Youth Mental Health

The Youth Psychiatry Program at The Royal emphasizes treating young people with cooperation and respect while offering a full range of mental health services to meet the unique needs of youth in our community.

The Royal and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) work together in the Young Minds Partnership. Together, we offer specialized mental health services to young people with early onset major psychiatric disorders, as well as complex mental illnesses that are resistant to treatment.

The Royal’s Youth Psychiatry Program typically serves youth from the ages of 16 to 18, while children under 16 are treated at CHEO. There is, however, some flexibility in the age range and youth below the age of 16 may be served at The Royal, depending on their best clinical interests. 

The Royal and CHEO share an intake process to help make the path smoother for children and youth experiencing symptoms of mental illness. Youth mental health specialists from both organizations collaborate to offer the best possible care to young people in our region.

Emergency services for youth with mental illness are handled by a crisis intervention team operating 24/7 at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) located at 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON.

We Use the Choice and Partnership Approach

The Choice and Partnership Approach is a collaborative approach to outpatient services that puts clients and their families at the centre of their own care. Using this approach, clients and service providers work together to choose the right care plan based on individual strengths and goals. Our aim is to do the right things for each individual (have a clear goal), with the right people (with the appropriate clinical skills), at the right time (with minimal waiting).

Watch this short video to learn more about what to expect with the Choice and Partnership Approach:

How we help youth reach their full potential

Inpatient Hospitalization

Our Inpatient Unit provides comprehensive assessment, stabilization and treatment for youth who have a severe psychiatric illness and are unable to function in less supportive environments.

The unit has eight beds and offers intensive programming and support to help youth successfully transition back to their families and communities as quickly as possible.

Partial Hospitalization

Our Partial Hospitalization Unit provides day services for youth with severe mental illness who require intensive treatment to function in their community.

Because this program is less intensive than inpatient hospitalization, youth suitable for this unit must be stable enough that they don’t require inpatient hospitalization. This unit can increase or decrease the level of support it provides as necessary within an individual youth’s treatment plan.

Day Treatment and Rehabilitation Services

Our Day Treatment Unit provides comprehensive assessment, clarification of a diagnosis, intensive treatment and psycho-social rehabilitation in a community high school setting. The Royal works in partnership with the Ministry of Education and local school boards to deliver this service.  A specialized mental health team and special education teachers work together to support youth in this unit.

The Adolescent Day Treatment Unit is appropriate for adolescents who are:

  • Experiencing the early onset of a major psychiatric disorder
    • Experiencing severe and/or complex emotional and behavioural mental health disorders.
    • Unable to succeed within the programs offered in mainstream school systems and who may benefit from a comprehensive assessment and day treatment program. 

The team works with the youth, their families/caregivers and other community partners to identify goals and create a care plan to meet those goals. We aim to enable students to function well within the academic environment and greater community.

Referrals to this unit are accepted from schools, physicians, other clinicians and agencies through the school boards (Coordinated Access and Referral Committee, Section 23).  If you think this unit may be right for your student/child, please contact their school.

Outreach services

Our Outreach services provide the essential link to consultative and collaborative partnerships for youth who have major psychiatric disorders living in the counties of Renfrew, Prescott-Russell, Stormont, Dundas or Glengarry. The interdisciplinary mental health team works in collaboration with the community in which the young person lives to ensure access to specialized psychiatric services.


The Royal and CHEO share a centralized intake. To refer a young person (under 18 years old) for mental health services at The Royal or CHEO, a physician needs to complete this referral form and fax it to +1 (613) 738-4235.

Kids playing sports

Signs of mental illness in youth

Youth speaking with professional health worker

Professionals involved in youth mental health

Youth Mental Health Research