Are you a young person with an emerging mental health and 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 for you to receive mental health or addiction care, first learn more about our services in the section below: Early Intervention Stream Questions & Answers.
  • To connect with our team about accessing our services, please click here to fill out a Self Referral form and follow the instructions 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 your first appointment at the Youth Wellness Centre within three weeks after our first contact with you.
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Title: Colours of the Wind  |  Artist: Daisy

Q&A: Early Intervention Stream Questions & Answers For Young People

“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 should I expect from my first appointment as a Youth Wellness Centre client?”

At your first appointment, one of our team members will ask for some basic information about what you want help with. This helps us to understand where you are at and how we might help. You will then be given information about St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Youth Wellness Centre services by our Youth Mentor. After that, you will meet individually with the mental health professional on our team that you will be working with throughout your time as a Youth Wellness Centre client. This might be the Youth Mentor, Registered Nurse Care Coordinator, or Social Worker. This is an opportunity to get to know you, 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 you decide 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 my mental health or addiction care?”

It may be that the Youth Wellness Centre is not the best place for your care. If that happens, we’ll help you connect with the service that is right for you, working together and following up with you to help you access care you require.

The Youth Wellness Centre is part of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, the regional lead in mental health care. We’ll help you navigate the mental health services available by connecting you with one of our community partners, or refer you directly to another program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

“What if I am experiencing a mental health crisis and need to speak to someone right now?”

The Youth Wellness Centre is not a crisis service.

If you are 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 St. Joe’s COAST crisis line if someone you care about is experiencing a mental health crisis.

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 I’m experiencing is a mental illness or addiction issue?”

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

“Can I bring a family or friend to my Youth Wellness Centre appointment?”

We welcome you to bring a family or friend, whomever you feel would be of support. Whoever you bring will have a chance to meet our Family Educator. This will give them an opportunity to weigh in on what has been happening and for them to get some support as well.

“Who will I see at Youth Wellness Centre?”

Each client will be matched to a Youth Wellness Centre team member. This may be the Registered Nurse Care Coordinator, Youth Mentor, or Social Worker. You can think of them as your go-to team member at the centre. He or she will help with the whole process of assessment, treatment, and recovery; and draw in other team members and services as needed.

“Does every Youth Wellness Centre client see a psychiatrist?”

You and your primary contact at the centre will discuss if it will beneficial for you to see a psychiatrist at the Youth Wellness Centre as part of your recovery plan.

The services offered to clients of the Youth Wellness Centre vary 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 have to come for appointments at the Youth Wellness Centre and how long will your team work me?”

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 I 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.

“Can I drop in anytime 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?”

Click here 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 about other community services.

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