Mental Health Programs for Children and Youth

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is about striking a balance in all aspects of one’s life: social, physical, spiritual, economical, and mental. At times, the balance may be tipped too much in one direction and one’s footing has to be found again. Everyone’s personal balance is unique and the challenge is to stay mentally healthy by keeping the right balance. The World Health Organization (WHO) has always considered mental well-being as an integral part of the general definition of health. WHO defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".

Mental illness is the term used to refer to a variety of mental disorders that can be diagnosed. Mental disorders are health conditions that are characterized by alternations in thinking, mood, or behaviour (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.

Enhanced Early Intervention Program

The Enhanced Early Intervention Program was created to address mental health wait list issues with the help of Early Intervention First Episode Psychosis Teams. Through a partnership with the CMHA Windsor-Essex, CMHA Lambton Kent, and Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, local children and youth are receiving supports for both emotional and behavioural challenges.

Providing first episode psychosis
treatment services for youth age 14 — 35

When reacting to disease and illness, early intervention provides the greatest chance for reducing the negative impacts that may occur. This principal holds true when dealing with mental health conditions such as schizophrenia. By providing services to treat first episode psychosis, children and youth see their chances for recovery drastically increased.

Headspace Program/Access

In 2013. CKHA Mental Health and Addiction Program received national recognition as a future site of the Headspace Program. The Headspace program is based on a model in Australia, and will be the first of its’ kind in Canada. The new collaborative program will offer an array of mental health and addiction services for youth.

Erie St. Clair LHIN is proud to be the first Ontario site to host the Headspace Program. The Headspace Program which launched in Chatham-Kent will be expanded to Sarnia/Lambton and Windsor/Essex thanks to the efforts of local partners including:

  • CMHA Lambton-Kent
  • CMHA Windsor Essex County Branch
  • Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

By expanding the scope of existing strong clinical teams to service these youth who fell between the system cracks, this will improve the quality of life for the youth and their families and will result in cost savings to various systems.


  • 2012: The Erie St. Clair LHIN invested $600,000 in Early Intervention First Episode Psychosis Teams to help teens and young adults
  • 2014: The Erie St. Clair LHIN invested $310,000 to expande the scope of the Enhanced Early Intervention Program and Headspace Program/Access



We R Kids
We R Kids is a website designed to provide mental health information and resources to children, youth, families, health care providers, and other stakeholders. Materials on the website include a list of local services, help lines, and articles about maintaining good mental health. 
For more information, visit: