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, Life Skills, Mental Health, School, Trauma

The Day Treatment – Youth program provides an educational setting combined with therapy that helps young people to deal with a variety of problems and helps them to return to the school system or enter the work force. Youth eligible for Day Treatment are between 12 to 18 years old and are not able to succeed in a community school.

The student’s schedule includes three academic periods and one period of therapy, including Adolescent Life Skills and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). The focus on therapy allows youth to explore personal areas of strength and focus on development skills in the areas of: mood regulation, anger management, communication skills, relationship building, self-esteem/self-awareness, responsibility, stress management, substance use, and problem solving. Youth take part in planning their own program and future goals. Each classroom is staffed by an Strides Toronto Child and Youth Worker and a TDSB teacher. An Individual and Family Therapist is also assigned to the young person and their family to help navigate day treatment services and provide ongoing counselling

In general, youth that are referred to the program have at least one of the below diagnoses:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Bipolar Affective Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychosis
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Major Depression
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Learning Disability
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Personality Disorder.

In addition, many of these youths have difficulties with peers, authority figures, family members and/or involvement with youth criminal justice system. The average length of treatment is one year, with three to six months of follow-up to ensure a successful transition to mainstream or alternative program as well as consultation with agency psychologist and consulting psychiatrist on a regular basis.

Strides Toronto’s Day Treatment Program operates in cooperation with the Toronto District School Board and is open to youth residing in Scarborough, from all Toronto School Boards.

We have five Day Treatment Programs:

  • Highschool: Two programs at Cedarbrae Collegiate & one program at Winston Churchill Collegiate
  • Elementary: Grades 7 and 8 at Charles Gordon Senior Public School and Donview Middle School

We also offer a Youth Justice Day Treatment Program. This is a high school program for young people up to 21 years old that are involved with the Youth Justice System. This is done in partnership with Springboard. We serve youth from around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). To access this service, you must be referred by probation through Springboard.

Service Duration
On average students remain in our program for a year. Some stay for one semester and others can stay for longer. The program is individualized, and length of stay is discussed / agreed upon with the client / family and treatment team.

Students entering the program need to have an expressed mental health concern and be open and committed to engaging in counselling.

Our program is not ideal for youth who present with intellectual disabilities given the intensive cognitive based therapy modality.

Referral details

  • Youth or family member can call Help Ahead at 1-866-585-6486.
  • You will then be required to complete a telephone intake.
  • Referrals can be sent by schools / TDSB Centralized Intake, but clients and families still need to contact intake to provide consent to service.

Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Life Skills, Mental Health, School, Trauma

Day Treatment is an intensive therapeutic classroom setting for children, aged 4-12, experiencing social, emotional or behavioural issues and who have had difficulty being successful in their current school environment. These children and their caregivers may also be at risk for breakdown in their home and/or community.

The program is based on a multidisciplinary milieu treatment model that provides in-class care, family treatment and group therapy. Members of the milieu team include: Child Therapists who work in the classroom, providing evidence based group intervention with the children and individual support to the children as needed; Child and Family Therapists who work with the children providing individual treatment, family treatment and group therapy; Teachers who work in the classroom teaching the academic work; a Consulting Psychologist who conducts assessments, provides clinical consultation; and Supervisors-Day Treatment/Family Treatment Services who provide clinical supervision. Service duration is determined in collaboration between the caregiver and the multidisciplinary milieu team. One year of treatment is the recommended length of service.

There are six classrooms of approximately six students each in three separate schools. Two of the schools are in the Toronto District School Board and one is in the Toronto Catholic District School Board. The Strides Toronto Day Treatment program serves East Toronto (Scarborough) and East York region of Toronto.

Caregiver Readiness

Caregivers are in a state of readiness to make use of the intensive program including weekly participation. Group attendance is mandatory and occurs weekly between September and December. Caregivers participate in weekly family sessions for the remainder of the academic year.

Eligibility details

  • Children aged 4 – 12 years
  • Children are not managing in their current academic environment due to social, emotional and/or behavioural challenges.
  • Children do not require 1:1 staffing support to manage.

Referral details

All referrals are made through Help Ahead, Central Point of Intake, 1-866-585-6486. Referrals can be made by the family or other professionals working with the family.  Once the referral is received, a Help Ahead staff will reach out to the family to discuss options.

Highland Heights Junior Public School
35 Glendower Circuit
Scarborough, ON

Vradenburg Junior Public School
50 Vradenburg Drive
Scarborough, ON

Holy Name Catholic School
690 Carlaw Avenue
Toronto, ON

Strides Toronto
Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 8PM
325 Milner Avenue
Scarborough, ON

Program focus: Mental Health

Strides Toronto has a long history of providing mental health consultation and support services to elementary schools in east Toronto. Targeted Prevention is a collaborative program where we work with the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board to offer mental health services that meet specific needs identified by local schools. The program goal is to support children in achieving success in their school and community. This is accomplished through consultation to school staff and through class-wide and school-wide presentations and activities with children.