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Help Finding Resources

This section will provide information about resources and services available to you or your child if you are:

• Looking for general mental health
   information
• A current patient
• In need of emergency care
Mental Health Emergencies

If you or your child are experiencing a mental health crisis, these provincial crisis supports are available:

  • Crisis Centre BC: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
  • 310 Mental Health Support: 310-6789 (no area code required)
  • 24 hour Crisis line: 604-872-3311 (Greater Vancouver)
  • Kids Help Line: 1-800-668-6868 or KidsHelpPhone.ca
  • YouthinBC: online chat available from 12:00 noon until 1:00 a.m.
  • Youthspace.ca: online chat and text from 6 p.m. - midnight

Please immediately take your child or a child you care about to the Emergency Department (ED) or call 911 if:

  • You are concerned about their safety or believe they will harm themselves
  • You feel the child is a risk to your safety or the safety of others in your household 
  • You are concerned the child is malnourished due to a possible eating disorder or other mental health challenge
  • You believe or the child has told you or someone else that they will attempt to end their life, overdose, or do something that could cause them harm or harm to someone else
  • The child is having trouble breathing or regulating their breath (having a panic attack, hyperventilating, experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • You believe or know that the child is experiencing psychosis (hearing voices, seeing things or people that aren't there, seeming disoriented)
  • The child is harming themself or causing injury because of severe OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) including:
    • bleeding from too much hand washing
    • not sleeping due to compulsions
    • disturbing thoughts
    • severe paranoia
  • You are having trouble getting a mental health assessment in your community for the child and are exhausted. The challenges your child is experiencing are getting worse
  • Your child is awaiting services at BC Children's Hospital or in the community, but their illness is getting worse and you need immediate support

There are other reasons you may feel the need to bring your child to the Emergency Room (ER) or call 911. Mental health challenges are complex and many children have many challenges at once, so each visit to the ER may look different or be for a different reason. 

Emergency care at BC Children's Hospital

If you live in or near Vancouver, you can come to the BC Children's Hospital Emergency Department. We assess and treat children up to 16 years of age with acute medical, surgical and mental health illnesses or injuries. If you arrive to address a mental health emergency, here is what to expect.

‎When you arrive at the emergency room (ED) you will see a triage nurse. The nurse will do an assessment that will help the ED doctor understand your child's situation. The triage nurse will ask questions related to their symptoms and why you have come to the hospital. 


After seeing the nurse, you will remain in the waiting room until there is a hospital room available for you. Visiting the ED may be stressful for you, your child or youth, and your whole family.


We try to see all of our patients as soon as we are able and still provide quality care. If you feel that your child's health situation has changed while you are waiting, please tell a nurse right away.

‎Once a room is available, a nurse will take you from the waiting room to your room. Your nurse will do an assessment with you and your child to help the ED doctor decide if it is appropriate to consult the mental health team. This assessment can include questions about safety, school, relationships, and stressors. 


After being assessed by the nurse, you will have some time until you are seen by the ED doctor. There are activities that you can request from your nurse to do, such as colouring, while you wait. 


The ER doctor will ask questions about the concerns that brought you to the hospital and also do a brief medical screen. 


All mental health concerns are taken seriously by the ED team, but not all will involve the mental health team. The ER doctor and nurse will decide if it is appropriate to involve another team to help with your child's situation. These teams can include social work, adolescent medicine, and the mental health team. 


If it is not necessary to involve any other teams, the ED doctor can refer you to a service called LINK. LINK has information on mental health resources in your community and will follow-up with you in two business days.  

If the decision is to consult the mental health team, you may be assessed by any member of that team, including psychiatric nurses, psychiatry residents, and psychiatrists.

‎These crisis assessments focus on the main concern that brought you to the ED. The assessment takes one to two hours and involves interviewing both child and caregiver. 

You can expect to be asked questions about:

  • your main mental health concern

  • general mental well-being

  • safety

  • relationships

  • overall functioning (school, extracurricular activities, employment)

  • past mental health history

  • past medical history

  • social history

The mental health team will consider the child's age and development when doing an assessment. 

‎After assessment, the mental health team will meet to review your case and to discuss the best plan for moving forward.


The two possible pathways are: 


  1. Admission for a short crisis stabilization stay
    • 24-48 hours in our emergency inpatient unit CAPE
  2. Discharge with a plan that can include:
    • safety plans
    • information about mental health resources
    • emergency medication recommendations
    • referral to LINK telephone follow-up service

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre

The BC Children's Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre offers BC families:

  • Information and resources on mental health and substance use 
  • Help navigating the BC mental health system 
  • Support with eating disorders or disordered eating concerns for people of all ages

All of our services are free of charge, and you can reach us over the phone (1-800-665-1822), in person* or by email (keltycentre@cw.bc.ca).

*NOTE: The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre is closed to in-person visitors at this time. We continue to provide peer support, resources, and information over the phone and by email. If you have any questions or are in need of support, we are here for you. 

We offer:

  • Information and resources on a wide range of mental health and substance use challenges affecting children and youth
  • Peer support from parent peer support workers (FamilySmart® Parents in Residence). Learn more about peer support and the Parents in Residence that work at the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre
  • Resources and peer support for individuals of any age with an eating disorder or a disordered eating concern
  • Support navigating the mental health system
  • Options for support, treatment and networks in BC
  • Free educational events for parents, as well as school and health professionals
The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre is a part of BC's plan to improve health literacy in mental health and substance. It is a key mental health literacy program at BC Children's Hospital. Learn more about our work and our supporters.

How to reach us:

Phone: 604-875-2084 or toll-free from anywhere in BC: 1-800-665-1822

Email: keltycentre@cw.bc.ca 

In person: BC Children's Hospital, Healthy Minds Centre, Entrance #85, Room P3-302 (3rd Floor), 4555 Heather Street, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3N1

**NOTE: The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre is currently not open to in-person visitors due to COVID-19.**

Hours of operation:

We are open Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (note: we are closed on statutory holidays).

We advocate for and provide help to Indigenous families who are visiting the hospital.
Foundry BC Centres & Virtual Services

Below is information about support that can be accessed at local Foundry centres in BC for youth aged 12-24 in BC and Foundry's free virtual services.

Foundry centres

Foundry is a BC-wide network of health and social service centres for young people ages 12-24 and their families. The network is made up of community-based health and social service centres and online tools, resources and health care services.

Foundry centres provide a one-stop-shop for young people to access:

  • mental health care
  • substance use services
  • primary care
  • social services
  • youth and family peer support

Foundry works with over 140 partners across BC and supports the development of local centres. Each Foundry centre brings together local partners, service providers, young people and caregivers. Foundry's central office is under Providence Health Care. Their online platform, foundrybc.ca, is powered by BC Children's Hospital. 

Foundry virtual services

Foundry now offers virtual (online) drop-in counselling sessions, peer support check-ins and group offerings to young people ages 12-24 and their caregivers. These virtual offerings will expand over the weeks and months ahead to include primary care.

To book an appointment with their counsellors or to learn more about their services please call them at 1-833-FØUNDRY (that's FØUNDRY with a zero or 1-833-308-6379). You can also send an email at online@foundrybc.ca to book as well.

For more information about their services and other frequently asked questions, please visit Foundry Virtual.

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