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Talking to children and youth about
COVID–19

English resources

The emergence of COVID-19 in populations across the globe has had a significant impact on children, youth and families. To support our community partners during this challenging time, the Centre has compiled links to resources published by child and youth mental health organizations, professional associations and organizations relevant to child and youth care, to support discussions between parents/caregivers and children and youth.

The resources shared were gathered through a rapid, non-systematic scan of practice guidelines with an intent to support you in a timely fashion. The resources shared were not collected through an exhaustive search or systematic review, but reflect information available at the time of writing. As new practice evidence emerges, recommendations may evolve.

Note that in this resource “COVID-19” and “coronavirus” are used interchangeably and refer to the respiratory disease that is caused by a novel coronavirus that was discovered in 2019.

Added April 20

World Health Organization

Children’s story book released to help children and young people cope with COVID-19

Added April 8

CHU Sainte-Justine (as published on the Canadian Pediatric Society website)

Tips and tricks to help adolescents cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Added April 3

Children’s Mental Health Ontario

Talking to your anxious child about COVID-19

  • Includes recommendations to stay informed, keep a consistent routine for children/youth, being open and honest with the facts about the virus; and suggests preventative measures

  • Includes links to additional resources

Canadian Psychological Association

Mental health and coping during COVID-19

  • Provides general information about how people might cope with COVID-19

  • Includes suggestions on how to support those who have pre-existing mental health conditions

  • Provides advice for parents/caregivers to identify and support children who are stressed by COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US)

Kids Health

Coronavirus: What kids can do

  • Information and tips on how to respond to the virus, written for a young audience

  • Provides information on how to prevent contracting or passing on germs to protect oneself and their family

Child Mind Institute

Talking to kids about the coronavirus

  • Includes a short video by Dr. Jamie Howard (Director, Trauma and Resilience Service, Child Mind Institute) on how to have conversations with children about the coronavirus and its impact
  • Emphasizes the importance of being open and available for children to ask questions
  • Highlights the value of keeping a routine and consistency during times of change and schedule disruptions (e.g. school closures)
  • References other sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resource on “what to do when children are anxious”

Psychology Today

How to talk to kids and teens about the coronavirus

  • Provides suggestions on how to discuss the COVID-19 virus and support children and youth during this time

  • Breaks down suggestions by developmental age (e.g. preschool, elementary school, high school)

NPR

Just for kids: A comic exploring the new coronavirus

  • Print and fold comic

  • The website link includes a short three-minute audio clip that explains (to children and youth) what the virus is and preventative measures we can take to stay healthy

World Health Organization

Helping children cope with stress during the 2019 nCoV outbreak

The Autism Educator

Coronavirus social story

  • An infographic developed to help alleviate fears and anxiety children may be experiencing

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Parent/caregiver guide to helping families cope with COVID-19

  • Includes information on COVID-19

  • Provides suggestions on how to prepare families for the impact of the outbreak with links to resources that have accurate and up-to-date information

  • Summarizes information on preventative measures to stay healthy

  • Provides coping strategies to support families and children with the stress of an outbreak

  • Provides strategies on how to help and support children and is broken down by age group/developmental period

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Talking to children about COVID-19

  • 14 suggestions to help parents/providers have conversations about the COVID-19 outbreak with children/youth

French resources

Ajouté le 8 avril

CHU Sainte-Justine (tel que publié sur le site web de la Société canadienne de pédiatrie)

Trucs et astuces pour un confinement moins difficile à l’adolescence pendant la pandémie au COVID-19

Ajouté le 3 avril

Unicef

Organisation mondiale de la santé

Hôpital Ste-Justine (Montréal)

Ordre des psychologues du Québec

Office fédéral de la santé publique (Suisse)

Série d’affichages imprimables – règles d’hygiène, comment se protéger, lavage de mains, etc.

E-mental health services

 English resources

The emergence of COVID-19 in populations across the globe has had a significant impact on the delivery of face-to-face child and youth mental health services in Ontario. In order to continue to meet the needs of children, youth and families, many service-providing agencies are rapidly moving to deliver care through telecommunication technologies. To support our community partners during this challenging time, the Centre and Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) have compiled:  

  • information about ongoing work our organizations are leading to support the delivery of high-quality e-mental health services for Ontario’s children and youth; and

  • links to practice guidelines, toolkits and other resources published by professional colleges, associations and institutions relevant to the delivery of e-mental health services in Ontario. 

