Kids in Control Support Group Program

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BCSS gratefully acknowledges a grant from Coast Capital Savings to help fund this program.

The BCSS Kids in Control Support Group Program of the BC Schizophrenia Society gives information, education and support to children eight to eighteen years of age who have a parent with a serious mental illness. This program was created by the BC Schizophrenia Society.

Would your branch or organization like to offer Kids in Control in your area? Click here for information on how to receive the program materials

Children and youth with parents who have a mental illness face some unique challenges. These children and youth are at risk for social problems and mental illness. This program aims to help prevent these kinds of problems.

Children need:

  • Information about the mental illness so they understand what they are dealing with.kidsincontrol
  • Skills to cope with the mental illness and the impact it has on their lives.
  • To learn how to deal with the symptoms of the parent’s mental illness
  • To learn how to deal with their own isolation, anxiety, fears and stress.
  • To know that their own needs and desire matter and are important. Often in the chaos of dealing with a family member’s mental illness the focus is so directly on the ill person that children tend to minimize their own needs in order to meet the needs of the mentally ill family member.

The Kids in Control program helps provide the tools and coping skills that will help children and youth grow up happy and healthy despite their challenges and risks.It helps children and youth learn that their experiences are shared by others and are normal given their situation. The program helps children and youth feel that they are okay even though their family situation may be unusual. An important goal of the group is to let the children and youth see that they are not the only ones in the world that are having this experience, and that it will be okay.

Kids in Control is built to help children between the ages of 8 – 18years old who have a parent or an older sibling with serious and persistent mental illness.

Kids in Control offers eight sessions, approximately 2 hours once a week for eight weeks. A variety of activities and games are used to educate the children and provide a means for the group to support each child or youth.


  • Group Building and Storytelling
  • Group Building and Learning to Identify Feelings
  • Learning about Healthy Boundaries and How to Communicate Feelings
  • Learning About Mental Illness
  • Learning about the Treatment of Mental Illness
  • Developing Resiliency
  • Societal Attitudes and Stigma
  • Self-Care and Self Esteem

Referrals / Contact information:

Please contact the BCSS provincial office in Vancouver at  or by phone 604.270.7841 or toll free at 1.888.888.0029 for information on where this program is currently being offered and how to access it.