Mental Health Information

Research has shown that approximately 1 in 5 Canadian students has a mental health problem. Beyond the focus on symptoms and disorders, we are seeing a shift towards understanding that developing positive mental health is important to academic achievement and overall well-being.

We have developed a Mental Health and Addiction Strategy titled Together for Mental Health, with a mission of creating caring and supportive Catholic school communities that promote well being and maximize achievement of all learners.

Positive mental health

Positive mental health includes all students and supports the goal of prevention, inclusion, compassionate support and healthy development. All students need to have opportunities to develop their gifts, be physically active, achieve a true sense of belonging, experience joy and learn social and emotional resiliency skills for their lives. Mental health promotion should be a whole school and whole community approach, encompassing all of us.

Strategies to foster positive mental health in children

The following are strategies that parents can use to promote positive mental health in their children:

  • Create a sense of belonging - build strong, positive relationships;
  • Encourage good physical health, including adequate sleep, healthy eating and exercise;
  • Make time for regular family meals;
  • Encourage creative outlets;
  • Develop your child's competencies;
  • Keep the lines of communication open;
  • Model good mental and physical health habits;
  • Have a predictable routine;
  • Foster volunteering and helpfulness;
  • Bring fun and playfulness into your child's life.

Building resiliency in our students

Resiliency is the ability to handle life's ups and downs in positive ways; the ability to deal with disappointments and bounce back from challenges. Individuals develop skills for resilience when they are successfully engaged in school activities, have opportunities to develop positive relationship skills, and strengthen their confidence in problem solving. Adults, including parents and teachers, play an important role in helping a student engage in the school environment and access resources needed for success and well being.

The following resources from Durham Region Health Department can help your children or teens become resilient:

Where to get help if you or your child is struggling with mental health concerns

The following resources and supports are available in Durham Region. Your family doctor can also be a source of information and support, and can provide referrals to specialized services.

Type of SupportResources and Supports available in Durham Region

In crisis 

(need immediate support) 

  • Durham Mobile Crisis: 1-800-742-1890
  • Durham Distress Centre: 1-800-452-0688
  • 911 or visit nearest hospital emergency department


(need support or counseling)

  • Centralized Intake: 1-888-454-6275 (a central number to access children and youth mental health services from Kinark, Frontenac, Chimo, Lakeridge Health and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health)
  • Catholic Family Services: 1-877-282-8932
  • Family Services Durham: 1-866-840-6697
  • Durham Counseling Walk-in Clinic (Wednesdays 1:00-8:00 p.m.; age 3-19): 905-428-1212
  • Durham Mental Health Services: 905-666-0831 (adults)
  • Canadian Mental Health Association Durham: 905-436-8760
  • Carea Community Health Centre

Help Phone Lines

  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (age 5-20)
  • Good 2 Talk: 1-866-925-5454 (age 17-25)
  • Durham Health Connection Line: 1-800-841-2719
  • Ontario Mental Health Helpline: 1-866-531-2600

Web resources

The tables below provide some recommended websites for parents and students to find helpful information related to mental health.

Websites for Parents and Students

Anxiety BC - a website for youth and parents to access resources, information and interactive tools for coping with stress and anxiety.

Children's Mental Health Ontario - information and resources for parents, children and youth, as well as teachers and mental health professionals.

Durham Talking about Mental Illness (TAMI) Coalition - this local website provides resources and information for parents, teachers and students.

AboutKidsHealth - a health education resource for children, youth and caregivers that is approved by health care providers at the Hospital for Sick Children.  Mental health resources cover well-being, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and more.

Websites for Parents

Durham Region Health Department - resources for parents to promote health and well being.

e Mental Health - a directory to find mental health resources and help in your area.

Reaching In - Reaching Out - resiliency resources for parents.

Websites for Students

Kids Help Phone - information on a variety of mental health topics and social issues; confidential phone and web counselling for youth up to age 20.

Mind Your Mind - a website for youth and young adults to access resources and interactive tools for mental health and wellness.

Be Safe app - download this app and be informed on the mental health help available in Durham Region. It allows youth to make a safety plan and helps make decisions about appropriate help in a crisis.

My Tool Kit - an interactive online resource that uses videos, mobile apps and education modules for youth.