Make family mental health a priority

Staff

The pandemic has been especially challenging for children, youth and their families and it is impacting their mental health, according to a release issued by FIREFLY. But with a few tools under their belts, parents and caregivers can give the young people in their lives the support they need.

“All children and youth may experience brief issues with mental wellness, but when the issue starts to interfere with school, family, or everyday living it is important to find help,” said the release. “FIREFLY is here to help children, youth, and their families struggling with mental health.”

Children’s Mental Health Week gives all families the opportunity to be aware of child and youth mental health and the many services available in our community.

FIREFLY provides wraparound services for children, youth and their families with a wide range of supports. Children, youth and their families can access the supports your child or youth may need, which may include: child and youth workers, social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, all free of charge.

FIREFLY offers a single-session and brief service model where you can connect with a counsellor, usually within a few days of calling the intake line, where you will focus on the needs and strengths of the family to develop solutions together. After your single session appointment, you will discuss the next steps with your counsellor. Options may include continuing with brief services (1-3 additional appointments over 8 weeks to continue to develop solutions), long-term services, or closing your file.

The virtual walk-in clinic runs Thursdays from 9am-4pm, families can quickly access a child and youth mental health worker for single sessions by calling for a same day appointment.

You can find help by contacting us – FIREFLY Centralized Intake

1-833-696-5437 or emailing intake@fireflynw.ca

This Children’s Mental Health week, FIREFLY staff are encouraging children, youth and families to get out and explore nature! Connecting with nature can help lower stress, reduce anger and fear and just generally makes you feel better emotionally. Follow our social media accounts to see some of our favourite places across the region to get out and enjoy the outdoors

The signs of mental health struggles in children and youth can be different than adults. Here are some things to look out for:

1. Extreme outbursts or excessive mood swings: Anger can be a natural reaction to a stressor or situation, but ongoing and persistent outbursts in your child may be a sign of an underlying mental health concern.

2. Changes in appetite: Short periods of change in appetite can be a part of normal childhood development. However, routine or ritualized changes in eating habits can be a response to an issue of larger concern.

3. Unusually quiet, sad or reserved: Similar to anger, sadness or moments of quiet reservation can be a response to something happening in your child or youth’s life. Persistent, unshakeable sadness, however, is a reason to reach out for support.

4. Persistent nightmares or lack of sleep: Recurring trouble with having a restful sleep or persistent nightmares can affect your child’s day and mood. If you’re noticing this is becoming an ongoing issue, it could be a reason to reach out for support.