Program focus: Communication Skills, Community Awareness, LGBT, Mental Health, School, Skill Development, Socializing, Violence Prevention, Youth Engagement more…
The Respect in Schools Everywhere (RiSE) Program is a youth-led, school-based violence prevention and mentorship program for grades 9 – 12 students. RiSE provides resources and programming for grades 7 – 8 students in feeder schools to the host school.
Youth participants are responsible for developing and facilitating workshops focused on bullying, mental health, social media education, stigma, and conflict resolution. RiSE has developed a program model for schools that is evidence-informed practices and incorporates current and relevant research. RiSE is currently delivered at David and Mary Thompson however any high school may request the program at their site.
Get In Touch with RiSE on Instagram
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.
Get in touch with us on Instagram
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 416-926-1784. If you have any questions, please email the Urban Tele-Mental Health Service Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 416-438-3697 ext. 21361.
Program focus: Communication Skills, Mental Health, Parenting, Skill Development
Facing Your Fears is a group program that uses a cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) approach for the reduction of anxiety symptoms (Facing Your Fears Facilitator’s Manual, 2011). There is a vast amount of literature supporting the use of CBT to manage children’s anxiety, resulting in CBT being the best practice for the management of this disorder.
The overall goal is to provide children with the skills for them to be able to successfully cope in a variety of anxiety-provoking situations.
The treatment goals are:
- Helping children to recognize signs of anxious arousal and to use these as cues for the use of anxiety management strategies
- Encourage children to identify negative self-statements in order to initiate more positive and constructive self-statements
- Helping children to use self-ratings and self-rewards
- Identifying the cognitive processes associated with excessive anxious arousal
- Training in cognitive strategies for anxiety management and behavioural relaxation
- Performance-based practice opportunities with learned skills applied to real-life situations
- Provide parents with the knowledge and skills needed to support their child in coping with anxiety
There are 14 sessions, which cover:
- Welcome to Group: Words We Use for Worry
- When I Worry
- Time Spent Worrying
- What Worry Does to My Body: Beginning to Measure Worry
- The Mind-Body Connection
- More Mind-Body Connections: Introduction to Exposure
- Introduction to Exposure (Continued)
- Practicing Exposure and Making Movies
- Facing Fears and Making Movies
- Facing Fears and Making Movies
- Facing Fears and Making Movies
- Facing Fears and Making Movies
- Facing Fears and Making Movies
Access to this group is through Intake and Family Counselling Services which allows for assessment of eligibility criteria.
Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Communication Skills, Employment, Housing, Immigration, Income Support, LGBT, Mental Health, Primary Care Support Referrals, School, Skill Development, Socializing, Trauma more…
The Youth Outreach Worker Program is an initiative for at-risk youth ages 12 to 21 years old and their families in East Toronto. It is designed to help empower and provide them with individualized programming to meet their unique needs and circumstances. Youth Outreach Workers (YOWs) also work with other community resources to coordinate youth activities and services.
We also have specialized YOWs who have a focus on specific populations in Toronto, such as Syrian, Afghan and Tamil. Their goal is to make programs and services more accessible to youth and their families by overcoming language and cultural barriers. Outreach to specific populations help inform members of the community of the availability of services and to remove the stigma and fear associated with accessing services such as mental health.
We also offer clinical services as part of our Enhanced Youth Outreach Workers program (EYOW). In addition to providing support services, EYOWs can offer intensive intervention for example in the areas of mental health, addictions, trauma, relationship or family violence and / or human and sex trafficking etc.
Some of the many services we connect youth and families with include:
- Education & alternative learning
- Volunteer hours
- Drop-in Programs
- Assistance in Applying for schools, loans & government assistance
- Help getting ID, SIN and Health Card
- Food Banks
- Newcomer youth programs
Program focus: Anti-Human Trafficking, Bilingual Services (French), Case Management, Child Welfare, Employment, Housing, Legal, LGBT, Mental Health, School, Sex Work, Sexual Relationships, Skill Development, Substance Abuse, Trauma, Work more…
Youth In Transition Workers aim to meet youth where it is more convenient for them, in the community, at coffee shops, libraries or at the office. Some resources and supports offered to youth may include:
- Housing and or educational supports
- Employment and services training
- Life skills (e.g., financial management and household management)
- Legal services and psychoeducation
- Health and mental health services
- Access to Trauma Therapy and Human Trafficking Peer Support Group
- Snacks and TTC fare for case management needs
- Access to Strides Food Mart available upon sign up
In addition to the above supports, Strides YIT workers provide targeted/focused assistance in the following areas:
- Mental Health and Addictions YIT
- Bilingual (French speaking) YIT connects youth with Francophone resources within their communities.
- Anti-Human Trafficking YIT provides individualized case management to youth at risk of sexual exploitation and Human Trafficking.
The length of work with youth varies based on their long-term and short-term goals. Once youth provide consent, referrals can be emailed directly to our team: YIT@Stridestoronto.ca.
Youth aged 16 – 24 years and is:
• in Extended Society Care or
• in a formal Customary Care arrangement immediately prior to the youth’s 18th birthday or
• eligible for support under Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY)
Get in touch with Strides Toronto Youth In Transition (YIT) workers on Instagram:
Program focus: Communication Skills, Community Service/Volunteer Hours, LGBT, Skill Development, Socializing
The Volunteer Readiness Program serves youth looking to complete community service hours towards high school graduation or probation requirements. The youth is not required to have prior volunteer or work experiences to participate in this program. The volunteers participate in a variety of activities including community events and packing food hampers for those experiencing food insecurity among other things.
The youth are assured to gain community service hours and employability skills including communication and leadership skills through hands on experiences with the support of Youth Outreach Workers. They will also have opportunities to develop their resume and access other programs and services based on their individual needs.
Snacks and TTC tickets are provided for the youth volunteers.
Program focus: Communication Skills, Community, Multimedia, Skill Development, Socializing, Youth, Youth Engagement more…
Studio 2 Multimedia Program supports youth in the development of multimedia skills, as well as social skills, with an emphasis on media literacy, employability skills and mental health.
Our program uses various industry standard software and hardware to help youth design a variety of media projects. Youth are engaged under the supervision and guidance of professionals and Strides Toronto staff. Projects youth can work on include film and documentaries, print, photography, portfolio development, and music/audio recording. Programming is delivered through one-on-one sessions, group workshops and facilitated workshops in the community and/or school.
In partnership with
Program focus: Immigration, Skill Development, Socializing
The Newcomer Youth Engagement Program is for youth ages 12 to 21 who are immigrants to Canada and are permanent residents or conventional refugees. The program provides free activities every month that include volunteer opportunities, sports events, workshops and trips around Toronto.
The Newcomer Program offers two types of service:
This program provides information on mental health services and social skills training to help newcomer youth and their families with the settlement process. The importance of positive mental health and mental health stigma are discussed and connected to the immigration experience. Information and strategies are explored through innovative and out of the box practices. The Orientation stream also provides training to service providers and/or youth in schools and other community agencies on various mental health topics.
- Welcoming Communities
This program provides newcomer youth and their families with the support, skills and training they need during the settlement process. Newcomer youth receive leadership and mentorship training. They also receive homework help and educational supports to ensure they do well in school and develop employment skills. Program workers focus on providing youth with information, skills and knowledge to help them adapt, settle, and integrate into Canadian life. Workshops on topics such as communication and social skills, cross-cultural and diversity skills, and navigation on public transit are provided. The Welcoming Communities program also provides training to service providers and/or youth in schools and other community agencies on various settlement topics.