Frequently Asked Questions
What does Strides Toronto do?
Strides Toronto is a community-based agency that provides responsive services in partnership with individuals, families and communities to strengthen their social and emotional well-being and promote healthy development. We support children, youth and families by helping them directly with their mental health, personal and interpersonal development or connecting them to services in their community. We do Whatever It Takes to meet you where you are at.
How can my organization get information about/from Strides Toronto?
Strides Toronto is happy to share information about our work with other organizations. To request information about Strides Toronto programs and services or to arrange a presentation or presence at your event, please complete and submit our contact form.
What programs and services do you offer?
We offer a variety of mental health and support services to meet the needs of children, youth and families, whether it’s through counselling, outreach work, referrals, workshops or drop-in programs. Our services include:
- individual child and youth counselling;
- family counselling, including infants, children and youth;
- specialized groups/workshops for children, youth or parents;
- skill development for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder;
- assessment and treatment of early speech and language delays;
- extra support for a healthy pregnancy;
- residential treatment programs;
- gender-based violence support;
- system navigation assistance;
- information and resource materials.
Learn more on our Programs & Services page.
How do I access your programs and services?
To access any of our services, call one of our main offices and ask to speak to the intake coordinator. For our Markham Road location, call 416-438-3697 and then dial 12248. For the Milner Road location, dial 416-321-5464, then dial 0. One of our Intake Coordinators will ask a few questions to better understand your situation and needs. The Intake Coordinator will also provide telephone support during times of crisis and refer you to the appropriate services. If another organization seems more appropriate, the Intake Coordinator will help connect you to the right resources.
Are your programs and services free?
Most of them are! We are funded by The Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, City of Toronto, and United Way Greater Toronto. There are a few programs that may have a fee for use and our intake team can help walk you through them.
What type of expertise do your staff have?
All of our staff are trained professionals. They include child and youth workers, social workers, therapists, professionals in psychology, speech and language pathologists, communicative disorders assistants, and family home visitors. They are all committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure clients are getting the support they need. Strides Toronto is a certified mental health centre, accredited by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation. We also use external psychologists and psychiatrists in consultation.
What happens when I call/email about service?
One of our intake coordinators will ask a few questions to better understand your situation and needs. The intake coordinator will also provide telephone support during times of crisis and refer you to the appropriate services. If another organization seems more appropriate, the intake coordinator will help connect you to the right resources.
What information do you collect about me and what do you do with it?
At Strides Toronto, we collect personal information and inform our clients and participants how and why this information will be used. Since personal information can help to identify a person, we treat this information with the utmost care at Strides Toronto. Unless required by law, this information is not be disclosed without permission and consent. We inform our clients how the data we collect will be used.
Can you share my information without consent?
Only in extreme circumstances. There are times when your health care providers are required to share your personal health information without your expressed consent. For example, if you are at risk of harm to self or others, it may become necessary to share need-to-know information to keep you safe. Your health care providers are also obligated by law to respond to a subpoena and/or search warrant.
What languages do you offer services in?
We offer services in a variety of languages, including English, French, Tamil, Mandarin, and Farsi.
Do you work with other organizations to offer services?
Strides Toronto has many relationships and partnerships across the Toronto in order to best serve our clients and increase access to services. These partnerships include community-based mental health centres, speech and language programs, hospitals, schools, Toronto Police Service, child welfare, and Youth Justice. Our goal is to increase pathways to care so you feel supported.
What if you don’t offer what I need?
If our agency is not appropriate for you or doesn’t match your needs, we would be more than happy to connect you to another agency that might be better suited to what you are looking for.
Is there a long wait time for service?
This depends on the program and service you need. The intake coordinator will work with you to best determine what services are most appropriate for you, if there is a waitlist, and if there are programs you can attend while you wait for other services.
Does Strides Toronto have accessible services?
Strides Toronto is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all individuals who visit our Centre or our website. We strive to eliminate barriers to access by providing facilities and services that can accommodate a variety of special needs, including:
- Wheelchair and Stroller Access
- Service Animals
- Service Disruptions
- Accessibility Feedback
- TTY Service
Please visit our Accessibility page to learn more.
Do I need a referral from a doctor or other service provider to receive treatment?
