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The BC Children’s Hospital Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre celebrates its 10th anniversary

Supportive. Informative. Connection. Hope. Understanding. Empowerment. Meaningful. Non-judgemental. Inclusive.
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These are words commonly used when people talk about the BC Children’s Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre. Now a decade old, it has become known as a leading provincial resource for everything mental health and substance use for children, youth, and families in BC, helping to reduce stigma, enhance understanding and increase the number of children, youth and families seeking help. 

Since it opened its doors 10 years ago, as a result of funding generously provided by the Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation, the Kelty Centre has made a significant impact for families, children and youth across BC:

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On Thursday, November 24th, the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre celebrated its 10th anniversary at an annual educational mental health forum. More than 350 people from across BC, both in-person and via webcast, attended or viewed the event.  

Attendees received a special presentation from BC Children’s Hospital psychiatrist, Dr. Ashley Miller, who spoke to typical teen moodiness versus depression, how parents and caregivers can support their teen and resources available to help. Attendees also had the opportunity to learn more about the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, its history, the many resources available and got a sneak peek of the new website coming in 2018. Highlights from the past ten years include the Kelty Centre’s partnership with FamilySmart™ and the placement of parent and youth peer support workers (known as Parents in Residence and Youth in Residence) working out of the Kelty Centre, as well as the Centre’s provincial outreach initiatives.  If you missed it, a video recording of the presentation can be viewed here

As a part of the anniversary, we asked leaders, physicians and staff from BC Children’s Hospital and the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre to tell us what 10 years of Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre means to them. It’s clear from what they had to say that the BC Children’s Kelty Centre is driven by passionate and supportive individuals, who are dedicated to helping families recognize mental health challenges early, connect them to the help they need and decrease stigma related to mental health and substance use.

Susan Wannamaker, President, BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre

Whether you’re a parent looking for someone to talk to about the struggles your child is having, a teen struggling with anxiety, or a teacher looking for tips on how to approach a student who seems depressed, our team at the Kelty Centre works hard to connect people to the right services and tools when they need it most. The non-judgemental, compassionate support provided by the Kelty Centre team has impacted the lives of so many families, children and youth across BC. I’m proud that BC Children’s Hospital‘s Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre has reached this important milestone, and will continue to be an integral resource for decades to come.

Michelle Horn, program manager, Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre

The work being done at the Kelty Centre is truly inspirational. Over the past 10 years, the Kelty Centre team has helped countless families understand, navigate, and connect with resources and services. What’s unique about this work is the way it’s being done – offering families the chance to connect with other parents and youth who have been there themselves, and can offer non-judgemental support from someone who gets it; Meeting families where they are at, and giving them what they need, in that moment; Empowering families to take the next steps in their journey to wellness. I’m proud to be a part of this passionate team, and am inspired daily by the degree of compassion, care, and dedication everyone who works at the Kelty Centre possesses.  

Dr. Jana Davidson, psychiatrist-in-chief, BC Children’s Hospital

The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre at BC Children’s Hospital and are cornerstones of the services our programs offer to children, youth and families.  The Parents-In-Residence and the Youth-In-Residence are phenomenal supports for children, youth, families and professionals throughout BC.”

Dr. Ashley Miller, psychiatrist, BC Children’s Hospital

As a psychiatrist at BC Children's Hospital, the number one prescription I write is "visit".
The kelty mental health resource centre has become an integral part of the healthcare team.  We used to rush to give out pamphlets at the end of an appointment and wish we had more information to give and time to process it with families.  Thanks to the amazing kelty centre and staff, that wish has come true.
No matter how obscure my request (is there a French speaking therapist for Grandmothers with adopted kids?) the Kelty staff are always able to help connect my patients to resources

Veronica Cho – FamilySmart™ Youth-in-Residence, Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre

Working at the Kelty has been some of the most meaningful work I've done in my life. I'm honored and humbled that I'm continuing the peer support and project coordination as a Youth-in-Residence that others have done before me. When families call looking for support and resources, I can come from a place where I get what it's like to be struggling, because I've been there too. Being able to provide and make space for youth and families, and hopefully make their journey just a little bit easier--that's the work being done at the Kelty, and that's the kind of service we provide. I am so proud to be a part of this team and the broader network of people who work in mental health. Here's to another 10 years!

Mary McCracken, FamilySmart™ Parent-in-Residence, Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre

Finally someone who understands what we have been going through.” This is a quote from a family who accessed our services.  The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre provides peer support, resources, information and assistance in navigating the mental health system. Although we do not have clinicians on staff here at Kelty Centre, having access to FamilySmart parent and youth in residence individuals is key to the centre's success.  For families from around the province from rural and urban centres we are a life line when their child or youth is struggling with a mental health challenge.  We can provide non-judgmental support, walking alongside the family along their journey to get help and services to support their family.  We know what it is like to be like a deer in headlights trying to help your child who is struggling with a mental health concern. Panicking because you don't know where to go for help, how to access services.  The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre's website is a great source of information that has evidence-based information and is at a level of plain language that enables a broad audience to access, understand and share information. Over the last ten years our mandate has grown to support both school and health professionals, so they can support the youth and families they work with. As Parents and Youth-in-Residence we can offer families, children and youth understanding and one next step to help them in their journey towards mental wellbeing. 
Andrew Tugwell, director, Health Promotion and Prevention, BC Children's Hospital
"A decade later what it really is about for me are the individual stories. You can quote numbers and look at the amount of resources we have developed, but it’s really about the stories of families and young people who have benefitted from the work we have done."

Marilyn Lawson, FamilySmart™ Parent-in-Residence, Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre

After retiring from over 25 years of Pediatric Oncology Nursing and moving out west, I was looking for something using my life experience to be of benefit to others.  I am very fortunate to be a Parent-in-Residence at the Kelty Centre where we can take our life experience and use it to help others.  We come from a lens of true understanding. Sometimes we can help with information and system navigation and practical advice and sometimes deep listening and understanding is all we can offer, but it lifts a weight and helps reduce the feeling of isolation. I my work experience I have not known such a dedicated, compassionate group as the Family Smart and Health Literacy teams. It is a honor to work here.

To learn more about the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, please visit: For information specific to eating disorders, please visit 

How to reach the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre:

Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can contact them anytime during these hours!

  • Phone: 604-875-2084 or toll-free from anywhere in BC: 1-800-665-1822
  • In Person: BC Children’s Hospital, Mental Health Building, 4500 Oak Street Street, Vancouver, BC, Room P3-302 (3rd Floor)
  • Email:

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