What kind of services are offered to Youth Wellness Centre clients as part of the Early Intervention Stream?
Young people who access this service will work directly with our team to develop a plan for recovery. Recovery plans are customized to suit the needs of the young person accessing care. We provide assessments, counselling, peer support, family support, psychiatric consultation, brief group therapy and help navigating community mental health services. This plan might also include programs and services in the community.
Access to substance use counselling is also available through a partnership with Alternatives For Youth, which is located in the same space as the Youth Wellness Centre.
What can the young person I am referring expect from their first appointment as a Youth Wellness Centre client?
The young person will first be invited in for an orientation session where they will learn about our services and will be asked to provide some basic information about what they want help with. This orientation will be provided by one of our Youth Mentors, youth on our staff team who also have lived experience of mental health concerns.
After the orientation session, the young person can book an appointment to meet individually with the mental health professional on our team who will be their “go-to person” throughout their time with the Youth Wellness Centre, or they will be offered low-barrier access options for individual brief counselling or groups.
If the young person is hesitant about making changes or has difficulty keeping set appointment times, we have low-barrier drop-in options for them to quickly access services when they’re ready, including weekly drop-in counselling and drop-in groups. Once they are ready to engage more intensely with our services, then they can be set up with a go-to person and follow the process below.
At the young person’s first appointment with their go-to person, they will have a more in-depth discussion of their needs and goals. They will be asked about challenges they are facing, and changes they are hoping to make. The young person and their “go-to person” will begin to create a recovery plan to make those changes possible. This process takes from 1.5 – 2 hours.
What if the Youth Wellness Centre is not the best place for the young person I am referring to receive mental health or addiction care?
It may be that the Youth Wellness Centre is not the best place to provide services to the young person you are concerned about.
If that happens, the Youth Wellness Centre team help the young person connect with the service(s) that is right for them, working together and following up to help them access care they require.
The Youth Wellness Centre is part of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, the regional lead in mental health care. We’ll help youth navigate the mental health services available by connecting the young person with one of our community partners, or referring them directly to another program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.
What if the young person I am concerned about is experiencing a mental health crisis and needs to speak to someone right now?
The Youth Wellness Centre is not a crisis service.
If you, or a loved one, is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Crisis Outreach and Support Team’s COAST telephone line at 905-972-8338. The crisis line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can also call the Barrett Centre for Crisis Support 24/7 at 905-529-7878 (Toll Free 1-844-777-3571)
Does every Youth Wellness Centre client see a psychiatrist?
The services offered to clients of the Youth Wellness Centre vary from person to person. This is because individual recovery plans are customized to suit the unique needs of the young person accessing care.
This means that not every client will see a psychiatrist at the Youth Wellness Centre, but will be connected with mental health professionals on the team that will best help them in their recovery.
How frequently do clients come for appointments at the Youth Wellness Centre and for how long?
Typical appointments would range between weekly and every 3 months. There are opportunities outside of that to engage with the Youth Wellness Centre via our resource library, groups, and drop-in programming. For example, outside of appointments the young person might choose to come to one of our monthly socials or our weekly peer support group.
It is our goal to remain connected with youth for 2-5 years. The intensity and frequency of our involvement will vary depending on the needs of each person.
Do clients have to pay for Youth Wellness Centre services?
No. The services St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Youth Wellness Centre offers are covered by OHIP, meaning that the young person does not need to pay—they just need to bring their health card!
If the young person you are referring does not have a health card, contact us and we will see how we can help.
Who can refer a young person to the Youth Wellness Centre?
Support persons (non-professionals) who care about a young person with emerging mental health or substance use concerns can refer to the Youth Wellness Centre; we just ask that the person you are referring is aware of and consents to the referral. Examples of support people who may refer young people to the Youth Wellness Centre could include parents, or friends who care about the young person. Young people can also refer themselves!
What if the young person I am concerned about doesn’t know I am referring them to YWC?
When a support person refers a young person the Youth Wellness Centre, we ask that the young person is aware of and consents to the referral.
Please ask the young person you would like to refer to the Youth Wellness Centre if it is alright if you submit a referral form on their behalf. We will ask you to indicate that this approval has occurred in the Support Person Referral Form.
As someone who cares about the person I am referring to the Youth Wellness Centre, can I participate in the young person’s first assessment?
The assessment is confidential and will occur in a discussion between the young person and a mental health professional at the Youth Wellness Centre. This means that young person and the mental health professional will meet individually, without any friends or family members present, unless the young person wants someone else there to make it easier for them to attend this meeting.
If the young person consents, a friend or family member is welcome to meet with our Family Educator while the young person attends their orientation or first appointment. The Family Educator can explain the Youth Wellness Centre services and can help support you!
As someone who cares about the young person I am referring, will I be informed about the care the young person receives at the Youth Wellness Centre?
Services at the Youth Wellness Centre are confidential. Information about the young person’s care will only be shared with you if the client consents.