Mental health services for children and adolescents

Mental health services for children and adolescents

Location and Contact

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

About Child & Adolescent Services

Child and Adolescent Services (CAS) at Markham Stouffville Hospital is a team of social workers, child and youth workers and psychiatrists. We provide services to children ages 6 to 18 with varying presenting concerns. We provide individual therapy, group therapy, day treatment and psychiatric assessments.

A physician referral is required for all programs listed below. Download the mental health referral form.

Care providers 

Social workers

Social workers provide clinical services to children, adolescents and their families by conducting assessments, providing psychotherapy and coordinating resources. Our Social Workers also liaise with schools, families and other agencies that may be involved in the client's care. Social workers help young people and their families make sense of their experiences and open up possibilities for positive change through support, guidance and understanding.

Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, including the use of medication. As clinicians from a variety of fields, psychiatrists work closely together to provide a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. In addition, they liaise with schools and other settings central to the lives of children, teens and families to provide the best, most comprehensive care possible.

Child &Youth Workers

Child and Youth Workers provide support to our teens and adolescents who attend our day treatment program (ATLAS). They create and execute programming, assist clients with their tasks and provide counsel to care providers and their families.

*Translation services may be arranged upon request.

Assessment and treatment options

Following a more comprehensive assessment, the following approaches to treatment are offered:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Medication consultation and management

ATLAS (Day Treatment)

This is a day treatment program for youth ages 12 to 18 who are struggling with depression and/or anxiety and have significant difficulty attending school. This goal-oriented program combines a classroom experience with group therapy and psychiatric treatment to help participants learn to better manage their symptoms and prepare them for a return to school. Parents are offered weekly support and education. The ATLAS Program is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team which includes a York Region District School Board teacher, child and youth counsellors, social workers and a psychiatrist. Students can earn a high school credit in physical education.

Parent Seminars

These two hour psychoeducational seminars are available to caregivers of clients who are either on the waitlist and/or accessing services. They aim to provide information on a wide array presenting concerns throughout the year. Topics that are covered includes, but is not limited to, emotion dysregulation, mood and anxiety disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and ADHD. It provides information around the session topic, its physiological impact along with some useful tips/considerations to support their child.  Parents are offered resources and community services to explore as well.

Group Therapy

Emotional Regulation Group

This Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) informed group is a 10 week program for youth between the ages of 13 to 18 who struggle with emotion dysregulation. It aims to teach skills focusing on distress tolerance, emotion regulation, mindfulness and interpersonal effectiveness. Moreover, we provide psychoeducation around the physiological experience of emotion dysregulation in the hope to increase awareness and skill use. One week is dedicated to parents and caregivers where we provide psychoeducation around emotion dysregulation, skills taught in group, and resources they can access to better support their youth.

Mind and Body Matters Group

This is a 12-week program for youth between the ages of 14 to 18 who struggle with anxiety and depression. It allows youth to socialize while bringing awareness to their physical, emotional and cognitive experiences of distress. It provides education and practice of skills based on the principles of mindfulness, CBT and DBT. Parents are offered a session for education, resources during the program.

To have your teen be considered for the group, please have your teen’s physician send a referral to Oak Valley Health Child and Adolescent Services (fax: 905-472-7371).

Worry Busters

Worry Busters is a group of eight children ages nine to 12 who struggle with anxiety. The program is offered in both fall and winter-spring. It runs for 13 weeks with weekly two-hour sessions.

Children attend 10 sessions and parents attend three sessions. The program’s core is a cognitive behavioural therapy approach, integrated with a variety of creative learning components and relaxation techniques.  

A physician’s referral can be sent to Child and Adolescent Services (fax: 905-472-7371). Have the physician write “please consider for Worry Busters anxiety group.” The group leaders will screen each family to determine whether the program meets the needs of the child. Note that a commitment to full attendance of both child and parents is a mandatory requirement for acceptance.

Accessing services

There are two routes to our clinic:

Doctor: The child’s paediatrician or family doctor can make a referral. The referral can be faxed to Child and Adolescent Services.

Emergency Department: If, as a result of a crisis, the child has been seen in the Emergency Department, a referral may be made at that time through Emergency Department staff.