The resources shared were gathered through a rapid, non-systematic scan of practice guidelines with an intent to support you in a timely fashion, as you explore alternatives to face-to-face mental health care for children, youth and families. The guidelines and resources shared were not collected through an exhaustive search or systematic review, but reflect information available at the time of writing. As new practice evidence emerges, recommendations may evolve.

Within this resource, the following terms are used interchangeably to refer to the provision of client care using telecommunication technologies as alternatives to face-to-face services: e-mental health, telehealth, telepsychology, e-services, telepractice, online treatment, video counselling, tele-rehabilitation.

Added May 1

Professional guidelines or requirements

Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca

As many service providers are shifting to virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are developing or enhancing policies, procedures and guidance documents intended to support this form of service delivery. In many instances, professional associations and colleges have guidelines or requirements that must be followed. Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca has developed this resource to provide guidance and support to psychotherapists working in the agency, as they support clients virtually.

We are sharing this resource with permission from Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca. This document is intended for guidance only.

Guidelines, toolkits and resources

YouthREX

Added April 3

Ontario Health

Mental Health Commission of Canada

Virtual care platforms

Ontario Telemedicine Network

Think Research

To support service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, Think Research is dropping its rates to $10 per month to help psychologists move to a virtual care platform. Think Research is a Canadian company, with Canadian servers and complies with Canadian privacy laws. They are currently one of the vendors working with the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN).

Think Research offered to provide a number of free licenses to Ontario Psychological Association members who have offered pro bono services as part of the Disaster Response Network led by Dr. Liliana Tarba.

Psychological associations and colleges

Canadian Psychological Association

Ontario Psychological Association

College of Psychologists of Ontario

The College of Psychologists of Ontario (the College) recently shared the following links with its membership, which include video presentations and tutorials by Dr. Christine Korol, R.Psych., to help members move to online services. These presentations by Dr. Korol were part of the Barbara Wand seminar in professional ethics, standards and conduct.

The College also shared a link to Dr. Korol’s three-part introduction to online services, which covers topics related to ethics and online practice.

Counselling and psychotherapy associations and colleges

Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association

College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario

Social work

Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators

College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario

French resources

L’émergence de la COVID-19 dans les populations du monde entier a eu une incidence importante sur la prestation de services de santé mentale en personne aux enfants et aux jeunes en Ontario. Afin de continuer à répondre aux besoins des enfants, des jeunes et des familles, de nombreux organismes offrant des services prennent rapidement des mesures pour fournir des soins au moyen des technologies de télécommunication. Pour soutenir nos partenaires communautaires en cette période difficile, le Centre et Santé mentale pour enfants Ontario (SMEO) ont compilé ce qui suit :

  • de l’information sur les travaux en cours menés par nos organismes pour appuyer la prestation de services de télésanté mentale de grande qualité pour les enfants et les jeunes de l’Ontario;
  • des liens vers des lignes directrices sur la pratique, des trousses d’outils et d’autres ressources publiées par des institutions de formation, des associations et des institutions professionnelles en lien avec la prestation de services de télésanté mentale en Ontario.

Les ressources partagées ont été recueillies au moyen d’une analyse rapide et non systématique des lignes directrices sur la pratique dans le but de vous aider dans les meilleurs délais à explorer des solutions de rechange aux soins de santé mentale en personne pour les enfants, les jeunes et les familles. Les lignes directrices et les ressources partagées n’ont pas été recueillies au moyen d’une recherche exhaustive ou d’un examen systématique, mais reflètent l’information disponible au moment de la rédaction. À mesure que de nouvelles données probantes sur la pratique deviendront disponibles, les recommandations pourront évoluer.

Dans la présente ressource, les termes suivants sont utilisés de façon interchangeable pour désigner la prestation de soins aux clients à l’aide des technologies de télécommunications comme solutions de rechange aux services de santé mentale en personne : télésanté mentale, télésanté, télépsychologie, services électroniques, télépratique, traitement en ligne, consultation vidéo, téléréadaptation.

Ajouté le 8 avril

Lignes directrices et exigences professionnelles

Mains LeReseaudaideauxfamilles.ca

La pandémie de la COVID-19 a poussé plusieurs fournisseurs de services à faire une transition vers des soins virtuels. Ces organismes ont dû mettre en place ou étoffer leurs politiques, procédures et documents d’orientation afin de soutenir cette forme de prestation de services. Dans plusieurs cas, les associations et les corps professionnels ont également des lignes directrices ou des exigences qui doivent être respectées. Mains LeReseaudaideauxfamilles.ca a créé la présente ressource pour orienter et appuyer les psychothérapeutes travaillant au sein de l’agence dans leur suivi virtuel de clients.

