Where do adults or teachers turn when a student shows signs of fairly significant psychological problems?
This is a difficult situation. Youth protection gets so many calls that if they see that somebody is there for the person, they won’t always keep a record of the report. In this case, we need to be creative and work with the community network. We need to involve social services at the CLSC or CSSS, and we need to have good relationships with our partners in this sector, such as social workers at the school and the CSSS.
There is also a difference between protection and help. Sometimes people are protected by others around them; they just refuse to get help, which is true for both young people and adults. If negotiating or encouraging the person does not work, you may have to get a court order, especially if the person is in a psychotic state. Another option is to bring the person to the emergency room, although emergency room staff won’t necessarily see the person accompanying the teenager. In any case, you need to continue to look for other solutions and keep trying to help the youth.
-Johanne Renaud, MD, Mini-Psych School 2012