Toronto is a city that offers extensive support networks for people who suffer from mental health challenges. Not only are there numerous government-funded facilities and clinics, a large number of private organizations offer no-cost or low-cost treatment options for everything ranging from severe mental illness to alcohol addiction. Here are some of the best resources for people who are in search of mental health support services in Toronto:
The Center for Addiction and Mental Health is one of the world's premier hospitals that specializes in medical care for people who suffer from any kind of mental health challenge. The hospital's website, at www.camh.ca, includes an extensive listing of Toronto's various clinics, informal groups and other institutions where people can get help or simply ask questions about their concerns. One of CAMH's premier services is around-the-clock emergency help for anyone with a psychiatric concern. There's no other facility in the province that has this kind of comprehensive help for people suffering from mental distress.
Drug and behavioural addiction rehab centres are available in Toronto, it's just a matter of finding out which ones cater to particular groups. Some clinics and counseling sites, for example, specialize in chronic mental illnesses like schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorders. Others focus on populations that need short-term help with addictions, depression and problems that don't necessarily require inpatient care.
The best thing about the many free mental health services in Toronto is their networking ability. All the clinics, support groups, hospitals and counseling practices are familiar with each other. That's very good news for anyone who needs immediate help for a mental health situation. If you call CAMH, for example, and ask about support groups for substance addiction, they'll be able to tell you which ones are located closest to your home, which are free and which ones charge a fee.
What are some of the free resources available for anyone in Toronto? Here's a quick listing of the city's hot lines, warm lines, drop-in groups and distress centers. Keep in mind that any of the following contact points can refer you to a more appropriate resource if they are unable to help you: Toronto Distress Centers, Gerstein Center, Assaulted Women’s Helpline, Progress Place Warm Line, LGBT Youthline, Good2Talk (for post-secondary students,) Community Crisis Line (Scarborough and Rouge Hospital), Kids Help Phone, Distress Center Peel, Durham Crisis Line, Oakville Distress Center, TeleHealth.
Basic Guidelines for Getting Help
If you are seeking help for yourself or someone else, try to have all the pertinent information ready when you call a helpline or crisis line. In most cases, the person who answers will need to know specifics about the mental distress. For example, you'll be asked whether the situation is an emergency or not. If it's not, you'll be guided to a resource person who can spend more time taking the required data. In emergencies, try to get yourself or the person you're assisting to a facility as quickly as possible. Once there, professional staff members will assess the situation and determine the best course of action.