Announcements, Research

Bell grant helps MJW-CYDC increase help for children with anxiety

October 24, 2022

Professor Colin King.

Children with anxiety will get increased support from the Mary J. Wright Child and Youth Development Clinic (MJW-CYDC) through a grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund.

The clinic has received $20,000.

As part of the funding, the clinic will provide families and children with a wide range of anxiety-focused services, such as clinical care and education when they need it as well as early or more intensive intervention, said Colin King, professor and Director of the Mary J. Wright Child and Youth Development Clinic.

Increasing children’s accessibility for individual care is critical because children and families are often on waitlists for one-on-one care, or they can’t afford to pay for private therapy, he said.

“Services are often delivered in a ‘one size fits all’ approach with few opportunities for early intervention or parent support that can reduce future mental health challenges,” King said.

In addition, King said the grant also helps the clinic meet its supervision costs where a registered psychologist supervises programming or graduate students as well as meeting the expenses of parent-led supports, group programming or individual support for families. 

“With this range of services, we’re hoping to reach more families looking for support when concerns first arise,” King said.

The clinic provides clinical care for 120 school-aged children and youth with anxiety and it’s hosting a parent-led workshop in November. King and graduate student clinicians will help parents and caregivers understand how to support youth in the community.

At the MJW-CYDC, graduate students in the School and Applied Child Psychology program at Western University, under the supervision of licensed child psychologists, provide high-quality and affordable psychological consultation, assessment, and treatment services to children and youth from three to 18 years of age.

The MJW-CYDC is also self-referring and its cost is based on financial need ensuring the most vulnerable families don’t experience barriers in receiving care. Currently, 50 per cent of their clients are receiving fee reductions based on what they can afford, King said.

Since opening in October 2017, the clinic has provided over 84 students with direct learning opportunities over the past four years and provided support to over 750 families in the community.

The Bell Let’s Talk Community Funds is a $2 million annual fund that has issued over 1,000 grants since 2011. This year, the fund issued 114 grants.