Immediate Support and Emergencies

As I do not provide immediate support and/or emergency services, I have provided the following information in hopes of helping prepare parents and caregivers in the event that your child has an emergency or mental health crisis. 

What does a child mental health crisis look like?

Although it is not uncommon for children to experience challenging emotions that can be difficult to relieve, knowing what to do in the event that a child cannot calm down, is uncontrollable, or is in sudden danger of hurting themselves or others can be indispensable for ensuring your child's safety.

The following are signs that your child may be experiencing a mental health crisis and may be in need of immediate action or intervention:

  • Rapid mood swings;

  • Extreme energy or lack of, excessive sleeping, or inability to sleep;

  • Inability to perform daily tasks;

  • Severe agitation and/or pacing;

  • Risk-taking and/or 'out of control' behaviour;

  • Rapid, continuous speech;

  • Distorted thinking or irrational thoughts;

  • Thinking everyone is out to get them;

  • Loss of touch with reality;

  • Hallucinations and/or delusions;

  • Self-made threats to others or themselves;

  • Isolating behaviours from friends and family (e.g., not coming out of their room);

  • Not eating or excessive eating;

  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain;

  • Self-harming behaviours;

  • Suicidal thoughts, statements (e.g., “I want to die” or “I don’t want to be here anymore”), and/or attempts.

What do I do if my child appears to be having a mental health crisis or emergency?

It is best to follow your instincts, you are the expert with your child. If your child is behaving differently than normal and/or the situation seems uncontrollable, reach out for help.

If you feel your child is in immediate or imminent danger to themselves or others, call 9-1-1 or visit your local hospital's emergency room.

 

*Ensure to let emergency personnel know that your child may be experiencing a mental health emergency.

Other emergency resources:

  • Kids Help Phone1-800-668-6868 - free, national, bilingual, confidential, and anonymous 24-hour telephone and online counselling service for kids.

  • 1800SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) - confidential, 24-hours a day, toll-free crisis line for ANYONE feeling suicidal, for those who are concerned for someone who might be suicidal, or for emotional support. Available in over 140 languages.

  • 310Mental Health Support310-6789 (no area code necessary) - free provincial access to emotional support, information, and resources specific to mental health, available 24-hours a day.

 

(Association for Children's Mental Health, n.d.; Kelty Mental Health, n.d.)