Assessment & treatment
You or your child need a referral from a health care or mental health care provider before using our services.
After you or your child are accepted to our inpatient services, we provide as much information as possible to prepare you for admission and treatment.
You and your child will meet with the consultation team:
- For an assessment
- To discuss your goals
- To find out what to expect during an admission
Admission may be voluntary or involuntary. For more information about involuntary admission (also known as being certified), please see
The Mental Health Act Video: Being Certified.
Our inpatient units are committed to care that is patient and family-centred. That means you and your family play an active role in the assessment and treatment plan. Our team will work with you and your family to develop a plan that meets the needs and challenges that brought you to BC Children's Hospital. We provide a setting based on recovery and learning, where mental health professionals are available around the clock.
Visits from family and evening or weekend passes are a key part of treatment. We work with you and your family to plan visits and passes that best meet your treatment needs and goals.
The types of therapy and interventions offered will be specific to your child and based on their ongoing assessment. Interventions may include:
Your counselling appointments are with a health care provider, such as a psychologist. They may be one-on-one, or include family members. Group therapy includes other patients and one or more health care providers; family members may also be present. A variety of therapies may be used over the course of treatment.
A psychiatrist will work with you or your child to find the ideal medication regimen to best manage a mental illness with minimal side effects.
An educational professional will work with your child to ensure that their education is minimally impacted by their treatment. This may include education support while they are being treated in one of our inpatient units, or transition planning to ensure their return to school is successful.
Our health care team will provide information and education on diagnosis and treatment to patients and their family members. The goal is to help patients and their families better understand and manage living with a mental illness.
These are groups that will connect family members of youth experiencing mental illness, so that they can provide peer support, advice and encouragement to one another.
Our health care teams will work with children and their families to collaboratively come up with a plan for treating and managing mental illness. This plan will actively involve family members and the child’s community health care provider, in addition services offered at the hospital.
The length of an admission may range from several weeks to several months, depending upon the response to treatment and goals of the admission. After treatment at the hospital, we will work closely with you and your child, your family, and your community care providers to ensure a smooth transition back to your home community.
For more information about the types of therapy, visit BC Children's Kelty Mental health Resource Centre website.