Children's and Youth Programs

> One in five children four to sixteen years of age lives with some type of mental health barrier.

> Mental health resources reach far too few children and youth.

> Untreated mental health problems have immediate and life-long consequences for the child,
the family and our community.

The following programs are targeted to assist children and youth between the ages of five and thirteen in understanding sensitive issues directly related to mental health.  The programs are delivered free of charge through child- and youth-oriented facilities.  Our children's programs currently reach about 9,000 children in the region.

> Friends for Life  

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kingston Branch will
now be offering the “Friends for Life” program for children ages 8-11.
The program is tailored to children at risk for anxiety and depression,
and provides strategies for enhanced coping and resiliency.

For more information about Friends for Life, click here for the flyer

> Kids On The Block and The Jelly Bean Gang  

Kids On The Block features life-sized puppets who, through the magic of live puppet theatre, explain and define mental health problems, teach children to understand feelings, provide children with an introduction to problem-solving skills, and encourage them to talk to trusted adults. This is an effective educational medium with easily inserted activities for the formal classroom, youth groups, and other child focused organizations.

The Jelly Bean Gang is a version for younger children.

> Please Listen  

Please Listen is a six-week series of interactive, group discussions and activities for children at risk of experiencing, or currently experiencing, mental health problems.

The Challenge / Change and Caring Circles enhance social skills and self-esteem. The magic is in the power to educate, challenge, share and nurture children when they come together in a caring and supportive group.

Children are made aware of factors related to mental health issues such as self-esteem, feelings and emotions, friendships and other relationships.

Children and youth can be referred to Please Listen programs by school officials and area agencies. Each participating child receives resource materials and a Certificate of Completion.

Please Listen is currently designed to assist children and youth between the ages of five and thirteen years of age in understanding sensitive issues directly related to mental health.

Autism-focused groups are also available.

> Youth Alliance  

Youth Alliance supports young people twelve to thirty years of age who are experiencing mental health issues as well as struggling with the day-to-day challenges of teen life.  The program is youth driven - it's for youth and by youth.  A youth advisory committee helps with program design and material, and gives input about services needed by young people.

The key objective is to help youth use community services well.

Activities include school presentations and workshops, focus groups, youth and adult advisory committees, a youth information kit and our newsletter.

The Youth Alliance Coordinator can be reached by e-mail at