ARE YOU A YOUNG PERSON WITH AN EMERGING MENTAL HEALTH OR SUBSTANCE USE CONCERN?
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.
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.
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 Pigott Building at the corner of James & Main in downtown Hamilton.
Our space has couches, WiFi, art supplies, and an awesome chalkboard wall.
What should I expect from my first appointment as a Youth Wellness Centre client?
You will first be invited in for an orientation session where you will learn about our services and will be asked to provide some basic information about what you 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, you can book an appointment to meet individually with the mental health professional on our team who will be your “go-to person” throughout your time with the Youth Wellness Centre, or you will be offered low-barrier access options for individual brief counselling or groups.
If you are hesitant about making changes or have difficulty keeping set appointment times, we have low-barrier drop-in options to quickly access services when you’re ready, including weekly drop-in counselling and drop-in groups. Once you are ready to engage more intensely with our services, then you can be set up with a go-to person and follow the process below.
At your first appointment with your go-to person, you will have a more in-depth discussion of your needs and goals. You will be asked about challenges you are facing, and changes you are hoping to make. You and your “go-to person” will begin to create a recovery plan to make those changes possible. This process takes from 1.5 – 2 hours.
Can I bring a family or friend to my Youth Wellness Centre appointment?
We welcome you to bring a family member, friend, or other support person to your orientation or first appointment. 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 to get some support in helping you as well.
At the Youth Wellness Centre, when we say “family,” we mean family however YOU define it. Our Family Educator can help support parents, guardians, partners, friends, or other important members of your support network.
What if the Youth Wellness Centre is not the best place for my mental health or substance use 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 referring 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, 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)
Who will I see at Youth Wellness Centre?
You will be matched to a Youth Wellness Centre team member. This may be the Registered Nurse Care Coordinator, Youth Mentor, Occupational Therapist, or Social Worker. You can think of them as your “go-to person” at the centre.
Your “go-to person” will help with the whole process of assessment, treatment, and recovery, and will connect you with other team members and services as needed.
Does every Youth Wellness Centre client see a psychiatrist?
You and your “go-to person” 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 youth at 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 youth 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?
Typical appointments would range between once a week and once every 3 months, as needed.
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 you 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 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, meaning that you don’t need to pay—just bring your health card!
No health card, no problem. Come chat with us and we can help.
Can I drop in anytime at the Youth Wellness Centre?
We do not offer crisis services. Crisis support is available through COAST. If you need to see your “go to person” before your next scheduled appointment, it is best to call, text, or email first—if you just drop by they are likely to be unavailable and busy with appointments.
We do have weekly scheduled drop-in social programs like our art group and peer support circle.
We also offer weekly scheduled drop-in counselling for youth and for families in partnership with Child & Adolescent Services. These services are for non-crisis situations in a single session format.
Drop In Counselling for youth age 17-25 is available on:
- Wednesday Afternoons from 1:00pm-5:00pm.
These services are located at Child and Adolescent Services – 100 Main Street East, Hamilton.
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. *You will be redirected to a new web page.
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.