Below are links to websites or handouts that you may find helpful if you are a parent or caregiver, a teacher, counselor, or a health professional with a relationship with a child with sensory, emotional, psychological or behavioral difficulties.
Youth in BC: A list of 24 hour crisis lines as well as an online chat for youth in crisis.
Sources: A local non profit organization providing a variety of supports for families, including behavior support and consultation, early childhood development, counselling, FASD key workers, youth mental health services, and help with meeting basic needs such as food, housing and employment.
the PACE program: A Vancouver based program that does outreach support in childcare spaces, has an intensive child and family program for preschool aged children, child therapy services, and services to help with transitions between families.
Family Services of Greater Vancouver: A not-for-profit service providing counseling and other services such as parent groups and programs, life skills supports for children with special needs, parent-teen mediation, employment assistance, and more.
The Children's Foundation: An organization working in Vancouver and area to help vulnerable and traumatized children through counselling, day programs, specialized school programs, parent support and education, foster parent support and more.
Family Smart: an organization that provides families with opportunities to speak with other parents that have children with mental health struggles to provide information regarding system navigation, services, and resources. They have monthly education sessions and a resources page with lots of helpful information for families.
Kelty Mental Health: a project of BC Children's hospital that provides a wealth of information, resources, and peer support.
The Canadian Mental Health Association: an information page on childhood mental illness, what it may look like, and what to do about it. There's also links to different services in BC.
Foundry: A site for youth and young people providing a variety of information on mental health and wellness as well as guidance for accessing services and support
Mood Disorders Association of BC: has guidance for families dealing with mental illness and links to various resources
Here to help: a family toolkit, providing information and resources regarding supporting a family member with mental illness
Brainstem calmers are activities that are repetitive, patterned, and rhythmic,which help to regulate the nervous system and calm a hyperactive stress response. Some examples are drumming, marching, swinging, tapping, or doing any other sensory activity to music or a rhythm. See here for more information.
Heavy work activities use the body against resistance and help calm and overstimulated child, or energize an under stimulated child. They can be integrated throughout your child's day. Click here for a list of heavy work activities for home and here for a list of heavy work activities for school.
Purposeful, goal directed movement is more calming than random movement. See here for ideas.
A sensory diet is a way to integrate calming strategies throughout your child's day. See here for more information or here for some example activities.
See here for a variety of simple sensory actvities that can be used to distract a child from what is bothering or to calm them when upset.
Grounding activities help calm a stress response through bringing awareness from anxious thoughts to the body or the environment. See here for a list of grounding activities.
Resources for Schools
Heavy work activities use the body against resistance and help calm an overstimulated child or energize an under stimulated child. They can be integrated throughout your child's day. Click here for a PDF list of heavy work activities for school.
The Classroom Sensory Strategies Toolkit- TONS of activities to help with regulation in the classroom, created by Colleen Beck, OT.
Calm down kit: Visual strategies, PECS, and social stories for students
Beaconhouse has some fantastic resources on developmental trauma and attachment disorders and what those look like in the classroom and as well has resources such as this one, which gives a list of whole class grounding exercises and activities.