Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
350 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
July 2020
Print ISBN: 9781773382043


As child and youth care practitioners increasingly engage with children, youth, and their families impacted by mental health concerns, the need for supporting resources is higher than ever. Recognizing the importance of mental health literacy, Introduction to Mental Health for Child and Youth Care is specifically designed to meet the professional practice needs of child and youth care practitioners. The first half examines the practitioner’s role in mental health care, issues with interprofessional communication and self-care, Indigenous perspectives on wellness, cultural safety and continuity, stigma, the domains of brain functioning, and how diagnoses are ascertained. Specific attention toward understanding mental health care through the theoretical perspectives of resilience, attachment, and trauma-informed care and unpacking the process of suicide intervention is offered. The second half addresses symptoms and interventions of various disorders common in child and adolescent populations, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, feeding and eating disorders, and autism spectrum disorder, in reference to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Readers will appreciate the organized structure, up-to-date content, and practical approach used in this textbook. Introduction to Mental Health for Child and Youth Care is an essential resource in mental health courses in child and youth care, human services, and social work programs.

  • includes examples of evidence-based and emerging interventions designed to address specific disorders
  • features links to online videos and further readings, as well as reflective activities that can be implemented in class or group discussions to encourage further exploration

Related Titles

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables


Chapter 1: Child and Youth Care Practice and Mental Health Care

Chapter 2: Indigenous Perspectives on Mental Wellness

Chapter 3: Epidemiology of Mental Disorders and Myths about Mental Disorders

Chapter 4: Understanding the Brain

Chapter 5: Understanding Symptoms of Mental Disorders

Chapter 6: Understanding Mental Disorders: Ascertaining Diagnoses and Effective Interventions

Chapter 7: Attachment, Resilience, and Trauma-Informed Care in the Context of Mental Health

Chapter 8: Suicide Intervention

Chapter 9: Mental Disorders Often Manifesting with a Behaviour Disturbance

Chapter 10: Mood Disorders

Chapter 11: Anxiety and Related Disorders

Chapter 12: Feeding and Eating Disorders

Chapter 13: Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders

Chapter 14: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Specific Learning Disorders

Afterword: Mental Health Literacy and Child and Youth Care Practice


Appendix: Teen Mental Health's Glossary

Patti Ranahan

Patti Ranahan is an Associate Professor in Applied Human Sciences at Concordia University. Her child and youth care practice experience spans a range of settings, including residential care, outpatient mental health, and family support.

Stanley Kutcher

Stanley Kutcher is a Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. He is an internationally acknowledged expert in youth mental health and was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 2018.

Mina Hashish

Mina Hashish is a health care professional, researcher, and writer in the field of child and adolescent mental health.


“A great introductory text that intentionally balances theory and practice, acknowledges the intersectionality of mental health, and provides child and youth care practitioners with the necessary knowledge and language to effectively communicate and practice in interdisciplinary contexts.”

“This book aims to enhance the mental health literacy of child and youth care practitioners while also highlighting the unique and valuable role child and youth care practitioners can play on a mental health team. The reflection questions and activities in each chapter encourage thoughtful and critical engagement with the material. It is clear that this book is written by people who understand both mental health and child and youth care practice. A much-needed resource for the child and youth care field.”

“This book balances evidence-based practice with the relational and human aspect of child and youth care practice. It undoes the false binary of science and human services and seamlessly weaves the two to supplement the training of a well-informed and caring practitioner. The result is a textbook that is developmentally specific to children and adolescents and is rooted in relational practice.”

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