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Mental Health Outreach

Mental Health Outreach

The Mental Health Outreach Team (MHOT) is designed to address the needs of high risk, emotionally challenging children/youth under the age of 19 who struggle in their home and community. The program provides in-home based and community outreach services that are therapeutically-centred, goal-oriented, strengths-based and solution-focused. The program is an acute, short-term service (i.e. approximately 6-9 months) that facilitates long-term changes through the delivery of services in an intensive, enhanced and flexible manner.

MHOT is a component of the High Risk Services Team (HRT) under the Ministry of Children and Family Development's (MCFD) Child and Youth Mental Health Services.

Program services include:

  • assessment through an active process of interviewing, documentation, observation, records review and, in particular, the examination and interpretation of educational, psychological and psychiatric reports;
  • individualized care plan development within a collaborative framework;
  • case management/coordination;
  • implementation of care plans across multiple domains (e.g. home, school, community) through individual counselling, parent/caregiver training, family counselling, consultation with other professionals involved and advocacy;
  • access to psychiatric consultation, on an in-patient and out-patient basis;
  • short-term counselling for children, youth, parents and families;
  • predominantly outreach services in the form of home and community visits in keeping with the flexible needs of the persons served (in-office services are available as needed); and
  • after care support (approximately 3 months/2 hours per month) to those persons served who may need additional follow up in transitioning to other services and/or support to continue with their stabilization plan. After care may also be used to manage the occasional, complex crisis, provide helpful information/advice or also for booster sessions to reconnect with previous skills, abilities and strategies.

What to Expect

The outreach counsellor will provide the family with a complete orientation to the program services and the overall agency. The child/youth and parent/caregivers will be asked to engage in a collaborative assessment process which, if deemed applicable and with the family’s permission, will include consultation with other community professionals. Through this assessment process, goals will be developed to address the areas of needs and challenges that have been highlighted through the assessment. Progress of these goals will be reviewed on a regular basis and as stabilization occurs, the counsellor will begin transition and provide you with a summary of your progress and, if required, referrals to other services for continuing support.


Anyone can make a referral. All referrals for program services are screened through MCFD’s Saanich Child and Youth Mental Health office by Kathy Campos, the HRT leader. Eligibility for program services is determined by the HRT leader in conjunction with the MHOT Program Manager.

The program’s entry criteria include the following:

  • person served must be between the ages 0-19;
  • the children/youth will have significantly taxed the capacity of their families and/or caregivers to care for them;
  • the children/youth will not typically be open to or capable of receiving treatment through the local Mental Health Centre or similar office-based settings;
  • children/youth are queried or formally diagnosed with a mental health condition; and
  • children/youth will often manifest extremely disruptive and/or self-destructive behaviours.

Services are voluntary and are at no cost to the persons served. Persons served do not require an open file with MCFD to receive services from our program.

Days/Hours of Service

Counsellors are typically available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., with flexibility to meet client needs. Weekend availability is based on client need and at the discretion of the counsellors.

How to Reach Us

For further information on the Mental Health Outreach Program, please phone Program Manager, Sabine Vanderispaillie, at 250-383-4821 or email at