Children’s Mental Health


Moving on Mental Health

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services is in the process of transforming the way child and youth mental health services are delivered across Ontario. In their Moving on Mental Health Strategy, released November 2012, the Ministry outlined its framework for establishing a better coordinated, more integrated, collaborative and accountable child and youth mental health system while facilitating easier access for families and their children.

Refer to these links for further information: 

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Lead Agency

One element of the strategy is the identification of Lead Agencies in 33 defined service areas across Ontario who will be responsible for planning and delivery of child and youth mental health (CYMH) services. Within each defined community, a Lead Agency will be responsible for the following:

  • creating clear and simple to use pathways to care for parents and youth.
  • establishing a plan for the delivery of CYMH services across the service area.
  • deliver or contract for the delivery of the range of defined core Ministry of Children and Youth Services-funded Children and Youth Mental Health services.
  • ensure those services are effective and accountable to parents, youth, and children.

Chatham-Kent Children’s Services was identified as Lead Agency for child and youth mental health in the Chatham-Kent service area in 2015. Our agency is committed to supporting and collaborating with our community partners to strengthen the child and youth mental health sector in all our program areas.

Chatham-Kent Children’s Services provides the following “Core Services."


Crisis Services Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Our Crisis Services (Short Term Assessment and Treatment, or "STAT" program) offers immediate intervention for children, youth and their families who are experiencing a current crisis. These crisis situations include serious risk of harm to self or others, recent traumatic event, self-harm behavior, and severe emotional difficulties/behavioral problems. The primary role of the worker is to provide time-limited services to stabilize the situation and determine the need for further service.

Counselling and Therapy Services Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Mental Health Counselling and Therapy Services include a series of planned inter-related interventions focused on reducing the severity of and/or alleviating the emotional, social, behavioral, and self-regulation problems of children and youth ages 0 to 18 years of age. Services are provided within the context of the family, culture and community and can be delivered in a range of settings.

Mindful Moments is a FREE mindfulness-based drop-in group for youth ages 10-17 years! Learn skills to accept big emotions, shift your thinking, and gain a new perspective. For more information, including upcoming program dates, call 352-0440 (press 2).

Walk-in Counselling Clinic (Brief Services) Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Our "Door of Hope" Single Session Therapy Clinic focuses on reducing the severity of and/or alleviating the emotional, social and behavioral and self-regulation problems of children and youth.  The single session therapy clinic provides quick access to a single therapeutic session to address an immediate non-crisis need. Children/youth and/or families may request a virtual, in person or telephone appointment by contacting Mental Health and Developmental Intake at 519-352-0440 or emailing

Family Capacity-Building & Support Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Families (including parents, caregivers, siblings, and other family members) have a critical role to play in promoting and supporting the mental health of their family members. Family members may receive services where their participation supports the treatment plan of the referred child or youth. These services enhance the family’s ability to support and effectively respond to their child or youth’s mental health needs.

One on One parenting consultation sessions are now available. Meet with a Mental Health Support Worker from CKCS or our partner agency Humana to discuss your individual parenting questions or concerns. Appointments are available virtually, in person or over the phone.  For more information contact Mental Health and Developmental Intake at 519-352-0440 or email

Intensive Treatment Services Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Intensive treatment services are targeted to children and youth who have been diagnosed/identified with mental health problems that impair their functioning in some or many areas. Many of these children/youth will require intensive intervention for a defined period of time or periodically throughout their lifespan to maintain functioning in home, school and/or community.

Intensive services include:

  • Residential Services for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent as offered by Windsor Regional Children’s Centre and Maryvale
  • Community-based Day Treatment Services as offered in collaboration with the Lambton Kent District School Board (elementary and secondary "Section 23" classrooms) 
  • St. Clair Catholic District School Board (Autism Transitional classroom)
Specialized Consultation & Assessment Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Specialized consultation and assessments are designed to provide advice in the assessment, diagnosis, prognosis and/or treatment of a child or youth with identified mental health needs. Children and youth may only receive a specialized consultation or assessment as a component of their individualized treatment plan.

How to know if you need help Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Your family may benefit from mental health services if your child shows the following signs:

  • poorer marks and performance at school
  • avoidance of family or friends
  • suspicion and mistrust
  • frequent outbursts of anger or rage
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty sleeping
  • rebelling against authority
  • drinking and / or drug use
  • damaging other people’s property
  • constant worrying
  • no longer taking care of their appearance
  • obsession with weight
  • loss of energy and motivation
  • habitually hitting or bullying other children
  • self-injury
  • disinterest in doing things they used to enjoy


Have your child consider the following questions:

  1. "Have I been feeling this way for a prolonged period of time?"
  2. "Is how I'm feeling affecting my everyday life in a negative way?"
  3. "Am I dealing with my problems in unhealthy ways?"
How to Make a Referral for Service Click to Expand Click to Collapse

Parents/guardians usually refer their children, ages 0-17 years, for service. Youth aged 12 and older may refer themselves, with--or without--parent consent (although family support is always encouraged). Community partners (such as doctors, teachers, etc.) can also refer a child/youth--but only with the family's permission.

In discussion with the family and based on provided information, including a detailed Intake questionnaire, the family is recommended to the service(s) that best match their needs and urgency.

Call CKCS Mental Health Intake: (519) 352-0440 and speak with reception or E-mail

Mental Health / Development Referral Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Parent Handbook