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About

This section has an overview of our services for a parent, guardian, or caring adult whose child or loved one has been referred to BC Children's Hospital, or anyone else looking for information about our services.
Healthy Minds Centre building
General Information

Our services are for children and youth who are experiencing severe mental and emotional distress or serious psychiatric symptoms. All of our services are covered under the medical services plan (MSP) and are for those who live in British Columbia (BC) and the Yukon. These services are not for people in crisis.

For an urgent mental health problem, please:

  • Contact the local crisis response team in your health authority, or
  • Visit your local emergency room (ER), or
  • Call 9-1-1

Outpatient treatment - For patients not admitted into the hospital. Our specialty clinics see children and youth with a variety of mental health disorders.  The clinics provide treatment during daytime hours on weekdays.

Inpatient treatment - For patients admitted to one of the following psychiatric units at the hospital.

  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Emergency unit (CAPE)
  • Child Psychiatry unit
  • Adolescent Psychiatry unit
  • Eating Disorders unit

For information on how to be referred to these clinics, call 604-875-2010 and ask to speak to an Intake Clerk. Or, your child's physician can call Compass.

Visiting the Hospital

BC Children's Hospital services

It may be helpful to know about these services at BC Children’s Hospital if you have been admitted to one of our programs.

For families who don't understand or speak English easily, the Provincial Language Service provides face-to-face as well as over the phone interpreting. All the interpreters are certified and follow high standards for health-care interpreting.

 

Interpreter services are available to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

For people who are hearing impaired, we have teleprinter or teletypewriter (TTY) machines. There is a fixed unit in the BC Women's Admitting and Assessment area and a portable unit is available through the main switchboard (Room E400A).


For information in French on how to find health information and referral services, please visit Francophone Services/Services francophones.

‎The patient liaison provides information and support, including:


  • Support and comfort to patients and families
  • Emergency clothing if needed
  • Care packages
  • Information about the First Nations Health Benefits Program
  • Help if you have a complaint
  • Connecting you to Indigenous and community resources
  • Coming along with a patient to medical appointments while at BC Children's Hospital or Sunny Hill Health Centre
  • Linking with the on-site health care team (nurses, doctors, or other health care professionals)
  • Connecting you with an elder for spiritual and emotional support
Find out more about indigenous patient liaison services.

We know that coming to the hospital isn't easy for you, your child or your family. Here are some resources for children and youth. If you need to talk to another parent or caregiver for support yourself, learn more about the FamilySmartⓇ Parent-in-Residence (PiR) program at the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre.‎

‎The Gender Clinic provides treatment with puberty blockers and/or gender-affirming hormones for transgender and gender-questioning youth up until their 17 birthday.

 

We have developed a Gender Clinic Roadmap (PDF) to help you better understand the referral and appointment process.

 

Intake visit: The Intake appointment is not a medical appointment, but it's the first step to connecting with our gender clinic. During this visit, you will meet the nurse and social worker. They will get some background information on your gender journey, social history, current supports and more.

 

For medical treatment with puberty blockers and/or hormones, you will need to have a readiness assessment. The assessment must be completed by a trans-competent mental health assessor before you see a pediatric endocrinologist.

 

We can discuss options for mental health assessments during the intake appointment. If you would like to connect with an assessor before the intake appointment, you can contact us for a list of recommended assessors.

 

The intake visit takes about 1 hour, but plan on being at the hospital for 1½ hours.

 

First medical visit: You will be scheduled to see a pediatric endocrinologist after our clinic receives a report from a trans-competent mental health assessor that recommends medical treatment.

 

The clinic endocrinologist will talk to you about your health and may do a 'physical' (check-up). An endocrinologist-in-training may assist.

 

Youth and parents are welcome to see the clinic staff separately, if they want.

 

The endocrinologist will discuss the next steps of the process with you based on your visit and your referring doctor's information. Sometimes, blood testing will be recommended. These are done at the hospital or at an outside lab.

