St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Youth Wellness Centre is a unique service that provides expert mental health care by appointment including counselling, support and navigation services for young people aged 17 to 25. This service is covered by OHIP and confidential.

One thing that is different about the centre is that young people and the people who care about them can reach out to Youth Wellness Centre to find out if this is the right place for care. Medical professionals can also refer clients.

We offer two streams of clinical mental health care for:

  • Young people who are experiencing emerging mental health or addiction concerns. This stream is called Early Intervention.
  •  Young people who are looking for support moving from child and adolescent mental health and addictions services to adult mental health and addictions services. This stream is called Transition Support.
Title: Conquer It
Artist: Amanpreet

Title: Conquer it  |  Artist: Amanpreet

Early Intervention Stream

If you are a young person experiencing mental health difficulties, it is never too early to #ReachOut.

In fact, research has proven that the earlier mental illness is identified, assessed and treated, the better the outcome for that young person.

As part of this stream, our team of mental health professionals assess the symptoms and needs of young people experiencing emerging mental health and addiction concerns in order to provide the right type of expert care as quickly as possible.

Young people who access this service will work directly with our team to develop a custom plan for recovery.  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, [WU1] who are located in the same space as the Youth Wellness Centre.

The services offered to every client will vary based on their needs.

For more information about how to connect with the Youth Wellness Centre’s Early Intervention stream, click on the option that applies to you:

Are you a young person with an emerging mental health and addiction concern? 


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


Are you a medical professional or healthcare provider referring a young client to the Youth Wellness Centre? 

Transition Support Stream

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Youth Wellness Centre’s Transition Support Stream  is designed to assist youth who are already receiving intensive or specialized mental health services and will likely need ongoing services past their 18th birthday.

In Ontario, a person who younger than 18 can receive specialized mental health services for “children and adolescents”.  When they turn 18, they need to start using adult services. Our team can support youth transitioning from child and adolescent services to adult services that are best suited for their needs.

Here are some Questions & Answers about our Transition Support Stream:

Why is the Transition Support Stream a Youth Wellness Centre service?

Traditionally, a person would turn 18 and be discharged from their Child and Adolescent service.  Then they would wait to be accepted into an adult program, sometimes for many months. The Youth Wellness Centre designed the Transition Support Stream to provide assistance for young people facing this gap.  The idea is to help make this change a planned, uninterrupted and intentionally overlapping experience for young people with mental health difficulties. Ensuring that this gap in care is closed by connecting clients with intensive or specialized mental health services needs helps to sustain positive outcomes and connect with the right care in the right place.

How is the Transition Support Stream at the Youth Wellness Centre structured?

Transition Support is based on the Health Navigator Model.  In this approach, the “navigator” helps someone to understand the various parts of a complicated system, and assists and advocates so they can make best use of the various options and treatments.  The Transition Coach at Youth Wellness Centre will be the navigator for young people who are “aging out” of child and adolescent mental health and addiction services.  The Transition Coach will encourage cooperation and communication between the youth, his/her supports, and service providers.

Who is the Transition Support Stream for and who can make a referral?

Transition Support is intended for those young people facing the most significant barriers to staying connected. This means that they are already (currently, or in the past 12 months) receiving intensive, specialized mental health support.  They likely have one or several mental illness diagnoses, and will require ongoing support for some time yet.

Medical professionals and healthcare providers connect about referring a client by calling Ron Dick, Transition Coach at the Youth Wellness Centre by calling 905-522-1155 ext. 36226.

If a young person is just starting to have difficulties with mental health issues, perhaps our Early Intervention Stream would be more suitable.

Does the Transition Support Stream liaise directly with Child or Adolescent mental health services?

In order for a young person to start the Transition Support Stream, the Child/Adolescent Service must commit to ongoing involvement, even after an adult service has been started.  The amount of overlap time is not set and can change depending on circumstances; however, must be at least several months at minimum.  Ideally, the connection to our Transition Support Stream is  made well before the client is 18.

Does the Transition Support Stream provide comprehensive mental health services at the Youth Wellness Centre?

The Transition Support Stream is not a comprehensive service provider, and cannot take the place of one.  This stream does not provide psychiatric or medical therapies, and thus Transition Support does not include associated responsibilities such as medication management.

The Youth Wellness Centre is part of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, the regional lead in mental health care. What we offer is helping clients navigate the mental health services available by connecting them with one of our community partners or referring them directly to an adult mental health service that is right for them at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

If I am a healthcare provider or community agency team member looking to learn more about the Youth Wellness Centre’s Transition Support Stream, how can I get in touch?

For more information, please contact Ron Dick, Transition Coach at the Youth Wellness Centre by calling 905-522-1155 ext. 36226