For some of our programs, yes. Our intake coordinator will let you know if and what type of referral you need for the treatment you need.
Do I need parental consent to receive service?
Generally speaking, a person of any age can give consent to their own treatment, and do not need to involve their parents/caregivers/families as long as the young person is capable of consenting. A young person will be found to have capacity to consent or to refuse consent if they:
- Understand the information relevant to the proposed treatment, and
- Understand the consequences of consenting to or refusing treatment.
For consent to be valid, it must be:
- Related to the treatment;
- Given voluntarily;
- Not obtained through misrepresentation or fraud.
If the young person is capable, they can decide if they want to give or refuse consent to treatment. In other words, as long as the young person understands the treatment, why it’s being recommended, the benefits and risks, alternative options, and what will happen if they accept or refuse treatment, the health care provider and family must respect the young person’s decision.
What are the signs that I should seek mental health support for my child?
You and your child might benefit from Strides Toronto’s support if:
- your child is often unhappy or angry;
- your child has problems coping and/or learning in school or at a child care program;
- your child seems unmanageable;
- your baby won’t stop crying;
- you are worried about your child’s speech and language development;
- you are confused and frustrated and feel that you need help in dealing with your child’s difficult behaviour.
What is my role in treatment?
Depending on who you are your role will vary. As the client, our goal is to involve you in most, if not all, your treatment planning. We actively encourage you to participate fully in treatment to benefit from services. For parents and caregivers, your role is to be supportive of the young person participating in a Strides Toronto program and be involved in treatment if the young person wants you to be. For service providers, your role may involve helping the person make the transition into a program and providing information that will better help us work with this person. Depending on the program and your place in the person’s life, we may invite you to collaborate with us.
What are some of the risks associated with counselling?
- You may feel worse before you feel better and therapy can take longer than you think.
- Therapy is hard work and can be scary at times. Our staff are here to support you every step of the way.
- Dealing with your problems may feel overwhelming, and you might just want to ignore what’s bothering you.
- Some people might not be supportive when they hear that you are involved with a mental health agency. We will help you work through this and provide strategies on how to communicate with them about your treatment.
- If you are at risk of being hurt or risk hurting yourself or others, we may have to share information with third parties in order to keep you safe. This could include the police, child welfare or doctors. However, this is only in extreme cases. You can withdraw your consent to service at any time.
What are some of the benefits to counselling?
- It can be cathartic and healthy to release bottled up thoughts or emotions like sadness, anger, loneliness, frustration. It can feel like a weight has been lifted by talking about what is bothering you.
- We will work with you on problem solving, and help you come up with new ideas on how to handle situations that you find difficult.
- We will help you regain control of your life, leading to overall higher satisfaction in your day-to-day experiences.
- We will help you identify and build on your strengths. We will work with you to help you get all the services that you might need and help coordinate them.
- You will be provided with a safe, confidential, and supportive place to talk about difficult issues. We do not judge or criticize. No question or problem is too big – we are here for you to listen and help.
What are my rights as a Strides Toronto client?
As a client, you have the right to:
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Informed consent to service
- Make a complaint
- Be treated with dignity and respect without any discrimination
- A safe and secure environment.
I have an issue and/or want to make a complaint about my service. How do I do that?
Strides Toronto is committed to offering the best service possible. Your thoughts and suggestions are important to us. We encourage you to comment on our performance at any time, even if you have a complaint. To help you have your concern(s) heard and responded to as quickly as possible, there are a variety of steps offered. Start by talking to your support worker, then if necessary, escalate to 1) their supervisor, 2) their manager, 3) their director, then to the Executive Director. Finally, if your issue is still not adequately addressed, contact the Board of Directors.
You can also contact our Privacy Officer:
If you would like to leave a complaint in writing, please place your comment in an envelope, and mark the envelope with ATTN: PRIVACY OFFICER. Leave it with the receptionist at either:
- 1200 Markham Road, Suite 200, M1H 3C3
- 325 Milner Avenue, Suite 110, Scarborough, ON M1B 5N1
Your communication will be delivered to the Strides Toronto Privacy Officer.
Email or by phone
If you would like to email a complaint or speak with the Privacy Officer, please contact us at email@example.com or 416-321-5464.