If you are concerned about your child`s emotional state or behaviour, but do not know where to go for help, the following will serve as a starting point in your search:
- Ask friends, family members, or members of your community if they are aware of counselling services that would be helpful in dealing with your situation.
- Speak to your family physician or child`s pediatrician, and request a referral to a child psychiatrist or mental health clinic.
- Speak to your child`s School Social Worker or Guidance Counsellor.
- Contact your Employee Assistance Program representative.
- If you belong to a particular religious or ethno-cultural group, speak to a trusted member of that group.
Community Directories, Help Lines and Web Sites:
The following information is provided to help you find community agencies, telephone help lines, and helpful web sites:
- 211Web Site: www.211toronto.ca
- This service provides information about virtually all community agencies throughout the GTA.
- Kids Help Phone 1-800- 668-6868
- Self Help Resource Centre of Greater Toronto: 1-888-283-8806 Web Site: www.selfhelp.on.ca
Private therapists charge fees for their services, sometimes based on sliding scales. They have a variety of credentials. Both Psychologists and Social Workers are governed by regulatory organizations under Provincial legislation. Private therapists can be recommended by sources mentioned in the early part of this article. As well, they can be found through the Yellow Pages under Marriage, Family and Individual Counselors. Some advertise in local community newspapers.
Some questions to ask a private therapist:
- What are your professional qualifications?
- What is your philosophy or approach to counselling?
- Do you allow a free or reduced rate initial consultation to see if we can work together successfully?
- What are your fees?
- Do you have a sense of approximately how many sessions we will need to meet?
- Do you belong to a professional organization?
- Is your profession regulated by the Province of Ontario?
Often, the right therapist has a combination of personal qualities (e.g., empathy and good judgement) plus appropriate professional qualifications and experience.
Your School Social Worker may provide further information on any of the services listed above.