Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario and East Toronto Health Partners launch virtual services at new Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub
Integrated Youth Services (IYS) model offers low-barrier health and substance use services for youth and young adults in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park
Written by East Toronto Health Partners
March 13, 2023 (Toronto, ON) – Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) and East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, have launched the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub.
The hub is a new, welcoming space that will provide easily accessible walk-in services for youth and young adults aged 12 to 25 living in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park. These services are low-barrier and offer clear service pathways related to mental health, substance use, primary care, employment, housing and other support services.
Virtual services launch at the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub today (March 13, 2023) and are accessible through ethp.ca/ThorncliffeYWHO. Information about the site is also available at youthhubs.ca/en/thorncliffe-park-youth-wellness-hub.
Youth and young adults do not need a health card, family doctor or medical referral to access the services.
In-person services will launch this spring when construction is complete at the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub’s physical site at 45 Overlea Blvd – a bright, welcoming and accessible space in the heart of Thorncliffe Park that’s designed in collaboration with local youth and families to meet their needs.
Advancing health equity for youth and families
The Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub aims to support youth and young adults in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park, two neighbourhoods that are home to some of the highest concentrations of individuals under the age of 25 in Toronto.
These neighbourhoods are home to many newcomers, and carry significant stigma related to mental health and substance use. Here, young people have low access to mental health and substance use services despite high levels of need.
The Youth Wellness Hub will help advance health equity in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park, where many families face socioeconomic challenges, including unemployment and limited access to public services, and higher levels of marginalization, which may lead to poor health outcomes.
This new virtual support space and a future physical hub will help alleviate pressures across the health system, including in hospital emergency departments, by providing more accessibility to care, reducing wait times and connecting youth a full range of services that are close to home.
Virtual services open to everyone aged 12 to 25
Virtual services are now available at the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub by appointment through ethp.ca/ThorncliffeYWHO. Appointments are open to everyone aged 12 to 25.
Virtual services include:
- Mental health counselling: Staff, including counsellors, mental health workers and therapists, are available to talk to youth about stress, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, gender identity and more. No topics are off limits.
- Harm reduction counselling: Counsellors are available to talk to youth about their substance use, harm reduction goals or any concerns related to drugs and alcohol.
- Case management: A healthcare worker helps guide and connect youth to different services during their health and wellness journey. They create individualized treatment plans that help youth reach their wellness goals, advocate for youth and monitor their progress.
- Peer support: Peer support workers offer youth support for a health concern, such as a mental health challenge, that they have also lived through. Because they share similar experiences, peer support workers are able to help youth by providing knowledge, emotional support and more.
- Care navigation: Care coordinators connect youth to different services in the community. This helps ensure youth are able to get the care they need when they need it.
- Employment services: Staff help youth find and secure job opportunities. In particular, our employment and trades programs help youth who face barriers to work, such as language and technological barriers.
These services will also be available in-person when the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub’s physical space opens in spring 2023.
Additional services will be available with the opening of the physical site. These include primary care and sexual health services; psychiatric consultations; a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills group; food, housing and settlement supports; and drop-in, groups and special events.
Designed in collaboration with local youth
The Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub joins YWHO’s existing network of 22 hubs that serve over 30 communities across Ontario.
YWHO announced funding from the Government of Ontario for the Thorncliffe Park site in May 2022, along with seven other locations that will serve different communities in the province.
The Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub follows YWHO’s Integrated Youth Services (IYS) model of care, which aims to bring the right services to youth (and their families) at the right time and in the right place.
The following ETHP member organizations provide virtual services at the hub and support with youth outreach and engagement. They will also provide in-person services once the physical space launches.
- Flemingdon Health Centre
- Garry Hurvitz Centre for Community Mental Health at SickKids
- Health Access Thorncliffe Park
- LOFT Community Services
- Michael Garron Hospital
- Strides Toronto
- TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization
Local youth contribute to the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub by advising on what programs are needed, how programs should be delivered, how youth should be engaged and more. This helps ensure the site’s space and services are designed by and for youth.
About Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO)
Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) is a network of 22 local hubs that provide integrated services co-designed with youth for youth in communities across the province. Originally funded through philanthropy and by the Ontario government in 2017, YWHO was established to address gaps in the youth mental health system by providing integrated youth services for young people aged 12-25, addressing needs related to mental health, substance use, primary care, education, employment, housing, peer support, outreach, system navigation, and other community and social programming. Through a commitment to rapid and low-barrier access, early and evidence-based interventions, equitable and culturally effective services, and youth collaboration, YWHO is taking a critical step forward to improve Ontario’s youth mental health system. To learn more about Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, visit youthhubs.ca or @YWHOntario on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP)
East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, is a group of more than 100 community, primary care, home care, hospital and social services organizations in East Toronto working together to create an integrated system of care across our communities. Collectively, ETHP is responsible for providing care and support to the 300,000 individuals who live in East Toronto communities, as well as an additional 75,000 clients who choose to receive health care in the local area. Clients, family members and caregivers are partners in every aspect of the development of ETHP, working together to improve the way East Toronto residents access and receive care. Visit ethp.ca to learn more.