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Information for Families & Caregivers

Families/caregivers are encouraged to actively participate in their child’s care through the Mental Health Access Program (MHAP) at SickKids. You will receive updates from MHAP on your child’s progress throughout the referral process and be provided with services/resources to access while waiting.  Once a referral has been received it takes approximately two weeks for the MHAP team to review the information and determine how your family can best be served.   

Below is a brief overview of how the Department of Psychiatry’s referral process works:

  1. Your Physician makes a referral to the Mental Health Access Program (MHAP): Once your physician completes our new referral form, your child’s case will be looked at within 48 hours to ensure all necessary information has been provided.
  2. Family/caregiver completes an electronic questionnaire via a secure email link: Once your physician’s referral has been initially reviewed, if it seems that our program can provide the services that are being requested, you will be asked to complete an electronic questionnaire that will be sent to you through a secure email link. Families/caregivers without access to a computer/Internet will have the option to receive the questionnaire through regular mail.
  3. Referral acceptance or recommendations regarding alternate mental health services: MHAP will process your physician’s referral within two weeks of its submission. Referrals will either be accepted or recommendations will be given to you and the referring physician if your child will be better served by another local community mental health service provider.

Patients and families may be assigned a mental health patient navigator once their physician’s referral has been accepted by SickKids. Learn more about the role of a mental health patient navigator in the Department of Psychiatry at SickKids.

If you have immediate concerns about your child’s mental health please go to your closest emergency medical service.

Please see Immediate Mental Health Services for more information on services that can be called or accessed for urgent mental health concerns.