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Families learn to understand the connection between learning disabilities and mental health to support their children

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Children and youth with learning disabilities are at least twice as likely to experience mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and disruptive behaviour disorders, which can affect their ability to learn, build interpersonal relationships and cope with setbacks.

Parents, caregivers, educators and other professionals can best support children and youth with learning disabilities and mental health issues (LDMH) by enhancing their knowledge of the challenges facing those in their care.

Through our Community Education and Engagement program, we deliver both community workshops and tailored professional development training on LDMH that helps participants learn tips and strategies to support children and youth.

"These experiential workshops help participants empathize with their children or students by simulating their experiences of living with a learning disability and struggling with feelings of anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges,” says Marjory Phillips, Director of the Integra Program. “By coming together to share knowledge, we are fostering an environment where parents, educators and mental health professionals can work together to advocate for those in need.”

“These workshops are exciting, visionary, helpful and even life-changing,” says Cindy, a parent of a child receiving services from the Integra Program. “They have helped me understand how my daughter feels and gave me hints on ways to help her, which has dramatically reduced our family’s stress level," she says.

CDI’s Integra Program recently launched its winter workshop series for parents and caregivers of children with learning disabilities; evening sessions will be running on Thursday evenings until mid-March. To learn more, click here.

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