Program focus: Abuse, Anti-Human Trafficking, Behaviour Difficulty, Budgeting, Case Management, Child Welfare, Communication Skills, Developmental Disability, Employment, Housing, Immigration, Legal, LGBT, Life Skills, Male identified, Mental Health, Postnatal, Psychoeducation, Resume building, School, Sex Work, Sexual Relationships, Skill Development, Socializing, Substance Abuse, Trauma, Work more…
The Gender-Based Violence Program provides free support to individuals who are involved or at risk of being involved in human trafficking or those who have been involved in the sex trade by choice, circumstance, or coercion. The program is grounded in treating trauma, relational therapy and addressing human rights. Our team works from a strength based, sex-positive, harm reduction and trauma-informed approach. We believe in empowering survivors to have self-worth and to build healthy support systems.
Our team is composed of Trauma Therapists, Community Outreach Workers and Peer Navigators. The GBV program offers the following services centred around client-directed service planning:
- Trauma Therapy. Our therapists use a trauma-informed approach to help clients overcome psychological trauma. The GBV program recognizes that individuals who access our services often experience a combination of acute and developmental trauma. An acute trauma can be one where a person perceives a threat to one’s life, body, or emotional safety. Developmental trauma can occur because of adverse and chronic childhood experiences, such as neglect and abuse. As a result of trauma, people may have difficulty coping with their experiences, which can be very distressing and disruptive to daily functioning. Our therapists support individuals by working toward managing trauma symptoms, reducing shame and blame and building healthy relationships. Our therapists apply various therapeutic modalities in this process, including relational therapy and EMDR, as well as provide psychoeducation for participants and their family.
- Community Outreach & Education. The GBV team is available to provide outreach and education to youth 12-29 years old in various settings. Outreach and education take a preventative, non-judgemental approach to human trafficking/sex trafficking and incorporate topics such as healthy relationships, safety, consent and boundary setting. Concurrently, as part of our outreach, the GBV team can provide education on the topics of sex trafficking and trauma-informed care to service providers.
- Case Management & Service Navigation. Our Community Outreach Workers assist individuals with finding safe and affordable housing, accessing financial assistance, finding medical care, obtaining identification documents or legal consultation, school enrollment, job searching and can provide external referrals when needed. Assistance with life skill development, goal setting and budgeting support is also available
- Peer Support & Navigation. Our Peer Navigators actively advocate to reduce and end sexual exploitation. They act as support workers to encourage trauma recovery, build hope, confidence, and resilience within participants. The lived experience of the Peer Navigators lessens the isolation that many survivors feel, by creating a sense of belonging, connecting survivors with each other and to community-based resources. They can also offer assistance with appointments, court support, and aid with safety planning
- Support Group. Our Peer Navigators run an online support group with support from one of our Trauma Therapists. The group focuses on life skills and social/recreational activities.
- Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Counselling Program. This program offers short-term (8-12) immediate counselling sessions for children and youth who are victims of internet sexual exploitation and to their immediate family members. *ICE is available by referral only via the Ontario Provincial Police and BOOST. Learn more about ICE .
Any questions can be directed to the Gender-Based Violence Program at GBVinfo@stridestoronto.ca or 416-438-3697 ext. 13265.
On November 9, 2022, the Government of Canada endorsed the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence. Preventing and addressing GBV in Canada requires a coordinated national approach, with federal, provincial and territorial governments working in close partnership with survivors, Indigenous partners, direct service providers, experts, advocates, municipalities, the private sector and researchers.
The work of Strides Toronto’s Gender-Based Violence Program supports the vision of a Canada free from gender-based violence and supporting victims, survivors and their families regardless of where they live.
- Youth aged 12 – 29 years
- Residing in Toronto
- Involved in or at risk of being involved in human trafficking and/or current or previous involvement in the sex trade by choice, circumstance, or coercion
- All gender identities welcomed
- Have an identified need or goal to address
Please note that we are not a crisis service. If you are in immediate danger, please contact 911 immediately. The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline (1-833-900-1010) is available 24 hours, 7 days a week for telephone support and referral information.
