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Mental Health in Childhood & Adolescence

Course Code: CYCC 2360
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Department: Child and Youth Care
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

Using a lifespan development approach, this course explores the precursors, presentations, nature and impacts of mental illness for the individual, their families and their communities. Students have the opportunity to develop, and apply within the classroom, knowledge and skills needed to support mental health within individuals’ personal and socio-cultural context. Students’ own values, beliefs and cultural contexts are examined within various frameworks of the CYCC role. Community resources and mental health services are surveyed.

Course Content

  1. Values, attitudes, beliefs and cultural experiences influence our interactions with others.
  2. An understanding of mental health & illness from a developmental perspective enables the CYCC to understand the complexities of mental illness in the lives of children, adolescents and their families.
  3. Wellness and health are holistic and multidimensional concepts, which are intertwined transactionally with their families and the communities in which they live.
  4. A basic understanding of mental health and illness, of mental health care systems and of provincial mental health services will help the CYCC practitioner be a resource to individuals, families and communities addressing mental health concerns.
  5. Knowledge, although tentative and changing, assists in dispelling myths and changing attitudes. A basic understanding of current classifications and treatments for mental illness helps to develop values and attitudes necessary for effective CYCC work.
  6. Each individual is seen to be expert in his/her own life experience. Learning to listen and facilitate the expression of the meaning of those life experiences is essential to CYCC practice.
  7. Living with mental illness can be isolating.  CYCC practice includes bridging into community resources and informal social networks to facilitate community connection and individual involvement and contribution.

Understanding that collaborative planning is necessary in CYCC practice.

Methods of Instruction

Lecture; discussion; demonstration; group work

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College Policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. This will include but not be limited to: written assignments, group presentations, and analysis of skill development.

This is a graded course.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain the various definitions, understandings and treatments of mental health & mental illness currently held in British Columbia and Canada as they apply to children and youth.
    • Familiarize themselves with those portions of the DSM IV T-R relevant to their practice as CYCC.
    • Critically examine the implications of DSM IV T-R diagnoses in the lives of children & youth
    • Develop a familiarity with local resources and services available to children, youth & their families
    • Understand some common pharmaceutical treatments for mental illness, as well as their potential side effects
    • Outline elements of mental health and wellness, prevention and capacity building
  2. Investigate the implications of how one’s own values and cultural beliefs affects understanding of mental health & mental illness.
    • Articulate own experience of mental illness
    • Describe the relationship between experience and current values and beliefs
    • Explore own & others’ cultural beliefs about mental illness, including Indigenous perspectives on health, wellness, illness and healing.
  3. Describe the role of the CYCC when working with children and youth who may be living with or entrenched in mental illness.
    • Identifying behaviours which may be indicative of mental health concerns
    • Approaching  children & youth and their families with their observations
    • Collaborating with children & youth and their families in treatment choices
    • Maintaining a strengths-based perspective when working with children & youth
    • Practice strategies for building relationships and engaging children & youth who live with mental health concerns
    • Investigate the role of the CYCC within the multidisciplinary field of mental health & mental illness.
  4. Examine mental health and illness within developmental paradigms which bridge biological, familial, social and political contexts
    • Articulate developmental issues in identifying, assessing and treating mental illness in children & youth
    • Explain attachment implications for mental health and illness across the lifespan
    • Discuss the role & relationship of addictions  to mental health and illness
    • Recognizes the behavioural manifestations of mental illness at different times across the lifespan for children & youth,  such as PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD, ODD and borderline personality disorders

course prerequisites

CFCS 1130

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.