Mental Health Information

What is Well-Being?

Four domains of well being

Well-being is a positive sense of self, spirit and belonging that is felt when our cognitive, emotional, social and physical needs are being met. It is supported through equity and respect for our diverse identities and strengths.

Well-being in early years and school settings is about helping children and students become resilient, so that they can make positive and healthy choices to support learning and achievement both now and in the future.

Research has shown that approximately 1 in 5 Canadian students has a mental health problem. Beyond the focus on symptoms and disorders, we are seeing a shift towards understanding that developing positive mental health is important to academic achievement and overall well-being.

The Durham Catholic School Board has developed a Mental Health Strategy titled Together for Mental Health, with a mission of creating caring and supportive Catholic school communities that promote wellbeing and maximize achievement of all learners. 

 Positive mental health

Positive mental health includes all students and supports the goal of prevention, inclusion, compassionate support and healthy development. All students need to have opportunities to develop their gifts, be physically active, achieve a true sense of belonging, experience joy and learn social and emotional resiliency skills for their lives. Mental health promotion should be a whole school and whole community approach, encompassing all of us.

Strategies to foster positive mental health in children

The following are strategies that parents can use to promote positive mental health in their children:

  • Create a sense of belonging - build strong, positive relationships;
  • Encourage good physical health, including adequate sleep, healthy eating and exercise;
  • Make time for regular family meals;
  • Encourage creative outlets;
  • Develop your child's competencies;
  • Keep the lines of communication open;
  • Model good mental and physical health habits;
  • Have a predictable routine;
  • Foster volunteering and helpfulness;
  • Bring fun and playfulness into your child's life.

Building resiliency in our students

Resiliency is the ability to handle life's ups and downs in positive ways; the ability to deal with disappointments and bounce back from challenges. Individuals develop skills for resilience when they are successfully engaged in school activities, have opportunities to develop positive relationship skills, and strengthen their confidence in problem solving. Adults, including parents and teachers, play an important role in helping a student engage in the school environment and access resources needed for success and wellbeing.

The following resources from Durham Region Health Department can help your children or teens become resilient:

Where to get help if you or your child is struggling with mental health concerns

The following resources and supports are available in Durham Region. Your family doctor can also be a source of information and support, and can provide referrals to specialized services.

DCDSB Social Work Access Line - 905-576-6150 ext. 21021
Durham Catholic students and families can call our Social Work Access Line and leave a voicemail with their contact information. One of our mental health professionals will call back and provide support. (Note: This is not a crisis line and is not monitored 24/7)

 In crisis (need immediate support)


If someone’s safety is at risk and needs immediate help, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.

Frontenac Youth Services Crisis Team: 905-723-2802 (for youth age 12 to 18 years)

  • Hours: Monday through Thursday 10:30am to 5:00pm, Friday 9:00am to 4:30pm
    (You may be asked to leave a message. If calling during hours of operation, your call will be returned within a couple of hours). 

YSSN’s Community Crisis Response Service: Call or text 1-855-310-COPE (2673) or TTY1-866-323-7785. 

  • Call, text or live online chat - after hours (7am - midnight) crisis support support for children, youth and families:

Kids Help Phone:(for age 5-20): 1-800-668-6868 or text Connect to 686868 (24/7)

Durham Region Crisis Response: 1-800-742-1890 or 905-666-0483 (available 24/7)

  • Support for individuals of all ages experiencing a personal or situational crisis 