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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: Abuse, Behaviour Difficulty, LGBT, Mental Health, Nutrition, School, Sex Work, Trauma more…
The What’s Up Walk-In® Clinic is Toronto’s only free, six day a week mental health counselling walk-in service for children, youth, young adults, and families. The clinic helps with issues such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal ideation, sexual identity matters, bullying, behavioural concerns, addictions, and anything else that might be on one’s mind. All the information you provide is confidential.
Therapists offer single sessions up to an hour long. We don’t judge. We will support you in your concerns and work collaboratively with you. The focus is on abilities, resources, and skills that you have, or you want to develop. Together we will target a priority concern and develop a plan with you that you feel comfortable with. If you feel you need more help, you can come back to the What’s Up Walk-In. All our therapists are clinically trained.
The clinic is barrier free, and accessible. No health card or appointment is necessary and it’s completely free! The What’s Up Walk-In network is a collection of 6 agencies operating at 8 sites across the City of Toronto.
Hours of service
In-person Sessions at Strides Toronto (as of September 11, 2023)
Monday, 2 PM – 8 PM
Tuesday, 9:30 AM – 5 PM
Thursday, 12 PM – 8 PM
Friday, 11 AM – 5 PM
Location: 1200 Markham Road, Suite 200, Scarborough
Wednesday, 9:30 AM – 5 PM
Friday, 2 PM – 8 PM
Saturday, 10 AM – 4 PM
To be connected to a counsellor for a telephone or video session, call us at 416-438-3697 ext. 0 for reception.
- Registration closed 1h 30 mins prior to the end of in-person service hours.
- No appointment is necessary; first come, first served.
- Face masks are recommended for in-person sessions.
- Services closed on statutory holidays.
Supported by RBC:
In partnership with:
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 416-926-1784. If you have any questions, please email the Urban Tele-Mental Health Service Coordinator at email@example.com or call us at 416-438-3697 ext. 21361.
Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Child Development, Parenting
The Triple P-Positive Parenting Program is a multi-level, preventively-oriented parenting and family support strategy developed by the authors and colleagues at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. The program aims to prevent severe behavioural, emotional and developmental problems in children by enhancing the knowledge, skills and confidence of parents.
The program content draws on the following:
- Social learning models of parent-child interaction that highlight the reciprocal and bidirectional nature of parent child interactions.
- Research in child and family behaviour therapy and applied behaviour analysis.
- Developmental research on parenting in everyday contexts
- Social information processing models that highlight the important role of parental cognitions such as attributions, expectancies and beliefs.
- Research from the field of developmental psychopathology that has identified specific risk and protective factors that are linked to adverse developmental outcomes in children.
- A population health perspective to family intervention that involves the explicit recognition of the role of the broader ecological context for human development.
The group goals are:
- To increase parents’ competence in managing common behavior problems and developmental issues
- To reduce parents’ use of coercive and punitive methods of disciplining children
- To reduce parenting stress associated with raising children
Triple P is offered over seven sessions:
- Introduction, What is Positive Parenting, Causes of Child Behaviour Problems, Goals for change, Keeping track of children’s behaviours
- Promoting children’s development, developing positive relationships with children, encouraging desirable behaviour, teaching new skills and behaviours
- Managing misbehaviour, developing parenting routines
- Planning ahead, family survival tips, high risk situations, planned activities routines
- Telephone session – Implementing parenting routines
- Telephone session – Implementing parenting routines continued
- Program close – phasing out the program, progress review, maintenance of change, problem solving for the future, future goals, celebration
Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty
The Priority Access for Students (PAS) Program provides individual and family focused counselling services as well as case management for Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board students and their families.
Students who need support and help are identified and referred by their school social workers to this program. Counselling can be provided in home or in office and includes collaboration with the schools to support students and their families around their identified mental health needs.
