Are you a member of the community who cares about a young person experiencing an emerging mental health or addiction concern?

Here is how the Youth Wellness Centre can help:

  • To find out if the Early Intervention Stream at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Youth Wellness Centre is the right place the young person you care about to receive mental health or addiction care, first learn more about our services in the section below: 
  • When ready, please click here to fill out a Community Referral form and follow the instructions provided to submit it online.
  • The mental health professionals at the Youth Wellness Centre will carefully review your form. Once you have submitted your form, our aim is to connect with you within two business days.
  • If our clinical care is a good fit, we’ll book an appointment. Our goal is to have the client’s first appointment at the Youth Wellness Centre within three weeks after our first contact with the young person.
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Title: Vessel  |  Artist: Megan

Q&A: Early Intervention Stream Questions & Answers For Community Members

“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 custom 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 individual therapy and help navigating community mental health services. Access to addiction counselling is also available through a partnership with Alternatives For Youth, who are located in the same space as the Youth Wellness Centre.

The Youth Wellness Centre is part of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, the regional lead in mental health care, and we have also have strong partnerships with other community services.

The Youth Wellness Centre is consistently evaluating our service offering, looking for trends and gaps in care based on the needs of clients. Over time, we hope to scale our services to meet emerging client needs by communicating with the youth we serve, our community partners and our youth advisory council.

“Where is St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Youth Wellness Centre located?”

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Youth Wellness Centre is located at 38 James Street South, in the iconic Pigott Building at the corner of James & Main in downtown Hamilton. The centre is located external from St. Joe’s campuses in an informal, welcoming setting.

Click here to see our contact information and a link to directions and transit information.

“What can the young person I am referring expect from their first appointment as a Youth Wellness Centre client?”

At a client’s appointment, one of our team members will ask for some basic information about what you want help with. This helps us to understand the client’s needs and how we might help. They will then be given information about St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Youth Wellness Centre services by our Youth Mentor . After that, the client will meet individually with the mental health professional on our team that they will be working with throughout their time as a Youth Wellness Centre client. This might be the Youth Mentor, Registered Nurse Care Coordinator, or Social Worker.  This is an opportunity for the team get to know the client, see how our services (or other community services) can help and begin developing a recovery plan. The whole process will take 1.5 – 2 hours.

If the young person decides to bring a family member or friend, this person is welcome to meet with our Family Educator . It is an opportunity for them to talk about what has been happening and for them to get some support as well.

“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 clients navigate the mental health services available by connecting the client with one of our community partners, or refer 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 someone you care about 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.

The mental health professionals at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s COAST crisis line can help those requiring urgent access to mental health outreach, assessment and intervention.

“What if I am not sure if what the young person I am concerned about is experiencing a mental illness or addiction issue?”

Check out the Q&A: Questions & Answers About Mental Illness and Addiction section of this website to learn more about the early signs and symptoms of mental illness.

“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 monthly. There are opportunities outside of that for the client to engage with the Youth Wellness Centre via our resource library, groups, programming, and volunteering.

It is our goal to remain connected with our clients 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 covered by OHIP.

“Do you offer drop-in services at the Youth Wellness Centre?”

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Youth Wellness Centre provides expert mental health care by appointment. We do not offer a drop-in service at this time.

The Youth Wellness Centre is consistently evaluating our service offering, looking for trends and gaps in care based on the needs of clients. Over time, we hope to scale our services to meet emerging client needs (like drop in times) in the future.

“Where can I learn more about mental health and addiction?”

See the Q&A: About Mental Health & Addiction section of this website. It contains facts about mental illness and addiction for young people as well as more information.

“Who can refer a young person to the Youth Wellness Centre?”

Community members who care about a young person who is experiencing emerging mental health or addiction 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 community members who may refer young people to the Youth Wellness Centre could include teachers, guidance counsellors, community agency staff, parents, or friends who care about the young person.

“What if the young person I am concerned about doesn’t know I am referring them to YWC?”

We ask that when a community member refers a young person the Youth Wellness Centre that the young person is aware of and approves of 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 Community 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 client’s 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 clinician will meet individually, without any friends or family members present.

If the young person consents, a friend or family member is welcome to come to the Youth Wellness Centre for their first appointment and will be able to speak to the Family Educator to learn more about the services the centre provides.

“As someone who cares about the young person I am referring, will I be informed of 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.

“If I am referring a young person who is my client at a community service, will I be informed of the young person’s time 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.

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