INSIGHT Program for Youth

The INSIGHT Program is a youth mental health day treatment program that is delivered by a team of health and education professionals who work with youth aged 13-18, their families and schools to reduce the day-to-day impact of mental health problems or illnesses on their lives. 

How can the INSIGHT Team help my child?

The INSIGHT Team works with youth across the province who experience significant and persistent primary mood, anxiety, and/or psychotic disorders as defined by DSM-V. 

  • “Primary” disorder means the condition that causes the youth the most problems or discomfort. Youth can have one or more primary, as well as, secondary disorder(s).
  • “Significant” means symptoms have caused severe impairment in at least two or more areas of personal functioning (i.e., family functioning, peer relations, academic/school functioning, work functioning, life skill functioning).
  • With the exception of some psychotic disorders, youth in this program will have had an initial “best practice” treatment attempt in a provincial community mental health clinic or licensed private practice. “Persistent” means despite an initial treatment trial, the youth continues to struggle and requires more intensive treatment.

This program is not designed to serve youth with primary behavioural disorders, eating disorders, developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, or youth in imminent crisis requiring hospitalization.

What services does the INSIGHT Team offer?

The INSIGHT Team offers:

  • multi-disciplinary team assessments;
  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) oriented group therapy;
  • individual and family therapy, as needed;
  • parent/guardian education and support group;
  • positive social, health, and life skills learning and activities;
  • small group academics and school consultation;
  • pharmacotherapy consultation and management;
  • provision of resource information; and
  • discharge planning.

The type, intensity and length of mental health symptoms or illnesses can vary from person to person, as well, as by the type of disorder. The typical length of stay in this program is a maximum of four months. Youth enrolled in a junior or senior high school will continue to attend their school on Wednesdays to maintain a connection with their school environments.

How do I make a referral to the INSIGHT Team?

Referrals to this voluntary program can be made through Community Mental Health (CMH) clinicians, youth addictions services, psychiatrists, or pediatricians.

If you are a psychiatrist, pediatrician or CMH/addictions clinician, you can submit an INSIGHT referral form by fax, mail, interoffice mail, email or in person. This form can be accessed by calling the Intake Coordinator at 902-620-3842. The completed form can be faxed to 902-620-3413.

IMPORTANT: Referrals will not be processed for intake appointments unless referral forms are fully completed and requested information is provided. The youth portion of the referral form is critical to submit.

If you have questions regarding the referral process, contact the Team Lead or Intake Coordinator at 902-620-3956.

Youth and family readiness for the intensive treatment program will be part of team decision-making as to whether the program best meets a youth’s current needs. Referring physicians or clinicians should fully brief their youth and parents/guardians on the nature of the program prior to referral. Youth and parents/guardians are expected to participate in program components.

Following the intake assessment, the team reserves the right to not offer a program spot if clinical information suggests INSIGHT will not best meet the current needs of the youth and/or family. Referral agents will be promptly informed of placement decisions.

Published date: 
February 25, 2022
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