For a number of years, Healthy Minds Canada’s Education Committee had offered school programs for parents, teachers and students wanting to learn more about mental health issues and about related behaviours they did not understand. It was through this work that the committee learned of the need for concrete reference guides on mental disorders that contained strategies for coping, as well as additional resources for teachers, parents and others working with young people.

To answer this need, the committee recruited a group of parents, educators, social workers, school psychologists, in-take coordinators, school administrators and psychiatrists for a project called When Something’s Wrong.

Phase I – When Something’s Wrong: Strategies for Teachers

The handbook, When Something’s Wrong: Strategies for Teachers was made possible by many corporate, academic and community partners. It was launched in May 2001 at Healthy Minds Canada’s first Open Mind conference, attended by over 300 people, and featured speakers who are experts in the issues outlined in the handbook (e.g, anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders and schizophrenia).

As Phase I of the project continued to evolve, the number of communities and sectors to partner with Healthy Minds Canada for the benefit of young people grew, and continues to grow.

A second Open Mind conference was held in May 2002. Once again, educators, parents, social workers, youth workers and public health professionals had the opportunity to hear Canada’s top specialists discuss recent advances in the treatment of mental disorders. A four-city tour was a huge success in spreading further information on youth and mental illness. It began in Vancouver in April of 2003, and culminated with the Open Mind conference in Toronto in May 2003.

Sponsors

BMO Financial Group, Healthy Minds Canada, Canadian Association for School Health , Dalhousie University, The Charles and Marilyn Gold Family Foundation, Hydro One, Janssen-Ortho Inc., Junior League of Toronto , Lundbeck, Mackenzie Financial Corporation , Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association, Ontario Principals’ Council , Pfizer, Sanofi-Synthelabo, Toronto Star, Sick Kids Foundation

Phase II – When Something’s Wrong: Ideas for Families

The success of Phase I provided the impetus for not only a nation-wide tour, but the start to a second handbook called, When Something’s Wrong: Ideas for Families.

Open Mind education and training sessions around the content in this comprehensive handbook continue. The handbook contains new sections on managing problem behaviour in children, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, suicide, working with your health practitioner and many more resources. As well, the handbook contains coping strategies for parents and caregivers to help them manage with their own children who have mental health issues, but the handbook is also useful for teachers and counsellors who work with these families.

Healthy Minds Canada works with many sectors in Canada, including education, social services and health, to bring scientifically sound information to those working with our youth. Healthy Minds Canada’s projects help to send the key message that early identification and intervention of mental health issues can greatly improve outcomes for the one in five Canadians affected.

Lead Founding Sponsors

Cowan Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation

Partners

Children’s Aid Foundation, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto

Additional Sponsors

The Charles and Marilyn Gold Family Foundation
The EJLB Foundation, Hydro One, Janssen-Ortho Inc., Mackenzie Financial Corporation, TD Waterhouse Canada Inc.

Contributors

Sick Kids Foundation, Lundbeck Canada Inc., Pfizer Canada Inc., Sanofi-Synthelabo Canada Inc., Toronto Star

Phase III – When Something’s Wrong: Strategies for the Workplace

The third handbook in the series, When Something’s Wrong: Strategies for the Workplace was launched in 2007. This handbook is for employers,managers, supervisors and human resource personnel. It is also a useful tool for occupational health and safety personnel, disability management providers, union representatives and employees.

Our goal with this handbook is to provide practical information and outline ways for employers to address mental health problems in their workplace. Readers will find information, strategies and resources designed to deal with a range of issues from early identification to managing return to work and creating healthy workplace environments.

As with the other two handbooks, Healthy Minds Canada can design a workshop tailored to the needs of employers, organization or association.

Interactive workshops delivered by mental health experts can cover the following topics and more:

  • Making Your Business Case
  • Manager / supervisor training: Recognizing and Addressing Mental Health Problems in the Workplace
  • Incorporating Mental Health in your Disability Management and Return to Work Policies and Practices Creating Mentally Healthy Workplaces
  • Employee education on mental health and wellness issuesFor a number of years, Healthy Minds Canada’s Education Committee had offered school programs for parents, teachers and students wanting to learn more about mental health issues and about related behaviours they did not understand. It was through this work that the committee learned of the need for concrete reference guides on mental disorders that contained strategies for coping, as well as additional resources for teachers, parents and others working with young people.
Lead Founding Sponsors

Cowan Foundation

Sponsors

Canada Post,The Walsh Group

Project Partners

Family Services Employee Assistance Program, S.W. Dermer and Associates, Ash Bender, A.D.

Launch Partners

McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences  St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Foundation