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Where to Get Free Mental Health Support in Toronto

Fostering good mental wellness is a common challenge – according to CAMH, 1 in 5 Canadians are struggling with mental illnesses right now and 50 per cent will have experienced it first-hand by the age of 40. It’s important that you find the resources that you and your friends & loved ones need to start the process of treatment & care.

If you’re new to anxiety and/or depression, you are not alone. Harmful or distressing thoughts and difficulty managing emotions is a common experience, and it is helpful talking to someone familiar about your mental health. If you are uncomfortable talking to friends/family/loved ones, seek a mental health professional. Anyone can get a referral to a mental health professional through their general practitioner.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) operates the Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan Emergency Department, the only 24/7 psychiatric emergency department of its kind in the province, at 250 College Street.

CAMH is also leading a multi-site study called YouthCan IMPACT, which provides mental health care for young people at three walk-in-style clinics around the city. The clinics are located in Toronto at ‘What’s up’ walk-in at Scarborough’s East Metro Youth Services, Skylark Children, Youth and Families (at Yonge & Eglinton) and a new walk-in clinic at Danforth & Woodbine.

For more information on accessing CAMH’s services, visit this page.

You can also visit the ER at your nearest hospital or please use these free over-the-phone support services:

Toronto Distress Centres at 416-408-HELP (4357)
Gerstein Centre at 416-929-5200
Assaulted Women’s Helpline at 416-863-0511 or Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511
Progress Place Warm Line at 416-960-WARM (9276), every day from 8pm to 12 midnight
LGBT Youthline at 1-800-268-9688
Good2Talk (for post-secondary students) at 1-866-925-5454 or connect through 2-1-1
Community Crisis Line (Scarborough and Rouge Hospital) at 416 495-2891
Kids Help Phone at 1 800 668-6868
Distress Centre Peel at 905-278-7208
Durham Crisis Line at 905-666-0483
Oakville Distress Centre at 905-849-4541
TeleHealth at 1-866-797-0000

For a full listing, please check out CAMH’s extensive list of crisis services for Ontario.

It is important to understand your condition, and those around you, so speak to your doctor or make sure to access information from credible sources online. The Hard Feelings center in Toronto offers counselling services to those who cannot afford market-priced care, providing a sliding scale system based on client needs for treatment timelines of 8-12 weeks.

One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness. A friend. Someone you love. Maybe even you.

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