Finding mental health support in the GTA 

By: Meaghan Flokstra 

Published on: April 26th, 2024

When dealing with mental health concerns, it is important to know where you can go to find help. However, it can be daunting to try to search for resources when you’re struggling. 

Thankfully, there is a wide variety of organisations in the Greater Toronto Area that focus on providing mental health services. Many of these places focus on serving specific communities, so there are many options for building a support system that can uplift you and your personal identities. 

Access Alliance 

With three different locations in Toronto, Access Alliance provides a variety of support programs for immigrants and refugees. Some of the available services include access to psychiatrists (through the Toronto Urban Health Alliance) as well as registered social workers and therapists.  

Access Alliance’s mental health services do require a referral from a primary health care provider. Ontarians searching for a health care provider can register for one at Health Care Connect through the Ontario Ministry of Health. 

Across Boundaries 

Across Boundaries offers a wide range of mental health services for racialized individuals, and they emphasise anti-racist, anti–Black racism, and anti-oppression values. Some of the programs available at Across Boundaries include psychiatric consultations, substance abuse services, and support groups. 

Help is offered here in a wide range of languages, including African languages (Shona, Amharic, Harare, Xhosa, Tsonga, Afrikaans, Swahili, Somali, Twi), Central Asian languages (Dari, Phasto, Farsi), and South Asian languages (Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali), as well as Mandarin and some Caribbean dialects. 

Brampton Multicultural Community Centre 

With two locations in Brampton and one in Mississauga, The Brampton Multicultural Community Centre offers a wide range of programs for newcomers to Canada. One of the services they provide is crisis counselling, which can be helpful for learning how to cope with traumatic events. Some possible issues that a crisis counsellor may be able to help with include sudden illnesses, drug abuse and addiction, food and/or housing insecurity, and the death of a loved one. 

Friends of Ruby  

Based in Toronto, Friends of Ruby is dedicated to caring for the needs of LGBTQ+ youth (aged 16–29). They offer access to counsellors that can help tackle areas such as emotional regulation as well as gender and sexuality exploration. Additionally, Friends of Ruby places a specific emphasis on helping to connect LGTBQ+ youth with affordable housing, and they run a transitional home where youths in need can stay while they work toward living independently. 

Hong Fook Mental Health Association 

Meaning “health and felicity” in Chinese, Hong Fook specialises in providing mental health care for those in Asian and other communities. They offer both individual and group therapy, and the intake process is accessible in a variety of languages, including Cambodian, Cantonese, English, Korean, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. Hong Fook has five different offices located throughout downtown Toronto, North York, Scarborough, and Markham. 

Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services 

Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services has six different locations in the GTA and offers services in over twenty different languages. They run a wide range of programs that aim to help individuals and communities of all cultural backgrounds. Short-term wellbeing counselling is available for free, and they also offer support for those struggling with problem gambling. 

Additionally, they also run the Multicultural Women’s Wellness Program. This program fosters a safe space for women dealing with mental health issues to connect with one another, discuss their experiences, and stay active together. 

Stella’s Place 

Stella’s Place focuses on providing free mental health resources to young adults (aged 16–29) in Toronto. They offer both online and in-person services, including some which do not require an appointment. Some of these drop-in options include counselling over virtual chat, café nights, and weekly music sessions. 

There are some programs at Stella’s Place that do require an appointment, including short-term counselling and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). DBT can help patients achieve goals such as being able to cope with stress and to manage negative emotions. 

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