Program focus: Abuse, Autism, Behaviour Difficulty, Developmental Disability, LGBT, Mental Health, School, Sex Work, Skill Development, Trauma more…

Help Ahead: Access for Infants, Children, Youth & Families

Help Ahead is a free referral phone service to help connect infants, children, youth up to 18 years old and their families to mental health and addiction services in their community. Our goal is to help those in need find and get mental health help as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Anyone under the age of 18 experiencing a mental health issue or anyone who wants to support someone under the age of 18 and wants access to mental health services can call.

If you are a young person, you might call if you:

  • Feel anxious or worried
  • Feel depressed, sad or angry
  • Are being bullied
  • Don’t feel yourself…
  • Want more information about mental health and addiction services in your community.

If you are a parent/caregiver of an infant or child, you might call if:

  • Your infant/child is crying inconsolably; having tantrums; irregular sleep or eating patterns;
  • You are worried about your infant/child’s development; feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by parenting; or asking, “is this just a phase?”
  • You want more information about mental health and addiction services in your community.

Service providers, doctors, teachers, school social workers, child protection services and any other support service can call Help Ahead too for more information, but we will need the expressed consent of the person or parent to refer to a service.

Program focus: ADD/ADHD, Autism, Behaviour Difficulty, Child Development, Communication Skills, Developmental Disability, LGBT, Mental Health, Parenting, School, Skill Development, Socializing, Trauma more…

Children, youth up to age 18, their mental health professional and families can access psychiatric consultation via virtual platform. Youth and family must be connected to a service provider to support the referral process.

This service requires a referral by a mental health professional who has worked with the child/youth and family and is knowledgeable of their situation. The mental health professional will be involved in the entire process following the psychiatric consultation and will follow up with the client on any recommendations.

All referral forms must be faxed to 647-689-2788. If you have any questions, please email the Urban Tele-Mental Health Service Coordinator at urbantelementalhealth@stridestoronto.ca or call us at 416-438-3697 ext. 14292.

UTMH Referral Form

UTMH Consent Form

UTMH Follow-up Form

Program focus: Autism, Behaviour Difficulty, Child Care, Child Development, Communication Skills, Day Care, Developmental Disability more…

Child Care Consultation provide services to licensed child care related to children with extra support needs and their families.

Child Consultation Staff are trained professionals who:

  • Support child care programs to build inclusive environments;
  • Work with child care staff to develop and carry out strategies that support children and families;
  • Deliver training to support learning around inclusive practices.

All requests go through child care centres. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Manager, Family Connections at 416-321-5464 ext. 482 or Loraine.bairstow@stridestoronto.ca

Referral Details

Supervisors at licensed child care centres and home child care centres can submit a referral request online through the Every Child Belongs Portal and their online services account to access their assigned Resources Consultant to initiate a request for support.


This program is funded through the City of Toronto’s Every Child Belongs Model.

Program focus: Autism, Child Development, Communication Skills, Developmental Disability, Speech and Language

One in ten children need extra help developing speech and language skills. Without help, it may be harder for these children to listen, talk, read, and play with others. Strides Preschool Speech and Language Program (PSL) supports children living in the east area of Toronto achieve their optimal communication development.

Strides PSL offers the following services to children from birth until they are eligible to start full-day kindergarten: assessment, consultation to parents, community-based children’s programs, and other professionals, parent training and information sessions; group and individual speech and language intervention, and referral to a wide range of child and family services in the community.

Service duration
The type and duration of service provided are determined based on the child’s level of communication functioning and caregivers’ preferences for service plan options. Services may range from consultation every few months to participation in weekly therapy sessions that typically are offered once a week for approximately six weeks.

For more information about the program, click here.

Satellite Locations

BGC East Scarborough
100 Galloway Road
Scarborough, ON M1E 1W7

Dorset Park Community Hub
1911 Kennedy Road, Suite 105
Toronto, ON M1P 2I9

Malvern Family Resource Centre
90 Littles Road
Scarborough, ON M1B 5E2

Rosalie Hall
3020 Lawrence Ave E, Scarborough ON M1P 2T7

Strides Toronto
120 Middlefield Road
Scarborough, ON M1S 4M6

West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre
2555 Eglinton Ave East
Scarborough, ON M1K 5J1

Referral Details

Parents/caregivers, childcare providers, and/or other professionals involved in child’s care can refer the child to the program with parent/caregiver consent.

Referrals can be made online or by calling 1-833-575-5437.


The Preschool Speech and Language Program at Strides Toronto is part of a community partnership led by Surrey Place Centre, in collaboration with The Hanen Centre, Lumenus Community Services, Macaulay Child Development Centre and George Hull Family and Child Centre.

Strides Toronto has been providing services for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental disabilities, and/or dual diagnoses for over 20 years. As a trusted agency in Toronto, a high degree of inter-professional partnership is in place to support information sharing and collaboration among services and the community.

We are proud of the high-quality, evidence-based practices our Autism and Developmental Services provide to the children, youth, adults, and the families we serve. Our service offerings are flexible and consider individual needs. Individualized intake assessments are completed to help determine a plan for service.

Behavioural interventions and family services are integrated and coordinated with other services (e.g., mental health) which a child or youth and their family may be receiving. The wide range of services available to children, youth and their families are frequently evaluated and monitored to be flexible and responsive to changing evidence and practice.

Developmental Services provides therapeutic programming and respite to youth and adults with an autism spectrum disorder and/or a developmental disability. The services delivered strive to promote independence, encouraging the development and maintaining of a peer network, empowering them to build their capabilities, with the goal of enhancing their social and life skills development.

Family-centered care is the fundamental basis of service delivery within Strides Toronto’s Autism and Developmental Services. This approach values parents and caregivers as experts on their child and as key decision makers in their child’s interventions. It also recognizes their lifelong commitment to their child’s learning and wellness.

We offer a variety of in-person and virtual services and resources to support families. Our virtual services are offered by phone or by video through our secure Zoom Healthcare platform.