Provides assessment and intervention services for children and teens (ages six - 18) who are experiencing a mental health and substance use crisis and live in the Fraser Health region.
The Short Term Assessment Response Treatment (START) team provides in-community mental health and/or substance use assessments and has three community offices in the Fraser Health region. Our central contact number (1-844-782-7811) will connect you with the START team that serves the area where you live.
Our services are focused on the mental health and/or substance use needs of the young person and their family, through a family centered approach. When you first call START, you can expect to be asked questions to get a thorough understanding of what is happening to see how START can help.
Urgent mental health and/or substance use concerns do not necessarily require attending the hospital emergency department. Our desire is to effectively support children and youth in the community.
Our services may include:
- Phone calls focused on providing education and support to caregivers
- In-person or virtual mental health, substance use and safety assessment
- Brief treatment that could include individual therapy, group sessions and/or further assessment by a psychiatrist
- Family support including various parent focused groups
- Facilitate transition to community services and resources as required
- Consultation for service providers
Call START before visiting your hospital’s emergency department (unless immediate medical attention is required).
When to call START
When a youth is experiencing a significant change in their functioning. This may result in the youth being unable to participate in their daily activities or relationships impacting overall quality of life for youth and their family.
This may include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Suicide attempts
- Self-harming behaviours
- Risk of significantly harming others
- Increased anxiety or depression
- An inability to stop using substances
- Continued or increased substance use despite health issues
- Negative impacts on other aspects of life
Anyone can call START, including youth, families, schools, community supports and medical professionals by contacting the START Team at 1-844-START11 (1-844-782-7811).Urgent support outside of START’s office hours
Other support in the community
- Call 911 when a child or teen requires immediate medical attention or there is a significant threat of serious physical harm to yourself or others.
- Contact Child and Youth Mental Health Services for children or teens with prolonged mental health concerns that do not require immediate help. Find locations and contact information on the Government of BC's webpage.
- Visit Foundrybc.ca to get educated, access self-care tools and find website links on teen mental health. It also provides virtual drop-in counselling for both teens and their caregivers as well as groups.
Anyone can call START, including youth, families, schools, community supports and medical professionals by contacting the START Team at 1-844-START11 (1-844-782-7811).