Nous rendons cette ressource disponible avec la permission de Mains LeReseaudaideauxfamilles.ca. Ceci est uniquement un document d’orientation.

Lignes directrices, trousses d’outils et ressources

Commission de la santé mentale du Canada

Plateformes de soins virtuels

Réseau Télémédecine Ontario

Associations et ordres de counseling et de psychothérapie

Association canadienne de counseling et de psychothérapie

Services de réadaptation

Ordre des audiologistes et des orthophonistes de l’Ontario

Ordre des ergothérapeutes de l’Ontario

Policies, procedures and guidance: examples from Ontario agencies

We are sharing examples of policies and procedures for e-mental health services developed by Ontario child and youth mental health agencies, with permission of the authors. These resources are meant for guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic and are shared as examples only.

The Centre has not evaluated these documents and does not formally recommend or endorse the guidance provided within them.

Added May 1

Phoenix Centre for Children and Families

The Phoenix Centre for Children and Families is currently building a virtual walk-in mental health service for the families they serve across Renfrew County. As part of this work, staff have engaged in training and consultation to design a) a draft policy and procedure on video conferencing as a means of client communication; and b) draft guidance and considerations for providing therapy over the phone or through videoconferencing software. If you have questions about these documents, please contact Debra Woodfine, clinical director at dwoodfine@phoenixctr.com.

Compass Child & Youth Mental Health Services

Added April 24

Pathstone Mental Health

Added April 20

Algoma Family Services

Webinar: Virtual care 101 for child and youth mental health

Added May 28

On April 25, 2020 the Centre and School Mental Health Ontario co-hosted a webinar as an introduction to virtual mental health care delivery to child and youth mental health service providers working in community-based or school settings.

This webinar focused on responding to stakeholder questions in five key areas: getting ready to deliver virtual care; ethics, privacy and legal considerations when delivering virtual care; engaging with clients in virtual care; clinical considerations (including risk assessment); and generally increasing comfort and troubleshooting issues when delivering virtual care.

Supporting virtual teams and remote clinical supervision

 English resources

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the way community-based child and youth mental health agencies provide support to families. To comply with orders of the emergency declaration in Ontario (March 17, 2020; extended on March 30, 2020) and associated efforts to promote physical distancing, many agencies are delivering professional services through virtual visits and telephone, having rapidly transitioned to using online platforms and tools that allow service providers to work from home. This sudden adjustment to a new way of working brings novel challenges for supervisors and teams.

Added April 8

The Centre and Children's Mental Health Ontario

To support our community partners during this challenging time, the Centre and Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) scanned the academic and grey literature for practical guidance for supervisors managing virtual teams. The content and resources shared in this document were not collected through an exhaustive search or systematic review, and reflect information available at the time of writing.

Download the PDF

 French resources

La pandémie de COVID‑19 a eu une incidence importante sur la façon dont les organismes communautaires de santé mentale pour enfants et adolescents offrent du soutien aux familles. Afin de se conformer aux ordres de la déclaration de l’état d’urgence en Ontario (17 mars 2020; prolongation le 30 mars 2020) et aux efforts associés à la promotion de la distanciation physique, de nombreux organismes offrent leurs services professionnels sous forme de consultations virtuelles et téléphoniques, après avoir rapidement adopté les plateformes et les outils en ligne qui permettent aux fournisseurs de service de travailler à domicile. Cette adaptation soudaine à une nouvelle façon de travailler présente de nouveaux défis pour les superviseurs et les équipes.

Ajouté le 8 avril

Le Centre et Santé mentale pour enfants Ontario 

Afin d’appuyer nos partenaires communautaires durant cette période difficile, le Centre et Santé mentale pour enfants Ontario (SMEO) ont procédé à un examen des publications universitaires et de la littérature grise pour obtenir des conseils pratiques à l’intention des superviseurs qui gèrent des équipes virtuelles. Le contenu et les ressources partagés dans le présent document n’ont pas été recueillis au moyen d’une recherche exhaustive ou d’un examen systématique, et ils reflètent l’information disponible au moment de la rédaction.