Distress Centre Durham: 905-430-2522 or 1-800-452-0688 or text 258258

 Non-crisis (need support or counselling)
  • Big White Wall - a free online mental health and well-being service offering self-help programs and safe, anonymous online support, 24/7 for age 16+.
  • BounceBack - a free skill-building program managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). It is designed to help youth 15-18 manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness. 
  • Canadian Mental Health Association Durham: 905-436-8760
  • Carea Community Health Centre: 905-723-0036
  • Catholic Family Services: 1-877-282-8932
  • Durham Mental Health Services: 905-666-0831 (adults)
  • Family Services Durham: 1-866-840-6697
  • Frontenac Youth Services Walk-in Clinic (Fridays 9:00 a.m - 2:30 p.m.; ages 12-18)
    • For adolescents 12 to 18 years old and/or caregivers (family accompaniment welcomed)
    • Walk-in clinic sessions are available Monday to Thursday, 9am to 8pm (last session beginning at 6/6:30pm) and Friday 9:00am to 4:30 (last session beginning at 2:30).
    • Walk-in sessions are offered virtually (or in person when required/needed – and may be limited due to the pandemic)
    • Walk-in sessions operate within a single-session therapy model and used for multiple purposes: to be available as a stand-alone service, to be accessed as support for clients awaiting ongoing services, and to be accessed as “booster” sessions for clients discharged from ongoing services
    • How to access: Intake must be completed through Central Intake Services:1-888-454-6275 

  • Durham Counselling Walk-in Clinic (DCWIC) 

    • DCWIC is a free, confidential, counselling clinic, providing service for children and youth, 3 to 19 years (up until their 20th birthday) and their families
    • DCWIC is currently being offered in a virtual format via telephone
    • All appointments are pre-booked - Intakes take place the day prior to clinic day
    • Appointments are first-come, first-served and booked each week
    • Clinic hours are Wednesdays from 11:00am to 6:00pm
    • Website link: 
    • How to access: For further information, or to book an intake, please call the Clinic Coordinator at 289-509-0603, ext. 3203. 
  • Kinark Centralized Intake: 1-888-454-6275 (a central number to access children and youth mental health services from Kinark, Frontenac, Chimo, Lakeridge Health and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health)
 Help Phone Lines
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or by texting CONNECT to 686868, youth can chat confidentially with a trained, volunteer crisis responder for support with any issue (age 5-20)
  • Black Youth Helpline416-285-9944 or Toll Free 1-833-294-8650
  • Durham Health Connection Line: 1-800-841-2719
  • Good 2 Talk: 1-866-925-5454 (age 17-25)
  • Hope for Wellness Helpline: 1-855-242-3310 offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada
  • Ontario Mental Health Helpline: 1-866-531-2600
Culturally Relevant Mental Health Supports
  • Black Youth Helpline: Black Youth Helpline serves all youth and specifically responds to the need for a Black youth specific service, positioned and resourced to promote access to professional, culturally appropriate support for youth, families and schools.
  • CAMH - Substance Abuse Program for African Canadian and Caribbean Youth (SAPACCY): SAPACCY provides services to African and Caribbean Canadian youth and their families who are dealing with problem substance use and mental health concerns. The SAPACCY team works from a cultural competence lens to help Black youth work through mental health and addiction concerns. Our programs offer mental health and addictions counselling and support in accessing resources to assist youth and their families/caregivers in reducing harm, moving toward recovery, and making the best choices for themselves and their family.

  • Durham Family and Cultural Centre: A non-profit organization, established in February 2019. DFCC is a Durham-based organization that provides a space for members of the Black community, and other racialized and diverse groups to engage in programming that empowers their lives. Our mission is achieved through culturally focused programs such as counselling, parenting, education, mentorship, and child and youth development programs.
  • First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: Offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. 24/7 & toll free, available in English and French. 1-855-242-3310

  • Naseeha Mental Health: A great bridge for individuals who are going through life’s challenges. A 7 days a week call/help line to answer calls from around the world from Muslim and Non-Muslims.
  • TAIBU Community Health Centre: A community-driven organization, located in Malvern, serving the Greater Toronto Area’s Black-identifying communities. Racism, poverty, systemic oppression & issues related to housing, education & employment are all social factors affecting health & wellbeing. TAIBU’s programs and services are delivered in a culturally affirming Africentric environment to support our community.

