A local group of parents is becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of government support for those who suffer from mental health issues in the community.

Karen Wilson heads up the Parents for Children's Mental Health group in Windsor.

She receives many calls for help from concerned parents who are finding it tough to handle their own children because some become violent and aggressive.

"Keeping kids in the home isn't as easy as it sounds when you are being physically abused in your own home," said Wilson. "Although you know in your heart that your child isn't meaning to hurt you, or their brothers or their sisters, that it is part of their mental illness of their disability, but it doesn't make the physical hurt and pain any less."

Wilson's teenage son lives at Maryvale, a children's mental health treatment centre in Windsor.

The centre helps adolescents between the ages of 11 and 17 who are experiencing severe mental distress.

Often times parents are reluctant to talk about abuse they receive from their child, Wilson said.

Parents can't defend themselves

"Families are left dealing with these kids who we love to death and just want to help them, but at the time we are left to our devices," said Wilson. "We don't know the proper holds to keep us safe or prevent the child from being injured."

All front-line staff at Maryvale are taught restraint and deflection techniques.

Program manager Anna Paroli-Sarkis said they are effective tools because she had to use them herself on occasion to stay safe.

"We have to report to the ministry within 24 hours any time we put our hands on a child and explain the other things we might have tried prior to that, other diffusing techniques, verbal techniques, anything like that," said Paroli-Sarkis.

Some manoeuvres involve pinning children to the ground until they gain composure.

But she's not legally allowed to teach these techniques to parents.

"It's difficult for us to imagine how that's going to happen for a parent and who's going to oversee that," said Paroli-Sarkis.

Wilson would love to keep her son at home, but without the ability to use defensive techniques, she said it's impossible.

"The bottom line is families want to keep their children home, but they need to be safe," said Wilson.

She goes on to say if parents knew how to better manage tense situations then many children would not end up in police custody and wouldn't be living in mental health centres.