24/7 mental health crisis line for kids, families

MUSKOKA, PARRY SOUND, NIPISSING — A Mental Health Crisis Line for children and youth, their parents, caregivers and service providers officially launched on Tuesday, June 12.

The Crisis Line, which is accessed through a single toll-free number, 1.844.287.9072, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, across Muskoka, Nipissing and Parry Sound.

In 2017-18 Hands provided 80 people with crisis services in the Muskoka District; 332 were in Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts.

The toll-free line offers increased accessibility and support capacity for children and youth who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

“If a child or youth is in need of help and doesn’t know where to turn, we hope they will contact the Mental Health Crisis Line,” said Michelle Dermenjian, Director of Child and Youth Services at Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca (Hands). “The individuals who answer the calls are trained to listen and make those crucial connections to the appropriate mental health supports.”

The Mental Health Crisis Line is a result of a Crisis Service review with youth and families, by Hands as Lead Agency for Child and Youth Mental Health for the service area of Muskoka, Nipissing and Parry Sound.

Free Counselling Walk-In Clinic is available Tuesdays

in Huntsville and Thursdays in Bracebridge

from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Jeffrey Hawkins, executive director at Hands stated that “the launch of this service reflects a collaborative, client-focused effort between Hands as the Lead Agency and our core child and youth mental health providers in the service area: Hands, Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions and Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing.”

What can be expected when you call the Mental Health Crisis Line?

Your call will be answered by a trained respondent at Community Connection’s 211 Ontario, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The respondent will listen and connect you to the appropriate help.

All calls are confidential. Local Crisis Clinicians are available to provide support by phone or in-person, depending on the location and time of your call.

Who can call the Mental Health Crisis Line?

Children and youth across Muskoka, Nipissing and Parry Sound

Parents or caregivers

Service providers

Additional information on the Mental Health Crisis Line is available online at www.SomewhereToTurn.ca.

Quick Facts

  • 412 Crisis Services were provided in 2017-2018 through the Crisis Services of Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca and Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions.
  • 80 of these Crisis Services were in the Muskoka District; 332 were in Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts.
  • The Mental Health Crisis Line was used 126 times in 2017-2018, increasing from 2 calls in the first month of its soft launch to 32 calls in a month.

Background: Hand TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca (Hands)

The team, comprised of social workers, psychotherapists, child and youth workers, behaviour therapists, psychologists and many other mental health care professionals, provides more than 12,000 services each year to children, youth and families in North Bay, Nipissing, Muskoka, Parry Sound, and Northern Ontario.

They provide professional services in the areas of: child and youth mental health, autism, community and justice programs,developmental services, and early intervention services.

Hands is a fully accredited, bilingual, not‑for‑profit registered charity that makes a positive difference in the lives of the individuals and families for whom we provide support.

Hands is the lead agency for child and youth mental health services for the service area of Nipissing, Parry Sound and Muskoka.

Background: Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions

On April 1, 2015, Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions was launched as a new bilingual, not-for-profit, integrated child and family services agency. It is the amalgamated organization of the Simcoe Children’s Aid Society and Family, Youth and Child Services of Muskoka.

They are committed to working collaboratively to build a safe and strong community where children, youth and families thrive.

In Muskoka, they offer child and youth mental health services and youth justice diversion programs and in both Muskoka and Simcoe we offer child protection, family support, family creation through adoption, kinship, customary care and foster care.

The child and youth mental health programs are available to children and youth up to the age of 18 and their families.  Their professional and caring mental health therapists provide service in our offices, in the schools and in our client’s homes.  Last year they provided more than 1,200 services, including 24/7 crisis service, individual child and youth therapy, family therapy, intensive in home treatment, psychological and psychiatric assessments and a variety of group based interventions.

Their counseling walk-in clinics (CWIC) provide quick access to no-fee confidential therapy services for children and youth 0 to 18 years and their families.

No referrals or appointments are necessary. Any youth, 12 years or older can attend on their own and receive service.

They are provided twice per week: CWIC is available Tuesdays in Huntsville and Thursdays in Bracebridge from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the last appointment at 5:30 p.m. Summer hours in July and August are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last appointment at 4 p.m.

Background: Community Counselling Centre – Nipissing

Community Counselling Centre is a fully accredited non-profit organization providing professional counselling services and community programs to individuals, couples, and families.

The Centre also has public education and consulting services available to community organizations and industry. Their mission is to support the health and wellness of the people of Nipissing and area.

Many of their services are available free of charge.

They are funded through fundraising dollars, industry or government. All of our services are available in French and English. They offer both individual and group services

“Health and Wellness for All” involves removing barriers to your success. We have organized our services under programs corresponding to the barriers that people face.