Intervention and treatment strategies

Intervention protocols assist students in a crisis involving mental health issues, or suicidal thoughts or behaviours are a critical component of both district and school responses. 

No matter what treatments are being used; Treatment should:

  • Have a specific goal and measurable outcomes so you know when it is or is not working

  • Be evidence based, which means that research has shown that a particular treatment has proven to a positive effect for the children or young people who participate in it.

  • Include you! You as a parent have the right to thoroughly understand what the purpose of the treatment is, how you will know if it is effective, and any potential adverse effects of treatment. You should also be given information about how you can best be involved in and support your child while receiving the treatment.

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Universal promotion of mental health and well-being

  • Advocate that children and youth of all ability levels have access to quality play experiences in community settings (e.g., playgrounds, recreational programs, museums, gardens).

  • Collaborate with caregivers, youth, and educational team members to promote mental and physical health and well-being for all students (e.g., serve on committees; provide in-services on bully prevention, positive behavioral interventions and supports, social emotional learning).

  • Evaluate and intervene to reduce barriers to participation for all students during cafeteria and recess time.

  • Informally observe all children for behaviors that might impact participation, and bring concerns to the educational team.

  • Collaborate with educators to promote effective learning styles and, if needed, create modifications within integrated classroom settings (e.g. addressing executive functioning for problem solving).

  • Create positive learning environments to foster social participation, self-regulation, social-emotional functioning, and mental health for all students (e.g., shared quiet areas, sensory-friendly classroom and cafeterias, buddy system on playgrounds).

  • Recommend modifications to school playground or cafeteria to promote social participation (e.g., design clusters of tables with portable chairs for flexible seating options).

  • Provide teacher in-services on topics such as, recess promotion, emotional and sensory regulation, and disability sensitivity.

  •  Identify, advocate for, and promote community programs for inclusive participation, such as Safe Walk to School programs.

  •  Model and teach self-regulation techniques using sensory strategies in general education classrooms (e.g., classroom yoga, shared quiet areas).

  • Provide handwriting in-services, consult with general education teachers about handwriting strategies for all students, and lead handwriting groups in general education classrooms.

  • Apply universal design for learning (UDL) principles to learning activities

Carol S. Conway, MS, OTR/L; Ingrid M. Kanics, OTR/L; Rebecca Mohler, MS, OTR/L; Megan S. Giudici, S/OT; and Amy Wagenfeld, PhD, OTR/L, SCEM, CAPS (nd). Occupational Therapy’s Role in Mental Health Promotion, Prevention, & Intervention With Children & Youth Inclusion of Children With Disabilities. https://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/Practice/Children/Inclusion-of-Children-With-Disabilities-20150128.PDF

Effective treatments
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Waddell, C., Shepherd, C.A., Schwartz, C., & Barican, J. (2014). Child and youth mental disorders: Prevalence and evidence-based interventions. Vancouver, BC: Children’s Health Policy Centre, Simon Fraser University. (Please see childhealthpolicy.ca.)

E-Mental Health

This e-mental health toolkit comes from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. This tool kit goes into detail about e-mental health services. This toolkit can be used as an effective and complementary option to
traditional face-to-face mental health support. Particularly important for remote Indigenous communities, this tool kit can be used for providing accessible and convenient assistance, and  play an important role for patients seeking help.

GAMES FOR MENTAL HEALTH

Content:
1. Identifying anger triggers
2. Creating plan to cope with anger
Note: Completed worksheet can be printed

Target Population:
Teens and older youth

Content:
1. Skills to help get out of a tough emotional situation
2. Creating a crisis plan
3. Discussion of how depression comes about

Target Population:
Teens and older youth

Content:
1. Describes symptoms of panic attack
2. Provides tips on how to get through it

Target Population:
Teens and older youth

Content:
1. Dealing with emotions
2. Positive emotions
3. Negative emotions
4. Dealing with your emotions
5. Dreams and nightmares

Target Population:
Children ages 8-12

Content:
1. Each blossom on the branch reveals an inspiring quotation

Target Population:
Children and youth

Content:
1. Types of relationships
2. Behaviours in relationships
3. Positive relationships
4. Negative relationships

Target Population:
Children ages 8-12

Content:
1. What is bullying
2. How bullying makes you feel
3. Tips for dealing with bullies
4. Understanding bullies
5. Are you a bully?

