The Child-Centered and Family-Focused Approach
Mental health services for children in Ottawa under the age of 12.
Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre is Ottawa’s primary English-language provider for community-based mental health services to children under the age of 12, including infant and early mental health.
We provide individualized services in homes and in schools to meet your family’s needs, preferences, context, and culture. All children and families are welcomed and helped at Crossroads regardless of their situation or the severity of the challenges they face.
Crossroads believes that no child or family should ever be left behind. We work to remove barriers to getting help. The services at Crossroads are free of charge and no referral is ever required to access treatment.
An evidence-based approach to children’s mental health
Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre uses evidence-informed practices to get results. We bring together the latest the research has to offer, our clinical experience, and the expertise you bring as the person who knows your child and family best. Evidence-informed practices used at Crossroads include:
Collaborative-Problem Solving (CPS): The CPS philosophy is at the heart of everything that we do here at Crossroads. That’s because we firmly believe that children (and families) do well if they can. While conventional wisdom would have us believe things like: “kids only do well when they want to” or “bad behavior is the result of bad parenting”, we believe that children and families want to do well, and we work with them to address what’s getting in the way. Rather than using reward and punishment systems to increase compliance, CPS is a trauma-informed approach that supports the child (and family) to gain important thinking skills to be successful and make lasting change.
Circle of Security: At Crossroads, we focus on relationships. We know that a strong secure attachment to a parent or caregiver is the basis of lifelong mental health and resilience. For children birth to 3 years, we use Circle of Security to foster attachment and to help parents and caregivers discover, interpret, understand and respond to their children’s behavior and cues. Circle Of Security is also used to support children and families with a history of trauma and/or disrupted relationships.
Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT): NMT is an approach that incorporates the latest research in neurodevelopment and traumatology. NMT is an assessment process that provides specific recommendations for the selection and sequencing of therapeutic, educational and enrichment activities that match the needs and strengths of your child. At Crossroads, NMT is used with children who have a history of trauma, chronic stress and abuse and/or to enhance treatment planning.
Zones of Regulation: Zones of Regulation helps children develop skills in self-regulation. Children lean to become more aware of their emotions, use strategies to control their impulses, manage their sensory needs, and improve their readiness to problem solve. At Crossroads, we use the Zones of Regulation as a tool across our programs. We also offer parent/caregiver skill training groups so that families can support their children to use the tools in their day-to-day living environment.
Mindfulness Awareness Stabilization Training (MAST) teaches emotion regulation skills through psychoeducation and mindfulness practice. Crossroads integrates components of MAST across services to help children develop greater awareness and regulation of their emotions. We also deliver parents skill training sessions in MAST.
Child and family engagement: We know that treatment outcomes improve when children and families are meaningfully engaged in their treatment. At Crossroads, we are committed to working with partnership with children and families to ensure that their voice is reflected in treatment planning and service deliver.
Equity and Inclusion: Crossroads recognizes the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in mental health care. Regardless of a child or family’s identity or social, economic or cultural position, we believe that access to quality mental health care that is inclusive and free from discrimination is a fundamental human right. We also acknowledge that experiences of marginalization based on age, gender, status, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, ability and so on, are not individual problems, but rather rooted in inequities in society and can result in poor mental health outcomes. While our work centers on treatment for children and their families, we also recognize and embrace our role in and responsibility toward social justice.
We believe that culture is central to health and healing. We work closely with families to ensure that their culture and traditions are integrated in their service plan. Where a family self-identifies as francophone and/or First Nation, Inuit or Metis, we actively offer francophone or indigenous-specific services through our community partners, empowering families to make an informed choice about where they want to receive services.
Crossroads is a queer and trans-positive space.