  • Tropicana Community Services: Our mission is to offer culturally aware and supportive programs and services to those in need, with a predominant focus on individuals with a Black, African, and Caribbean heritage. Programs include life skills & self-development and wellness & mental health.
  • The Women’s Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham (WMRCC): The Enhanced Youth Outreach Worker Program (EYOW) will serve Black youth in identifying their needs, goals, skills and potential to address risk factors impacting their lives. and Together WE Can (TWC) Mentorship Program to Provide Black Youth ages 12-25 opportunities to build confidence and gain new skills to strengthen their place in society. 

Visit and scroll to the bottom of the page for the following:

  • Resources for Black Youth
  • Resources for LGBTQ Youth
  • Resources for Asian Youth
  • Resources for Indigenous Youth
  • Resources for Muslim Youth
 Websites for Parents and Students
  • AboutKidsHealth - a health education resource for children, youth and caregivers that is approved by health care providers at the Hospital for Sick Children.  Mental health resources cover well-being, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and more.
  • Anxiety Canada - a website for youth and parents to access resources, information and interactive tools for coping with stress and anxiety.
  • Black Youth Helpline - Black Youth Helpline serves all youth and specifically responds to the need for a Black youth specific service, positioned and resourced to promote access to professional, culturally appropriate support for youth, families and schools.
  • Children's Mental Health Ontario - information and resources for parents, children and youth, as well as teachers and mental health professionals.
  • Carea Community Health Centre (Pickering, Ajax, Oshawa) - is a non-profit charitable organization providing a variety of free, community programs and services including: health promotion and wellness programs; primary care, counselling and mental health; youth programs; and Aboriginal programs.
  • Durham Talking about Mental Illness (TAMI) Coalition - this local website provides resources and information for parents, teachers and students.
  • Pinewood Centre (Lakeridge Health) - The Child, Youth and Family Program (CYFP) provides services for children and adolescents, aged 5 to 18, who are struggling with serious mental health issues. We offer crisis intervention, an inpatient unit and outpatient services (e.g. eating disorders, addictions).
  • School Mental Health Ontario - School Mental Health Ontario provides mental health awareness for parents/families and a platform for student voice and leadership in school mental health.
 Websites for Parents
 Websites for Students
  • Kids Help Phone - information on a variety of mental health topics and social issues; confidential phone and web counselling for youth up to age 20.
  • Covid-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub - A hub of resources to help you take care of yourself and look out for the people you love during this challenging time. COVID-19 has, and will, impact the mental health of people everywhere. Kids Help Phone has seen an unprecedented surge of young people feeling more stressed than usual reaching out during this global pandemic. Finding accurate information and appropriate resources can be hard., School Mental Health Ontario and Kids Help Phone have partnered to bring you all the information needed in one easy-to-access hub so that youth mental health remains top of mind, and our communities are able to easily access the education, tools, support and reliable information they need. 
  • Be Safe app - download this app and be informed on the mental health help available in Durham Region. It allows youth to make a safety plan and helps make decisions about appropriate help in a crisis.
  • Mind Your Mind - a website for youth and young adults to access resources and interactive tools for mental health and wellness.
  • My Tool Kit - an interactive online resource that uses videos, mobile apps and education modules for youth.

Our top priority is the safety and well-being of all students. All students deserve to learn in a place where they feel safe. We want to know about incidents of bullying and other safety concerns so that we can take action and prevent further incidents from happening. We take issues of bullying and school safety very seriously. We encourage parents and students to report incidents of bullying or other school safety concerns as soon as it happens. Speak with a teacher or school administration to provide information about the situation, or use our Report It tool.

As part of our Board's Mental Health and Addiction Strategy - Together for Mental Health, a suicide prevention and intervention protocol has been developed, based on current research and best practice, outlining a clear step-by-step response that will be enacted when staff become aware of student suicidal thoughts or behaviour. Please visit our Suicide Prevention page for more information.

This year, the Durham Catholic District School Board will be celebrating both the November and February bullying prevention awareness weeks with the theme Walking Together to Promote a Positive School Community.  As we work together to create safe and caring school communities we are reminded of the mercy, tenderheartedness, and loving compassion that God has shown to his people.