Print Book mark Send Zoom Out Zome In Reset


About Children’s Mental Health   |   About The SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health    |    Our Newsletter

About Children's Mental Health

1 in 5 children suffers from a mental health problem

Mental illness is prevalent among infants, children, and youth, with children today facing more complicated problems at increasingly younger ages. Many problems that exist today were unheard of 20 years ago.  Mental health problems can happen to children from any walk of life.

Some of the mental health disorders affecting children and youth are:
  • anxiety disorders
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • behaviour disorders - oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD)
  • mood disorders - depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression)
  • eating disorders
  • schizophrenia
Untreated mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and conduct disorders can lead to family crises, school disruption, violent behaviour, or even suicide.

4 out of 5 children who need help will not receive it

A variety of factors prevent families from getting help when they need it, including:
  • a shortage of child psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers
  • stigma and misunderstanding about children’s mental health
  • lack of knowledge about available options

Early treatment offers the best results

The need for service is usually immediate. Unfortunately, the help is not. Some families must wait as long as a year for treatment to begin, experiencing overwhelming stress and desperation as they confront the daily needs of a child in distress.

Most mental illness first appears in childhood or adolescence. Left untreated, mental health problems tend to grow worse as children age. Those who get help early benefit the most from treatment.

Treating children’s mental health problems now will save money later

Treatment can cost up to $100,000 per child annually. But for every dollar spent on mental health in early childhood, seven dollars are saved in future social and health care related costs.

Children’s mental health can affect everyone

Children’s mental health problems can impact entire communities, with disruptive and often dangerous results.  Mental health programs benefit not just children, but also their families, schools, and the communities in which they live.

Mental health treatment is advancing

Technology offers the promise of exciting new developments in children’s mental health. Genetics, neuro-imaging, and medication research all have the potential to radically improve understanding and treatment of mental illness in the young.

Media Relations Contacts

Members of the media who require more information about The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre or who wish to interview Hincks-Dellcrest staff, please contact Communications and Public Affairs at SickKids.

Public Affairs must be notified in advance of any on-site interviews with staff or patients. This will enable us to arrange an appropriate location for media interviews or film shoots, notify others who may be in the area, and determine the appropriate staff, patients and families for your story.

A representative from Communications and Public Affairs must accompany all reporters, film crews and photographers during their visit to the Centre.

Media contacts 

Matet Nebres
Manager, Media Relations

Suzanne Gold
Senior Communications Specialist, Media
416-813-7654 ext. 202059

Caitlin Johannesson
Senior Communications Specialist, Media
416-813-7654 ext. 201436

Media inquiries after hours please call, 416-813-7500 to have a member of Communications and Public Affairs paged.

For other inquiries, please contact Communications and Public Affairs at 416-813-5058.


About The SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health

The SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health is a treatment, research, and teaching centre offering a comprehensive range of mental health services to infants, children, youth, and families throughout Toronto.  Every year, more than 8,000 children and families are helped through a variety of prevention, early intervention, outpatient, and residential treatment programs.  Our vision is to bring hope, optimism, and possibilities to children and families.

Mental health treatment and services

Tailored to each child's needs, treatment at The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre may involve psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, child and youth workers, and early childhood educators.  Prevention and early intervention programs take place at our Centre and directly in the community.

Research and evaluation

SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health researchers examine the causes of children's social and emotional problems while continuously improving services by testing and evaluating new treatment methods.

Current areas of study include language disorders, adolescent depression, infant development, and the trajectory of illegal behaviour in youth.

Training and Education

A community affiliate of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Social Work, The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre prepares the next generation of mental health professionals with training placements in psychiatry, psychology, social work, child and youth work, early childhood education, and nursing.

Gail Appel Institute provides mental health and human services professionals with advanced training, research, and community consultation.