Mental Health Promotion
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Good mental health can help children and youth manage the ups and downs of life

Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. Good mental health can increase happiness and help children and youth manage the normal “ups and downs” of life. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association estimates that 10-20% of children and teens in Canada have mental health issues. Up to 70% of mental health problems start in the childhood and teen years. If left unchecked, problems can continue, affecting school and life success.

Promoting mental health

A strong foundation in childhood can lead to a healthy, happy and productive life. Good mental health can reduce the need to fix problems later on. It contributes to better relationships and home, work and life success.      

Anxiety is the most common mental health challenge faced by children and teens. Solving problems rather than avoiding them is a helpful way to prevent childhood anxiety. Other ways to develop positive mental health include:

  • a positive relationship with at least one adult
  • good relationships with peers
  • success in learning at school
  • a sense of community and of a greater purpose in life

All children need stability, safety and supportive adults in their lives to encourage their healthy development. Practice positive mental health and well-being for the whole family

Learn more

School is an important place for shaping children’s self-esteem, self-confidence and sense of control over their lives. Children and teens spend more than six hours daily and over 180 days a year in school. Schools can provide key activities and whole school approaches that support Positive Mental Health.

Find out if your child’s school offers social & emotional learning programs such as FRIENDS for Life or Roots of Empathy. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the way children become aware of, manage and appropriately express their emotions; make and meet personal goals; develop positive relationships; make good decisions; and become good citizens.

To get help

Child and youth mental health services are offered throughout British Columbia by the Ministry for Children and Family Development (MCFD). This includes a wide range of community-based mental health services to assess, treat & support children, youth and their families.

See your family doctor or contact the local Child and Youth Mental Health Offices of MCFD.

Other resources


As a step towards reconciliation, Interior Health acknowledges the land that we live, work, and play on as the traditional territories of the Dakelh Dene, Ktunaxa, Nlaka’pamux, Secwepemc, St’at’imc, Syilx and Tsilhqot’in peoples. It is with humility that we continue to strengthen our relationships with the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples of the interior.
MoH     PCQO