Ontario announces youth mental health support program from Whitby’s Ontario Shores

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Published January 26, 2023 at 2:21 pm

The Government of Ontario announced an expansion of virtual mental health supports for youth from Whitby. via Whitby MPP Lorne Coe

The Province of Ontario announced a new virtual mental health support program for youth to speak to care professionals from Whitby’s Ontario Shores.

The One Stop Talk program is set to “connect children, youth and their families with more convenient and timely ways to access mental health counselling no matter where they live,” the Ontario government said in a release.

The program will allow users to speak with clinicians over the phone, via video call or by text message without an appointment as a sort of virtual pseudo-walk-in clinic.

Ontario launched One Stop Talk as a limited pilot project in November. At the time six organizations participated in the pilot. With this latest announcement, the program is expanding to the organizations’ waitlisted patients.

Once fully expanded all children, youth and their families will be able to access the program.

The province is additionally expanding Youth Wellness Hubs across Ontario. There are currently 14 operating hubs providing youth aged 12 to 25 with mental health, substance use, primary care, education, employment, training, housing and other community and social services.

As of now, hubs are open in Chatham-Kent, Cornwall, Haliburton, Kenora, Malton (which includes Mississauga and Peel Region), Niagara, Renfrew, Rockland, Scarborough (the closest to Durham Region), Simcoe, Timmins, Toronto Centre, Toronto East, , Wellington-Guelph, and Windsor.

There will be 22 hubs in operation once the program fully expands. New hubs are set to open in Algoma Region, Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington, London-Middlesex, Sagamok Anishnabek First Nation, Sarnia-Lambton, Sudbury, Thorncliffe Park, and West Toronto. The expansion is funded through the Addictions Recovery Fund.

“Through our Roadmap to Wellness, we are focused on fixing our complicated and disjointed mental health and addictions care system once and for all,” said Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo.

 

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