Watch this short video to hear about the tremendous impact you can have on the lives of youth and parents as a caring adult.

Child and Youth Mental Health day, May 7th
Be that caring adult

"I've never had to talk to a doctor about my mental state before, so doing that for the first time, you don't know what to expect", says Malcolm, a youth with lived experience of mental health issues.

Each year on May 7th, on National Child and Youth Mental Health Day, the Institute of Families highlights the importance of fostering ‘caring, connected, relationships’ to support the mental health and well-being of the many young Canadians facing mental health challenges.

Physicians are often the first to care for children, youth and families struggling with mental health and substance use, with the GPs office being the first port of call for families concerned about signs and symptoms. Statistics from the BC Ministry of Health bear this out – of the 129,412 children and youth 0-25 years of age who accessed mental health and/or substance use services in 2013/14, 91% visited a physician.

Building trusting relationships with physicians is key, but trust needs to be built with all those who connect with children, youth and families on the front line – schools, police, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Aboriginal services, community organizations and others.

Recognizing this, in 2013 a Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative was formed by Doctors of BC and the BC government. The Collaborative brings all these partners together under one umbrella to work towards a common goal - to ensure that families who need help receive coordinated support from trusted community and provincial services as quickly as possible. 64 Local Action Teams and 11 Working Groups, now involving over 2,000 people, are collaborating all across the province to make that goal a reality.

For more information on the Collaborative and to learn about Local Action Teams in your community visit