Mental health services for children and adolescents

Mental health services for children and adolescents

Location and Contact

Location: Markham Stouffville Hospital: Unit 2WF, building B, 2nd floor
Phone: 905-472-7530; fax 905-472-7371

Child and Adolescent Services

Child and Adolescent Services (CAS) at Oak Valley Health's Markham Stouffville Hospital is an outpatient mental health program serving individuals residing in the catchment of eastern York Region and north Durham area.

Access to any of the following services or programs requires a referral made by a physician and faxed to the clinic using our referral form. Download the mental health referral form.

Our multidisciplinary team consists of mental health care providers who offer assessment and treatment for children ages five to 18 with moderate to severe mental health concerns associated with the following:

Disorders:

  • Adjustment disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Attention deficit hyperactive disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychosis

Significant disturbing behaviours:

  • School refusal or avoidance behaviours
  • Self-injurious behaviours
  • Suicidal ideation or behaviours 

Secondary mental health concerns due to:

  • Gender dysphoria
  • Eating disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder

Care providers

Our multidisciplinary team is highly trained to work with children, youth, and their families who suffer from mental health illnesses. Our team consists of:

Psychiatrist and consultant physician:

Medical doctors who have specialized training in the assessment and treatment of mental illness in children and youth. They also administer and monitor medication.

Social workers: 

Trained clinicians who provide children, adolescents, and families with support. They conduct assessments, provide psychotherapy using evidence based therapy approaches, as well as liaise with school staff and community agencies.

Child and youth workers:

Trained professionals who provide children, adolescents, and families with support. They create and execute programming, assist clients with their tasks, and provide counsel to care providers.

Assessment

Intake process:

Clients will start with an initial intake assessment by a social worker or child and youth worker. Based on this assessment, recommendations will be made for either a psychiatric assessment, individual or group therapy, ATLAS program, or community services.

Assessment:

Our psychiatrist and physician consultant will provide further assessment and/or medication management.

*Translation services are available upon request prior to the appointment.

Treatment options

Individual Therapy:

Our clinicians provide evidence-based therapy approaches to manage symptoms. The following approaches are offered such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), mindfulness, play therapy and eye movement desensitization, and reprocessing therapy (EMDR).

Group Therapy:

  • Worry Busters @ Markham Stouffville Hospital:

Children between the ages of nine and 13 years old who struggle with anxiety can participate in a 13-session evidence-based program using a CBT model, as well as incorporating yoga and creative art therapy. Parents are an integral part of the program and attend three out of the 13 sessions to learn specific strategies and gain education, resources, and support.

  • Youth Mental Health Groups:

Youth can begin the group program with a four-week educational group:

Understanding Distress

Weekly discussion topics

1. Introductions and understanding distress

2. Awareness of senses and intro to mindfulness 

3. Awareness of emotions

4. Awareness of thoughts

Following this series, youth can then attend an additional group series using one of the two therapeutic modalities:

Cognitive behaviour therapy 

Weekly discussion topics

1. Restructuring thoughts

2. Social interactions

3. Self-care activities

4. Review and closing

Emotion regulation 

Weekly discussion topics

1. Emotion regulation

2. Dialectics and flexible thinking

3. Interpersonal effectiveness

4. Putting it all together  

Parent webinars

Parents and caregivers of clients registered at the clinic can attend a monthly webinar to learn about distressing emotions and mental illness in youth such as anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. In addition, webinars will include helpful tips to develop strategies in response to their youth’s mental health concerns.

Registration is required ahead of time.

 ATLAS (Day Treatment Program)

The Adolescent Mental Health Day Hospital Program (ATLAS) is an intensive treatment program for teens suffering from severe anxiety and/or depression where attendance to or performance at school has been significantly undermined by symptoms.

ATLAS provides a multi-modal treatment milieu, together with a positive academic experience, to reduce symptoms and to equip teens with skills and strategies to more successfully manage symptoms and live the lives they want.

Teachers from York Region District School Board teach and offer students a unique high school credit. 

Parents are offered weekly support and education. 

Accessing services

Access to any of the above services or programs requires a referral made by a physician and faxed to the clinic using our referral form. Download the mental health referral form.

In the event that a child or adolescent is experiencing suicidal intention or has a plan to harm themselves or someone else, please go to your nearest Emergency Department or call 911.