Parents for Children's Mental Health

March 2015

In this Newsletter:

  • PCMH Board Update
  • Upcoming Conferences/Learning Opportunities
  • New Resource Available Soon
  • Information on Ontario Association of Child and Youth Workers
  • OCD Information

Email your contacts about our e-newsletter!

Parents for Children’s Mental Health

PO Box 20004

St. Catharines, Ontario
L2M 7W7
T. (416) 220-0742


The PCMH Board has been going through some changes.

Kim Moran has resigned from the Board, but remains a close friend and ally.  Kim accepted the position of CEO and President at Children's Mental Health Ontario.  We look forward to staying connected with CMHO and Kim and our future partner projects.

Janice Matthews has completed her term as chair.  She will remain on the Board in the position of Past Chair.  Michele Sparling will be the new incoming PCMH Board Chair.

PCMH is recruiting board members.  For more information, or to self-nominate, or nominate someone else, please visit our website home page 

As outgoing chair, please see the letter from Janice Matthews to the PCMH Community.

To: PCMH Community

From:  Janice Matthews, Board Chair

Effective March 31, 2015 my term as Board Chair will be over and I am thrilled to announce that Michele Sparling will be the new incoming Board Chair for PCMH. I will remain on the Board on as Past Chair.

Like many of you, I have  my own personal lived experience with children’s mental health, having navigated the mental health system for over 15 years.  Also, like many of you, I have experienced the highs and lows of this journey.  When I first met Sarah Cannon and was introduced to PCMH in 2009 I felt an instant connection and kinship. I immediately wanted to volunteer to make a difference.  I am proud of the work PCMH does and the support that it provides our families.

During my time as Board Chair, I along wth the Board have focused on the development of a Board strategy, re-focusing PCMH’s key priorities and enhancing our Professional Image.  At times, I wish I was able to accomplish more, but like our own personal journies, recognize that this too is a journey - one that I am pleased to be a part of and to see the success of.

I would like to thank the PCMH Chapter Leaders for their dedication; our Executive Director Sarah Cannon for being a tireless champion; the PCMH Board, and a special thank you to Kimberley Moran, Andrea Boulden and Michele Sparling for their encouragement. To my extraordinary family and friends – thank you; many of you personally donated to our organization which allowed us to do more.
I have faith in our value statement, “Parents for Children's Mental Health believe that children, youth and their families suffering from mental health challenges deserve our extreme respect and assurance.  We are dedicated to improving the lives of these families.”

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as Board Chair of PCMH, I have been inspired by you!


Janice Matthews

Mark Your Calendars!  Some great conferences and learning opportunities coming up!

21st Annual Suicide Awareness Conference
THURSDAY, APRIL 16th, 2015!

This will be an educational conference for mental health professionals, consumers, family members, police, teachers, emergency service workers, and anyone else that may be interested in SUICDE PREVENTION.  The Executive Director of PCMH, Sarah Cannon, is one of the speakers at this conference.  She will be giving a presentation on her and her family's experiences losing a loved one to suicide.

Location: Geneva Park, 5899 Rama Road, Orillia, ON

Registration: limited to 200 people, must pay with cheque or money order for $60.00 (including buffet lunch), payable to CMHA Barrie/Simcoe to:
Terri Baumer
Conference Coordinator
788 Yonge Street, Unit 3
Midland, ON L4R 2E6
(705) 526-3708 x300

Register online at: using PayPal.
Registration deadline is April 9, 2015. No refunds will be given.


FREE workshops for Families & Community Members regarding Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders Coming Up!

April 18th: Peel Region, Delta Meadowvale Hotel, 6750 Mississauga Rd
May 9th: Durham Region, Whitby Library, 405 Dundas St. West, Whitby
June 13th: Toronto Region, Yonge/Eglington Public Library, 40 Orchardview Blvd.

All sessions are between 1:00pm-4:00pm
followed by a mix and mingle between 4:00pm-5:00pm

This workshop will discuss what Tourette Syndrome is and isn’t, current notions of TS in society, how TS is diagnosed, symptoms, treatments and the disorder’s possible effect in daily functioning. Participants will gain an understanding of strategies to become a source of support to children, you and families affected by Tourette Syndrome and associated conditions.

Registration: RSVP # of participants and session date to
Cost: FREE ($5.00 donation suggested)

Coming Soon! Designed for Families By Families - Emergency Resource Kit

Our emergency resource kit is in the final production phase and will soon be available to families!

