Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by “children’s mental health”?

The term "children's mental health" refers to children's social, emotional, and behavioural well-being, and is considered an integral part of children's healthy development.

What are “mental health problems?”

Serious mental health problems in childhood can include serious depression, unmanageable behaviour, and an inability to get along with others. These problems can cause much stress and heartache to children, their families, their teachers, and the community. In addition, they often lead to even more serious mental health problems in adulthood.

What is “mental health treatment?” How is it different from “counselling?”

Counselling is advice that we receive from someone with special training to help us deal more effectively with our problems. Counselling generally takes an educational approach and deals with conscious issues. It guides our current insight and understanding of a problem, and offers relevant new information that might help us to solve the problem.

Mental health treatment is a series of planned interventions, sometimes intensive in nature, based on a detailed assessment of the factors that have produced and are maintaining a problem. The interventions are aimed at bringing about changes in thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and interactions that, in turn, can help us solve or alleviate our problems. The process of treatment includes attention to thoughts, feelings, and behaviour that may not be in our immediate awareness (i.e., may be subconscious or unconscious). It may include medications for problems that are partly biochemical in nature (e.g., serious depression).

Who can get help from Chimo?

The mandate of Chimo is to provide therapeutic services for children and youth with their parents or other family members. Chimo services children and youth aged birth to 18 years of age.

Are the services accessed by Chimo confidential?

Yes. The services provided by Chimo are confidential. All Chimo staff adheres to a code of confidentiality. In the event of a disclosure of abuse, we are obligated to report to the local Children’s Aid Society.

How do I access services?

Please see our Contact page for information on how to access services.

Is there a cost for services provided at Chimo?

No. Chimo is funded by the provincial government (primarily by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services).  There may be some transportation costs associated with the Respite Program (Wintergreen).

I share custody with my ex-spouse. Can my child still receive service?

In the event a joint custody arrangement is in place, or no determination of custody has been established, a Declaration of Custody Form must be signed by both caregivers for the child to receive service. The child cannot receive service until the Declaration of Custody form is signed.

Is there family counselling?

Yes.  Family counselling is a key component of our intervention services.

What do I have to do to get help from Chimo?

Call us at 705-324-3300.  One of our Intake staff will quickly determine how best your needs might be met.  We will work with you until the right resource is found for you.

What training does Chimo staff have?

Chimo Staff have a variety of educational backgrounds, experience and expertise. Chimo employs approximately 80 staff made up of social workers, child and youth workers, psychotherapists, play therapists, as well as consulting psychologists and psychiatrist. Chimo appreciates the complexity of the challenges that families are dealing with. When appropriate Chimo uses the input of different disciplines in order to provide the assessment and treatment that best meets the needs of the children, youth and families we serve.

What are your rights and responsibilities?

You have the right to:

  • be informed of your rights and responsibilities while participating in services
  • receive adequate information to provide informed consent to participate in services
  • be made aware of treatment options and to have your preferences considered when treatment is being planned
  • be made aware of any risks to well-being or safety or likely benefits from treatment at the time of making a decision or treatment plan
  • be made aware of our policy about confidentiality and the limitations of that policy
  • be informed of our policies about records
  • be active full participants in the assessment and treatment process
  • be informed of our complaint procedure
  • expect a response to any complaint to be handled in a prompt and effective manner

 You have a responsibility to:

  • form an alliance with us to promote change or growth in your family or with your child
  • provide us with permission to access information we need to treat you child or family.  We may otherwise be in a position to terminate treatment based on our inability to respond to you
  • be forthcoming with custody and access orders that we have a legal responsibility to follow with you.  Please inform us of your responsibilities here.
  • provide us with any information that may help with your treatment
  • behave in a manner which is respectful of property
  • respect the rules at any Chimo Youth & Family Services facility
  • not use drugs or alcohol when participating in service with our staff either on or off Chimo property
  • attend scheduled appointments and meeting or notify us within 24 hours if unable to do so.  We really appreciate this.

How do I make a complaint?

Clients are encouraged to speak directly to their worker.

If they are not satisfied, they should next speak to the worker’s supervisor

If they are not satisfied or have a complaint about a supervisor, they then should speak to the Executive Director.

If they are not satisfied or have a complaint about the Executive Director, they should write to the Board of Directors in care of Chimo using an envelope marked confidential

If they are not satisfied, they may contact the Office of the Provincial Advocate at 1-800-263-2841 toll free.

How does Chimo protect my privacy?

Client Privacy and Confidentiality


Employees will treat as confidential, client information obtained in the course of work and comply with all policies, principles and procedures relating to the collection, storage, and release of client information and will not share with others confidences revealed by clients, without their consent, except for legally required reasons including the safety of the resident and others. 


Employees must respect the privacy of clients during the course of their practice. Clients have the right to reveal or keep private aspects of their personal life as they see fit including an individual's living space, as well those aspects of their personal life that constitute a "symbolic region" and thus;

  • assessments will focus on presenting problems and environmental factors affected by or affecting the problems (individual, family, school, peers and community)
  • clients will be informed of their right to decline disclosing any information that they do not want to share at the beginning of service and if in the worker's judgment, the client wishes to keep private some aspect of their personal life that directly affects the efficacy of the Plan of Care, then the worker will re-negotiate the Plan of Care with the client
  • clients must be seen in private settings that protect their privacy
  • personal information must be kept in a locked cabinet and unavailable to the general public
  • client files (electronic or hardcopy) remain onsite unless required to be transported offsite for a specific person and only under the approval of a supervisor
  • files taken offsite must be kept locked up in confidential location at all times when not on the person directly
  • staff must not speak to any individuals about their purpose in visiting residences without consent and will not conduct in home sessions or disclose their relationship with the client should other people be present at the residence without the consent of the client
  • any messages left at the home or on telephone answering machines must be discrete (do not leave detailed treatment related information)
  • special needs of residents shall be identified in the assessment process and responded to in the Plan of Service including safety, behaviour management, care, language, culture, religious expectations or distance from home and thus become part of the Client Case Record
  • supervisors will ensure the inclusion of the special needs in the individual Plans of Service