 

Your first medical visit will take at least 2 hours. Plan on being at the hospital for 2½ hours or more. Younger brothers and sisters will find this tiring, and so we suggest parents arrange babysitting for them to make your visit more comfortable.

 

Find out more about the services the Gender Clinic offers and how to access them. If you or your child needs other types of support related to gender, please visit Trans Care BC.

COVID-19 service changes

We have made changes during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep patients, families and staff safe. When possible, we will deliver our services virtually instead of in person. When you use our virtual services, we provide information to make sure you receive the same treatment benefits that you would get in person. For more information about using our services virtually, please see the Healthy Minds Centre Patient and Family Virtual Care Handbook (PDF).

If your child needs to be seen in person, we have taken steps to ensure the safety of in-person appointments, including:

  • COVID-19 screening of all visitors to the hospital
  • One family only in waiting room at a time
  • Staggered appointment times
  • Increased cleaning of clinical spaces
  • Staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in clinic

For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on our services, please see COVID-19 and Children: Information for patients. If you have any questions, please call 604-875-2010.

Hospital amenities

Here is more information about the different amenities that are available to you and your family when you are visiting BC Children's Hospital.

  • All washrooms in Building 21- Ambulatory Care
  • First floor near the north entrance (Entrance 17), down the hall from the Gift Shop and across from Second Cup
  • Building 21: first floor across from area 3
  • BC Children's Hospital building: main lobby (near the main entrance, Entrance 11) 
  • The Cafeteria (Shaughnessy Building, near Entrance 79)

Change stations - infant or toddler

 

  • All washrooms in Building 21

  • BC Children's Hospital building: first floor near the Asthma,

  • Allergy & Respiratory Clinics, down the hall from the Gift Shop and near the Cafeteria

Change Station – Youth


  • Building 21: second floor behind area 11, near the windows
  • BC Children's Hospital building: first floor near the Asthma, Allergy & Respiratory Clinics

‎Located in building 21: second floor in area 11

 

There you'll find: 

 

  • Computer Terminals
  • Family Lounges
  • Library 
  • Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax
 

The gift stop is located in the lobby (across from Second Cup) in BC Children's Hospital and on the first floor of BC Women's Hospital building (beside tim Hortons).


Call Security at 604-875-2999‎.

Pay phones are located in the lobby of BC Children's Hospital building; TTY machine available in the emergency department‎.

The pharmacy is located in Building 21, on the first floor in area 6.


Lobby of BC Children's Hospital building at north entrance (Entrance 17) and west entrance (Entrance 11)‎.

  • Lobby of Building 21, Entrance 21
  • BC Children's Hospital building at north entrance (Entrance 17) and west entrance (Entrance 11); BC Women's Hospital main entrance (Entrance 93)
  • You will need a $1 coin

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Second floor of the BC Women's Hospital building, in room 2N30, down the hall, across from the Arbutus unit.

We have a beautiful Indigenous Outdoor Sacred Space‎ that is located by the gazebo behind the Healthy Minds Centre (Entrance #85 in the grassy area) and in front of the Shaughnessy (building #75).

Level 2, Level 3, Level 6, Level 7, Level 8.‎

 

Every private patient room in the Teck Centre has a shower.‎

 

Visiting a patient

Find out more about visiting a patient.


Research

At BC Children's Hospital, we have a mandate to conduct research and to support education for care providers. Our goal is to help improve mental health care for patients and families across the province. Some of the ways we do this may impact your care.

Teaching is a part of our programs, and so a Resident or trainee may attend your appointments. These care providers are completing their training under the supervision of a more senior Clinician. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact our department.

Our programs also use the Mental Health Patient Registry (PDF). The registry helps us to provide better care and to give our patients and families the opportunity to participate in research. We ask patients and families to complete their intake forms online before their appointment. This provides care providers with important information in order to better serve patients and families.

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