This kit was developed by families for families to help provide some tools and strategies to navigate emergency situations and emergency visits.  It offers great organization tools/tips, and forms to help keep you organized as well as the information about your child organized and consistent between multiple service providers.

The kit was originally designed by our Windsor Chapter Leaders, who had seen a need in their community to assist and help families navigate these emergency and crisis situations.  

Soon - the kit will be available across the Province through your local PCMH Chapter Leader, or through our website.  

Stay tuned for more information.....

CARLETON UNIVERSITY is looking for individuals to participate in a research Sibling Study for  “Siblings of Those With and Without Mental Illness- A Life-Course Perspective”

The Purpose of the Study:
Researchers will be examining the psychosocial factors that contribute to the wellbeing of people who have a sibling, comparing between people who have a sibling who has a mental illness and people who have a sibling who does not have a mental illness. The hope is that this research may aid professionals to improve the lives of individuals within the family by identifying needs of these siblings and approaches to treatment.

Click here for more information and to get involved with this study.


Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care Legislation

OACYC has made the move towards legislated recognition of child and youth workers. OACYC has consulted with provincial politicians, the office of the provincial advocate for children and youth and other stakeholders. Child and youth care practitioners provide front line supports to vulnerable children, youth and parents within the community.

Child and youth care practitioners offer support across sectors through:

-       Therapeutic relationships

-       Evidence-based practice

-       Life space interventions

-       Social and life-skill development

-       Problem-solving methods

-       Restorative practices

-       Crisis management

The OACYC has adopted a professional certification program to ensure standardized set of competencies and qualitative standards towards becoming a legislated profession.  Currently, this profession is unregulated. The OACYC are concerned that the individuals these practioners support are put at risk due being unregulated. The OACYC believe that regulating child and youth care is just as important as other regulated professionals, such as: early childhood educators, nurses and social workers.

If you would like more information, please visit the OACYC website.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in
Children and Youth

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

It is a condition marked by having obsessions (distressing thoughts that you cannot get off your mind) and/or compulsions (distressing habits, rituals or behaviours that you feel compelled to repeat).

Obsessions: an example of an obsession could be worrying about being dirty or contaminated
Compulsions: an example of a compulsion is to wash one’s hands repeatedly in order to feel less anxious about being dirty or contaminated

Common Types of Obsessions and Compulsions:

Cleanliness/Contamination- Worries that things are dirty or contaminated, which leads to a compulsion of needing to wash or bathe over and over again, or avoiding touching things that might be ‘contaminated.'
Symmetry and Order- Gets upset or distressed if things aren't exactly ‘just so' or in a certain order. May spend large amounts of time arranging or re-arranging things in one's room, workplace or other places.
Numbers and Counting- Having to count or repeat things a certain number of times, having "safe" or "bad" numbers.
Self-Doubt and Need for Re-assurance- Fear of doing wrong or having done wrong, which may lead to repetitively asking others for reassurance, over and over again.
Guilt/Need to Confess- Needing to tell others about things that s/he has done.
Checking- Excessive checking of such things as doors, lights, locks, windows.
Perfectionism- Excessive time doing things over and over again until they are perfect, or ‘just right'.

The OCD symptoms can lead to further problems, including:
- Difficulty paying attention due to pre-occupation with obsession/compulsion
- Anxiety and anger if the obsessions/compulsions are interrupted
- Lateness and fatigue, lack of energy due to following OCD rituals
- Withdrawal from activities, friends, family, etc.
- Attempt to get friends/family to cooperate with OCD rituals

Prevalence? Occurs in 1-5% of children and youth

What do you do if you suspect OCD? Visit a general practitioner to ensure there are no medical problems that may be contributing to the current issue, and the GP may recommend specialized care (for example: specialized mental health services or referrals to mental health professionals, including a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker)

Common Treatments
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Medications
- Narrative Therapy


Talking Back to OCD, by John March and Christine Benton, 2007.

Freeing Your Child From Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, by Tamar Chansky, 2000.

What to do when your child has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - strategies and solutions by Aureen Pinto Wagner Ph.D

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - New Help for the Family by Herbert L. Gravitz Ph.D

Up and Down the Worry Hill by Aureen Pinto Wagner Ph.D. (Great for young children)


Canadian Mental Health Association

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation

American Academy of Family Physicians

Specifically for Children and Youth

OCD website by the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom

Self-help manual from the National Health Service (NHS), UK, suitable for teens/adults



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