Skillful Start to School!

Tools to set your child up for success in transitioning back to school.

Our Skillful Coping Kits have everything your child needs to support them in heading back to school! If your child is feeling anxious for their first day, for another year or you’re simply looking to set them up to feel confident in handing the pressures that come with being a student, this kit is for you!

Accessibility. Growth. Resilience.

Skillful Start was founded to bridge the gap between caregivers and products that support mental health and skill building for children. Our hand selected products and kits aim to build lifelong support structures and resilience.

There is no way to predict or protect children from challenges or stressful events, but we can give them the tools they need to cope, adapt, persevere and thrive.

Our products consist of items sourced from Canadian companies, most of which are partnerships with local vendors and artisans or have been created  by Skillful Start founder, Carling Mitchell, a career Child and Youth Counsellor and Mental Health Professional.

The Skills. The Kits. The Future.

Phase one of Skillful Start will focus on two hand selected kits, based on your child’s age specific needs. The tools and resources in these kits focus on; Mindfulness, Gratitude, A Growth Mindset, Positive Self Talk, Adaptive Coping Strategies and Emotion Regulation.

We believe these skills to be the foundation of resilience and the base for further skill development.

In the future you can expect to see individual products, add-ons, additional kits focusing on the next phase of skill development, professional resources and much more!

We’re mindful of making our company inclusive and responsive to a rapidly changing world. To do that, we need your input.

Please use the icons below to send us an email – we want to be available to answer questions and explore new options for product partnerships.

Allow for a period of 24-48 hours after you have sent us a message to receive a response. While our company begins to build a sturdy foundation, there’s a lot of moving parts to attend to. We will make every effort to respond as quickly as we can.

Our Vision, Our Values,

Our Mission and You.

Our mission is to make skill building materials accessible, straightforward and available in one place. We will provide individual products and preassembled kits that contain the tools required to begin or support daily practice of the skills required to build resiliency in children and youth.

The youth of today are combating mental health related issues at a far higher rate than ever before. Anxiety, depression, mood dysregulation, low self esteem, body image issues, bullying, substance misuse, self harm and suicidality all continue to plague today’s youth. At Skillful Start we are passionate in our vision that with simple, effective and supportive products, children and youth can learn the skills they need to combat many of life’s challenges and build their resiliency.

We firmly believe that early learning, frequent practice and adopting these skills into your daily life as a family, will drastically reduce a child’s vulnerability to the mental and emotional stressors all youth face today.  Our products will focus on the development and practice of mindfulness, gratitude, optimism, self compassion, healthy relationships, problem solving, confidence and adaptive coping strategies.  Our goal is to provide tangible materials that can be used for any family’s needs.  We firmly believe that a Skillful Start to life will lead to a brighter and more resilient future!

Skillful Starter Kits to begin your child or families skills practice at home!

A choice of two kits designed to fit your child’s age specific needs. Build their resilience and skills toolbox for life’s tough stuff and everyday challenges!

Our Leadership

Hello! Let me start by welcoming you to Skillful Start and saying how very grateful I am that you are here with me! I know what a commitment it is to invest your time and money into a product and lifestyle so let me take this opportunity to tell you a bit about myself and where Skillful Start comes from.

I am a Child and Youth Counselor with over 10 years experience in acute mental health. From the very beginning of my career I have been captivated by the young people of our community who are struggling profoundly and yet possess a hope that is inspiring. It is not often an absence of desire or drive for something different, but a lack of accessible, effective materials, support or consistency that perpetuate their struggle.

I am also a mother of two young children and I have never been more aware of how early many challenges begin in childhood, how many parents struggle to support and understand their children’s behaviour and feelings and how important it is to begin teaching skillful behaviour at a young age. It is my belief that if children are given the tools they need at a young age and support in practicing them as a way of life, that they will be mentally and emotionally stronger, better able to cope and adapt to life’s challenges. Enter Skillful Start. A platform where youth, families and care providers can obtain the physical materials needed to stock their “skill kits” and support the daily practice of the skills that are crucial to a resilient mindset. I aim to support both the youth and their families and strive to grow, adapt, learn and serve the community to the very best of my ability Thank you for taking the time to get to know a little about me and the roots of Skillful Start. My passion and commitment to this company, these skills and the children, youth and families I serve is unwavering and I am so excited and grateful that you’ve chosen to invite me on your journey to a Skillful Start.

Carling Mitchell

Select Products Now Available at The Greenhouse!

121 Alice Street, Waterford, On.