1 in 5 children in Ontario will suffer from a mental health issue. Western University is hoping to make steps towards closing that gap with their new child and youth development clinic.
The clinic is offered to families with children and youth ages 3 to 18. They offer help with learning challenges such as language and speech and offers help with children and youth facing social, emotional and behavioural issues.
The interdisciplinary training at the clinic is the first of it’s kind in Ontario. Western students who are studying to earn their PhD’s or masters in either clinical psychology or in language and speech pathology will conduct the assessments, under the supervision of registered professionals.
Dr. Colin King is a psychologist and the director of the child and youth development clinic. He says that knowing the statistics of how many children are suffering with mental health and learning challenges, “we need something like this right now and Western has been a wonderful opportunity for that because of our graduate and professional programs in London. This training clinic really fits into their scope and sequence of clinical training and professional knowledge that they’re developing along the way ”
The clinic offers 3 pathways for youth and families to choose from. The three service pathways are consultation, assessment services and intervention, where families can look for one on one help to correct their issues.
Dr. King says that the students will work as part of an interdisciplinary team. He explains, “they’ll be working one on one with that child and family to perform that assessment, to build that formulation and kind of puzzle picture of that child and write some of the supporting documentation and reports that will follow the child.”
King says that working with the clinic is a once in a lifetime opportunity and is looking forward to working with community partners to cater to the needs of Londoners.