Target Population:
Children ages 8-12

Content:
1. Roles, rights, responsibilities and relationships
2. Feelings and family changes
3. The family
4. Family types

Target Population:
Children ages 8-12

Content:
1. Friendship groups
2. Good friends
3. Circle of relationships
4. Stereotypes, discrimination and harassment

Target Population:
Children ages 8-12

Content:
1. What is depression
2. What to do when feeling down

Target Population:
Children ages 8-12

Content:
1. Identifying your strengths, supports and coping strategies
2. Setting personal goals
Notes: Module is available in English, French and Inuktitut Completed worksheet can be printed

Target Population:
Children, teens and older youth

Content:
1. Coping with a new school
2. Repeating a year
3. Bullying
4. Teachers & you

Target Population:
Children ages 8-12

1. Types of communication
2. Shyness & assertiveness
3. Public speaking
4. Conflict

Target Population:
Children ages 8-12

Content:
1. Self-esteem: how you feel
2. Body image
3. Feeling good about yourself
4. Positive & negative self-esteem
5. Influences on self-esteem

Target Population:
Children ages 8-12

Content:
1. Teaches kids how to safely manage personal online spaces, e-mail and Internet searches
2. Module looks at issues of privacy and disclosure of personal information on the Internet

Target Population:
Modules are categorized by age groups:
5-7, 8-10, 11-13, and 14+

Content:
1. Game to try to squish the annoying stress trogs
2. If the trogs reach the “meltdown” zone, then the game proceeds to a screen that provides a quick and easy stress-releasing tip

Target Population:
Teens and older youth

These games were compiled by a mental health division. These games are to reach out to youth struggling with various topics relating to mental health. These tools can be used with students to have an interactive option to helping support their mental health and wellness. 

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National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program

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The National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) is an example of a Health Canada program now largely controlled by First Nations communities and organizations. NNADAP supports a national network of 52 residential treatment centres, with some 700 treatment beds. This tool can be used to get basic information on these treatment centres, including intervention programs.

Mental health counselling benefit

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The program provides coverage for professional mental health counselling to complement other mental wellness services that may be available to clients or in communities (such as those in isolated Indigenous communities). This tool can be used to provide eligible clients with coverage for benefits not available under other federal, provincial, territorial or private health insurance.

Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program

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The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program provides mental health, emotional and cultural support services to eligible former Indian Residential School students and their families throughout all phases of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement. This tool can be used for accessing Common Experience Payments (CEP),  Independent Assessment Process (IAP), Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) events, and commemorative activities.

FIRST PEOPLES WELCOME CENTRE

The First Peoples Wellness Circle has a vision, mission, and long-term plan to promote and enhance native mental health in Canada based on Indigenous worldview which is a unique perspective that differs significantly from Western conceptions of mental illness and mental health. This tool can be used  to identify needs, strengths, challenges and barriers in providing clinical and cultural mental wellness and crisis support services to a group of First Nation communities. It also provides training needs and/or capacity building, developing a community of practice, and program design and delivery.

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Indigenous friendship centres

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Indigenous Friendship Centres are “community hubs” where Indigenous people in both towns and cities can access culturally-based programs and services. These programs extend from health to family support, employment, healing and wellness.  The Children’s Mental Health Program offer services that assist children and families to address behavioural and mental health needs. This tool can be used to link others to services that consist of a wholistic approach that addresses the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of the child and family. Wrap-around, as the word implies, provides services that build constructive, community-based relationships and support networks between children with emotional or behavioural difficulties and their families, teachers, and other caregivers. 

Tungasuvvingat Inuit 

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Tungasuvvingat Inuit is a provincial service provider for the Inuit in Ontario. This tool can be used to access social support, cultural activities, counselling and crisis intervention.