • Experiencing moderate to severe primary substance use with or without mental illness
  • Functional challenges associated with housing, income and health
  • Experiencing difficulties accessing health and social services

Contact iYOS

Hours: Tuesday from Friday from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday from Monday from 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
E mail: nsiyos@vch.ca
Fax: (604) 984-3804
For urgent referrals call: (604) 984-3884
SOURCE: Mental health & addictions info for North Shore schools ( )
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