What Kidthink Is
Clinical treatment of mental illness with a focus on children aged 12 and under using evidence-based treatments that are proven to be most effective;
Outreach within the community with a primary focus on training teachers, caregivers and pediatricians to better identify and support children with mental illness;
What Kidthink Does
The estimated annual unserved demand for mental health services for children aged 5-12 years old in Manitoba is estimated to be between 10,772 to 21,545 children. One of KIDTHINK’s goals is to decrease wait-times for members of this group. In addition, KIDTHINK is strengthening the support system in the lives of children suffering from mental illness and mental health challenges through the KIDTHINK intervention and knowledge transition programs.
As KIDTHINK continues to operate and grow, the important and positive changes in contacted communities will broaden and an increase in the number of children having access to assessment and treatment services at younger ages will become a reality. With a focus on prevention and early intervention and capacity building of community supports, the need for those services will reduce. Eventually, the KIDTHINK model will expand across Canada and will aid, influence and inspire like-ventures to help create a modern, innovative, effective Canada that meets the needs of all youth in need of mental health treatment.
Youth mental health in Manitoba, as well as across Canada, is a dire issue in need of attention.
- 70% of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence
- 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder, but only 20% of children who need mental health services will receive them
- Mental illness kills more people aged 15-34 in Canada than cancer and heart disease combined
- The current wait time for mental health treatment for youth in Manitoba is 6 months or more
It is this collection of facts that inspired Carmyn Aleshka, founder of The Upside Down Tree, to create KIDTHINK Children’s Mental Health Centre Inc. (KIDTHINK). She identified an opportunity to provide an innovative and wholistic solution to help solve this problem for Manitoba youth which involves the child’s entire community.