Helping children when frightening things happen

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Helping children when frightening  things happen
Many of you may be wondering how to support your children to deal with the recent events in Ottawa. Below you will find some ideas that you might find helpful in the days and weeks to come:
It is important to remind children that this was a very rare event and that they are safe.  Children may be worried because the events were “close to home” and they may need to be reassured by reminding them that this was a very rare event and that is why there is so much coverage about it in the media.
It is important to answer the questions that children have but not to provide too much detail.  If the child wants more information, they will ask and then you can decide whether it is information you want them to have.  This will depend on the question they are asking, their age and if you think the answer will be useful to them in their understanding of the situation.
Children need to be protected from too much information about the situation.  We may not realize just how many places kids get exposed to information that they may not need to know or have the ability to understand.  Examples can be the news playing in the car, news channels sending out “live” or updated information on a regular basis, overhearing adults talking.
Children need to be reassured that they are safe to continue with their usual activities (school, after school activities, etc.).  Maintaining a regular routine is a strong message to children that things are ok.
Set an example for your children.  Parental attitude and reaction can have a very strong influence on children and they will look to you to see if they can feel safe and secure.
There are places to contact if you are concerned about how your child is reacting or if you feel that you need support.  One of those places is Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth, your local children’s mental health experts.
Carleton Place  (613) 257-8260 – Smiths Falls  (613) 283-8260 – Perth  (613) 264-1415

ASIST Workshop in Almonte



ASIST is a two-day workshop that teaches how to intervene and save a life from suicide. Over a million people around the world have participated in this award-winning program.


Most people thinking about suicide don’t actually want to die, but they need help deciding to stay alive. You don’t need any prior training to attend ASIST—just a willingness to make a difference.



When: February 5 and 6, 2015

Where: Mississippi Mills – exact location TBD

Cost: FREE

To inquire or register, please email

ASISTMiss Mills

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Same-Day Counselling in Almonte

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SAME-DAY COUNSELLING CLINIC Almonte Health Unit: 79 Spring Street, Unit 2 (Walk-in or Call ahead to reserve your spot!) Services are free of charge

As school gets underway and we roll into a busy fall season, Open Doors would like to take this time to remind community partners about the presence of our Same-Day Counselling Clinic, and a new initiative of the clinic which will take effect starting October.

The Same-Day Clinic, which has been running out of the Almonte Health Unit (located at 79 Spring Street Unit 2), will continue to run Thursday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., with the last appointment starting at 3:30 p.m. The clinic is open to anyone under 18 years old, or parents and guardians concerned about a child or youth under 18 years of age.

Reasons for accessing the clinic may vary greatly, but the benefits of a single counselling session could include: Feeling less worried, sad, or angry, preventing a temporary problem from becoming worse, feeling less isolated, feeling heard and understood, getting connected to available resources in the Lanark County region, and/or developing new ways to manage a concern or cope with feelings.

Individuals or families accessing the clinic do not need to be previous or current clients of Open Doors, and parents or guardians may access caregiver support without the presence of the child/youth. As of October 2014, we are also introducing the presence of an Early Years specialist, a counsellor with expertise in working with families with infants and children under 7 years of age. This counsellor specializes in child development, behavior management, and mental health in young children, and can help with concerns regarding development and temperament, building healthy attachment, transitions from daycare to school, promoting positive behavior, and connecting with other key services. Our Early Years counsellor will be available at the Same-Day clinic the first Thursday of every month.

Same-Day clinic services are free of charge. Appointments are available by calling ahead to any of the Open Doors offices, or directly to the Health Unit, or by walk-in, though we encourage calling ahead so we can reserve your spot. For more information or to book your spot, please call Open Doors at:

Carleton Place Office 613 257-8260

Smiths Falls Office 613 283-8260

Perth Office  613 264-1415

Almonte Health Unit   613 256-1203