The goal of PAS is to prepare youth to function independently and effectively within the school environment, the greater community and in the home. We also work to prevent youth from needing more intensive services like a Residential Treatment program in the future. Trained clinicians provide Individual and Family Therapy once a week or up to two times a week if needed. Sometimes workers will meet clients in their community, at their school, or in their home, but we encourage in-office sessions at flexible times during the day or evening.
We will also connect youth to community resources that might be difficult to access.
Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Child Welfare, Life Skills, Mental Health, Trauma
Priority Access for Child Welfare (PACW) Services helps children and youth that are at-risk of being placed in child welfare because of challenges at home; severe difficulties at school that could lead to loss of school placement; or has significant mental health and/or addiction issues and child welfare has become involved. Depending on the need of the family, therapists can meet with youth and their caregivers between 1 to 2 times per week.
The goals of the program are to reduce the severity of the difficulties in the home, improve relationships and reduce the risk for out-of-home placement. Services are offered in a range of settings (e.g. our office, the community, child welfare office and sometimes the home) using a treatment plan that is created collaboratively with the child/youth/family. Trained therapists provide children/youth/families with tools to help develop healthy behaviours, better relationships and enable youth to function positively and effectively in the home whilst addressing their mental health and/or addiction issues.
A referral needs to be made by the social workers at Children’s Aid Society Toronto (CAS) or Catholic Children’s Aid Society (CCAS) to Strides Toronto.
The social worker from CAS or CCAS will ask for consent from the family and send Strides Toronto the referral form asking the therapist to help support family. The therapist will then contact the family directly and we will all agree a time to meet.
Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Child Welfare, Communication Skills, Mental Health, Socializing
Our Intensive Child and Family Service is offered to children and their caregivers who are experiencing social, emotional, and/or behavioural challenges that interfere with their daily lives and may lead to family breakdown in either their home, school and/or community. Often families eligible for this service are living with complex needs that may be impacting multiple domains of their lives.
Services are provided in-home, in-community, in-office or other settings which would be most helpful to supporting change. These services are provided by a Child and Family Therapist who will meet as frequently as required to help make a difference, offering service in a flexible manner that may include individual treatment, family and/or group therapy.
Contact Strides Toronto Intake at 416-438-3697 ext. 19055 to initiate a referral.
Intake will help determine if Intensive Services is the most appropriate service for you or if there is an alternate service that may better meet your needs.
Program focus: Abuse, Behaviour Difficulty, Child Welfare, Mental Health, Trauma
The Infant Mental Health program offers a variety of family-focused, multidisciplinary mental health assessment and treatment services that are inclusive and accessible to all families living in Scarborough. Services are provided at Strides Toronto, in the home, or in the community at a time convenient for the family.
The program strives to strengthen parent child interactions by focusing on building positive family relationships to improve healthy social and emotional development of infants and children (birth to 3 years old) in partnership with their families and communities.
Parents with young children under the age of 3 years who are concerned about their children’s behaviour (separation anxiety, sleep difficulties, eating concerns, excessive crying, or challenging behaviour) are eligible for this service.
Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Communication Skills, Mental Health, Parenting
Family Counselling is intended to help caregivers explore their concerns about their child with a trained therapist. The goals of counselling services are to help your family get an understanding of your concerns and to enhance problem solving skills; as well, to give your family an opportunity to learn effective ways to cope with any different challenges.
Benefits of Family Counselling may include:
- Receiving help to define family goals
- Finding ways of achieving the goals and improving communication in your relationships
- Learning new information about your child’s personality or development
- Connecting or coordinating services with other community groups and activities
- Communicating with your child’s school or day care
- Learning more effective or useful parenting strategies
- Receiving an assessment to help with treatment planning (e.g., psychological assessment)
- Experiencing a safe place to talk about painful events that have affected your child
Access to this group is through Intake.