Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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278 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
November 2018
Print ISBN: 9781773380674


Child and Youth Mental Health in Canada is a practical guide for front-line practitioners that looks beyond diagnostic labels. It offers a progressive response to mental health concerns that is humane and effective. Instead of pathologizing human behaviour, the text focuses on understanding behaviour and intervening from a relational perspective.

Written by scholars and professionals in the field, each chapter presents a unique perspective as it probes into the specific concerns and complications observed in different settings of front-line practice. This discussion illuminates setting-appropriate interventions and activities to meet the needs of practitioners and clients, including the unique needs of immigrant, refugee, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ children and youth.

Features include case studies, illustrations by Kyle Charles and Shoshana Laidlaw, reflective questions, suggested activities, and an appendix linking relevant DSM-5 diagnoses for each chapter, making this edited collection an essential learning resource for students in child and adolescent mental health courses in child and youth care, psychology, social work, and nursing.


Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Practitioner Wellness
Patricia Kostouros

Chapter 2 Trauma and Attachment
Brenda Thompson

Chapter 3 Family Home
Theresa Tucker-Wright

Chapter 4 Elementary School
Brenda Thompson, Caroline Westwood, and Darci Fulton

Chapter 5 Junior High and High School
Nicole Caines

Chapter 6 Recreation
Howard Bloom

Chapter 7 Residential Care
Katharin Pritchard

Chapter 8 Secure Treatment
Jason Slemko, Bryan Hume, Roy Bailey, Lorinda Molner, and Patricia Kostouros

Chapter 9 Youth Shelter
Donna Barker and Brad Pickford

Chapter 10 Youth Criminal Justice
Kristen Dubrule and Michelle Briegel

Chapter 11 Youth in Transition
Chelan McCallion


Appendix A Class Activities
Appendix B Links to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -Fifth Edition

Patricia Kostouros

Patricia Kostouros is an Associate Professor in the Department of Child Studies and Social Work at Mount Royal University.

Brenda Thompson

Brenda Thompson is an instructor in both the Child and Youth Care bachelor degree and the Correctional Services diploma program at MacEwan University.


“I highly recommend this timely, relevant, and entirely useful book. Each chapter provides a thorough and accessible analysis of the issues that are its focus and with that also offers clear, workable, and compassionate practice guidelines that are immediately transferable to the everyday lives of child and youth care professionals. These authors have oriented us to the central tenets of ethical practice that are foundational to effective engagement with children, youth, and their families and communities.”

“Child and Youth Mental Health in Canada provides a refreshing combination of conceptual, practical, and strengths-focused approaches to helping young people before or after a mental health diagnosis. The editors and authors approach mental health from the perspective of a social and cultural construction, recognizing that a diagnosis is merely a label and is not necessarily accompanied by a ‘user’s manual’ for parents or young people. The authors provide practical suggestions for accommodating and supporting young people toward success. Each chapter provides case studies to pull together the important concepts as well as reflective questions that prompt readers to attend to their own awareness about their relationships with young people struggling with mental health concerns. Readers are encouraged to understand that mental health is not static and that labels are guides, not prescriptions.”

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