Téléchargez le PDF

Privacy considerations for delivering e-mental health services

Privacy legislation and considerations

Privacy legislation and governance processes aimed at protecting an individual’s health information are shared across federal and provincial/territorial jurisdictions, professional policies, and organizational policies. Each province and organizational body will legislate appropriate practices to ensure the protection of personal health information (PHI), including access, collection, use and disclosure of information.

Child and youth mental health agencies in Ontario are governed by the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA) and by the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).

Legal obligations for privacy, confidentiality and consent are complex in the child and youth mental health sector due to overlapping:

  • federal and provincial/territorial governance
  • common law
  • equitable principles
  • statutory principles
  • professional guidelines and policies
  • organizational policies and procedures

We strongly recommend legal and relevant information technology (IT) consultations and review when implementing standard operating procedures and frameworks in an organization. This document does not provide legal advice and is to be used for information purposes only.

Organizational policies need to be in place to guide the use of e-mental health services and PHI. To help keep patients and families’ PHI safe, and to safeguard against liability:

  • Organizations should ensure that all staff members are informed of the procedures, policies and risks associated with each form of e-mental health tools.
  • Staff members may consult the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario or a privacy officer or expert for up-to-date advice and guidance regarding the security of certain e-mental health technology or physical setting.
  • Staff members should consult with their professional association regarding e-mental health regulations and practice guidelines, with attention to competency requirements and procedures relating to privacy and confidentiality.
  • Staff members must comply with all privacy and security requirements both during e-mental health counselling or treatment sessions and when in contact with the client through other electronic means, including but not limited to appointment set-up and confirmation, follow-up calls and emails.
  • Organizations and staff members should document all privacy and security measures taken.
  • Organizations should review and update their policies relating to the privacy and security of their e-mental health services, including policies on managing security breaches and handling client complaints.
  • Organizations need to connect with their insurance provider regarding liability coverage related to delivering e-mental health services.
  • For a more thorough assessment of the organization’s use of new e-mental health platforms or third-party providers, a privacy impact assessment (PIA) and threat risk assessment (TRA) may be needed. The PIA and TRA are extensive reviews to assess the impact of a new technology or electronic process on the privacy of personal health information.
  • Clinicians need to be aware of, and competent in, addressing privacy and security issues while delivering e-mental health services.
  • Clinicians need adequate training on relevant clinical policies and procedures (e.g. how to handle clients who may not be able to ensure privacy where they are, how to handle interruptions).
 English resources

The emergence of COVID-19 in populations across the globe has had a significant impact on the delivery of face-to-face child and youth mental health services in Ontario. In order to continue to meet the needs of children, youth and families, many service-providing agencies are rapidly moving to deliver care through telecommunication technologies. To support our community partners during this challenging time, the Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (the Centre) and Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) have compiled:

  • a summary of privacy considerations that outline the main governing bodies and legislation that should be consulted when delivering virtual care; and
  • links to practice guidelines, toolkits and other resources published by professional colleges, associations and institutions relevant to the privacy considerations for the delivery of e-mental health services in Ontario.

The resources shared were gathered through a rapid, non-systematic scan of practice guidelines with the goal of providing timely support to service providers exploring alternatives to face-to-face mental health care for children, youth and families. The resources shared were not collected through an exhaustive search or systematic review but reflect information available at the time of writing. As new practice evidence emerges, recommended resources may evolve.

Within this resource, the following terms are used interchangeably to refer to the provision of client care using telecommunication technologies as alternatives to face-to-face services: e-mental health, telemental health, telehealth, telepsychology, e-services, telepractice, online treatment, video counselling, tele-rehabilitation.

Federal and provincial privacy policies and standards

Federal

Provincial (Ontario)

Professional bodies

Psychological associations and colleges

Counselling and psychotherapy associations and colleges

Social work

Rehabilitation services

Toolkits and resources

Mental Health Commission of Canada

Virtual care platforms

Ontario Telemedicine Network

Zoom

 French resources

L’émergence de la COVID-19 dans les populations du monde entier a eu une incidence importante sur la prestation de services de santé mentale en personne aux enfants et aux jeunes en Ontario. Afin de continuer à répondre aux besoins des enfants, des jeunes et des familles, de nombreux organismes de prestation de services prennent rapidement des mesures pour fournir des soins au moyen des technologies de télécommunication. Pour soutenir nos partenaires communautaires en cette période difficile, le Centre d’excellence de l’Ontario en santé mentale des enfants et des adolescents (le Centre) et Santé mentale pour enfants Ontario (SMEO) ont compilé ce qui suit :

  • un résumé des considérations sur la protection des renseignements personnels qui décrit les principaux organismes dirigeants et les lois à consulter dans le cadre de la prestation de soins virtuels; et
  • des liens vers des lignes directrices sur la pratique, des trousses d’outils et d’autres ressources publiées par des ordres professionnels, des associations et des institutions portant sur les considérations relatives à la protection des renseignements personnels dans le cadre de la prestation de services de santé mentale en ligne, en Ontario.

Les ressources partagées ont été recueillies au moyen d’une analyse rapide et non systématique des lignes directrices sur la pratique en vue d’aider dans les meilleurs délais les fournisseurs de services à explorer des solutions de rechange aux soins de santé mentale en personne pour les enfants, les jeunes et les familles. Les ressources échangées n’ont pas été recueillies au moyen d’une recherche exhaustive ou d’un examen systématique, mais reflètent l’information disponible au moment de la rédaction. À mesure que de nouvelles données probantes sur la pratique deviennent disponibles, les ressources recommandées peuvent évoluer.

Dans la présente ressource, les termes suivants sont utilisés de façon interchangeable pour désigner la prestation de soins aux clients à l’aide des technologies de télécommunications comme solutions de rechange aux services de santé mentale en personne : santé mentale en ligne, télésanté mentale, télésanté, télépsychologie, services électroniques, télépratique, traitement en ligne, consultation vidéo, réadaptation à distance.

Politiques et normes fédérales et provinciales en matière de protection des renseignements personnels

Politiques et normes fédérales et provinciales en matière de protection des renseignements personnels

Fédéral

Provincial (Ontario)

Organismes professionnels

Société, association et ordre des psychologues

Associations et ordres de counseling et de psychothérapie

Association canadienne de counseling et de psychothérapie

Services de réadaptation

Alliance canadienne des organismes de réglementation de la physiothérapie

Ordre des ergothérapeutes de l’Ontario

Outils et ressources

Commission de la santé mentale du Canada

Plateformes de soins virtuels

Réseau Télémédecine Ontario

• Centre de la protection des renseignements personnels

Evaluating and improving e-mental health services

 English resources

To ensure high-quality care, and to plan for longer-term implementation of e-mental health services for children and youth, agencies are encouraged to evaluate current virtual care offerings. Understanding what has worked well, challenges and how these have been addressed will enable the sector, post-pandemic, to take deliberate steps to adding virtual care options to their suite of mental health services for families. This document presents guidelines to help agencies evaluate the virtual care services they provide.

Download the PDF

 French resources

Afin d’assurer des soins de grande qualité et de planifier la mise en œuvre à long terme de services de santé mentale en ligne pour les enfants et les adolescents, les organismes sont encouragés à évaluer leurs offres de soins virtuels. Comprendre ce qui a bien fonctionné, les défis rencontrés et la façon dont ils ont été relevés permettra aux intervenants du secteur, une fois la pandémie terminée, de prendre des mesures concrètes pour ajouter des options de soins virtuels à leur gamme de services de santé mentale pour les familles. Ce document présente des lignes directrices pour aider les agences à évaluer leur prestation de soins virtuels.

Téléchargez le PDF

Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy

Added June 2

 English resources

Internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) is a structured form of psychotherapy in which clients receive psychological support through email or online modules. The level of therapist support involved in guiding therapy, the duration, and specific program elements vary across individual programs. Overall, the evidence suggests that iCBT is an effective alternative (or complement, in some cases) to traditional in-person cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), while addressing common access barriers associated with in-person CBT (e.g., perceived stigma, cost, geographical access in rural and remote areas, wait times).

Download the PDF

 French resources

La thérapie cognitivo-comportementale offerte par Internet (TCCI) est une forme structurée de psychothérapie dans laquelle les clients reçoivent un soutien psychologique par courriel ou au moyen de modules en ligne. Le niveau de soutien des thérapeutes dans l’orientation de la thérapie, sa durée et ses éléments particuliers varient d’un programme à l’autre. Dans l’ensemble, les données probantes indiquent que la TCCI est une solution de rechange efficace (ou un complément, dans certains cas) à la thérapie cognitivo-comportementale (TCC) traditionnelle en personne et qu’elle s’attaque aux obstacles courants qui limitent l’accès à la TCC en personne. (p. ex. stigmatisation perçue, coût, difficulté d’accès en région rurale ou éloignée, temps d’attente).

Téléchargez le PDF