Chances are, you know a young person who’s in emotional distress and needs help
We can help. Central Toronto Youth Services is a community-based, accredited Children’s Mental Health Centre that serves many of Toronto’s most vulnerable youth. We believe in building the strength and resiliency of young people in ways that are engaging, respectful and empowering.
How we help young people
Our programs and services
- meet a diversity of needs and challenges that young people experience, such as
- serious mental health issues
- conflicts with the law
- coping with anger, depression, anxiety, marginalization, rejection issues of sexual identify — lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, transgender, transsexual, or questioning
- offer both one-on-one and group counselling
- connect with youth in their homes, neighbourhoods, schools and communities
These programs and services include:
- Community Counselling
- New Outlook
- Pride & Prejudice
- Youth Justice
Our professionally staffed community counselling programs offer a safe, respectful alternative for hard-to-serve youth ages 12-18:
- Community Outreach — one-on-one contact in youths’ homes, neighbourhoods and communities
- School Outreach for marginalized individuals and groups
- Group Programs — responding to youths’ needs with innovation and flexibility
Do you know someone struggling with
- social isolation
This program is for young people, ages 14-24, who may be
- feeling out of control
- having strange thoughts or ideas
- losing touch with reality
- hearing voices
- socially isolated
- in conflict with the law
- living on the streets
New Outlook offers professional support to youth recovering from serious mental illness, primarily psychotic disorders:
- Day Program — educational, life and social skills training
- Early Intervention — critical support during the first episode
- Community Support — long-term case management
- Community Support and Intervention — short-term, intensive case management
- Youth Hostel Outreach — for young people in the shelter system
Pride & Prejudice
Our Pride & Prejudice program offers professional counselling and therapy in a safe, respectful and welcoming environment to young people ages 13-24 who are
- struggling with issues of gender identity
- sexual orientation
- seeking support during a life transition
- confronting traumatic experiences, including childhood abuse and family violence
Our professionally staffed Youth Justice programs offer support to young people serving a youth order and/or have matters before the youth court:
- relationship skills for violence prevention
- enhanced extra-judicial sanction
- early release support
- youth justice outreach
Vision, mission and values
CTYS will be a leader in providing excellent, innovative, collaborative, responsive services that meet the mental health needs of youth within the changing social context impacting them, their families and their communities. We envision healthy, resilient youth and families living in healthy, affirming communities where youth with mental health issues are understood, and appreciated.
Through a process of engagement and relationship building, CTYS serves youth who have a range of mental health needs. We work collaboratively with youth and their families to expand their skills and navigate systems so that they can successfully achieve their goals and improve their well-being.
Respect: we value the dignity, strengths and contributions of all individuals
Diversity: we appreciate the rich diversity of our clients, staff and communities. We recognize the existence of systemic discrimination and barriers and we strive to challenge these realities in the work we do.
Collaboration: we believe our services are richer and more effective when we work in partnership with youth, their families, our colleagues and community partners
Excellence and Accountability: we strive for and demonstrate the highest quality in all we do through the use of knowledge-based and evidence-informed practice, outcome-oriented evaluation, and diligent governance with accountability to our clients, partners and stakeholders
Innovation: we support the creativity of our staff and clients, the exploration of new ideas and opportunities, and the development of unique and responsive programming
Accessibility: we commit to reducing the barriers to accessing needed services for our clients
- Heather Sproule, Executive Director
- Joan Marshall, Director, Business Operations
- Robert Sears, Director, Client Services and Quality Assurance
- Debra Newgewirtz, Manager, Business Operations
- Jennifer Grant, Manager, Client Services
- Priscilla Ofosu-Barko, Manager, Client Services
- Calvin Facey, Manager, Client Services
- Cheryl Tsagarakis, Manager, Client Services
- Amy Appelle, Manager Client Services
- Sara Gaudon, Executive Assistant
Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring the organization’s vision, fiscal management, strategic direction, and overall integrity.
- Ms. Mary E. Murphy, Chair
- Ms. Margaret Leitenberger, Past-Chair
- Dr. Bill Byrd, Vice-Chair
- Mr. Tom Delisle, Secretary-Treasurer
- Ms. Lindsay Aagaard
- Ms. Franky Chernin
- Mr. Robert Mayers
- Ms. Michele MacEachern
- Ms. Sheila Masters
- Mr. Brian O'Connor
- Mr. Lance Carey Talbot
Families in TRANSition :
the first comprehensive Canadian publication to address the needs of parents and families supporting their trans children. This comprehensive guide summarizes the experiences, strategies, and successes of a working group of community consultants – researchers, counsellors, community leaders, parents, as well as trans youth themselves.
Families in TRANSition provides practical and sensitive parent-to-parent and professional therapeutic advice, and anticipates and addresses common questions and concerns. The guide offers accurate, up-to-date information on terminology, health, and issues related to transition, and suggests to families important ways they can take care of themselves and one another through this challenging and critical time. Families in TRANSition also lists relevant local resources for continued youth and family support towards strengthening families.
The Development of Sexual Behaviour Problems in Children and Youth: this inter-agency research program examined gaps in knowledge about children and youth with sexual behaviour difficulties.
Youth Gangs On Youth Gangs: commissioned by the federal government. The report looked at youth gangs in Toronto and southern Ontario through first hand accounts from young people involved in these groups.
Youth-Gender Action Project Y-GAP:
a community-based research project among CTYS, Pride & Prejudice, and Rebecca Hammond of Dalhousie University, which was funded through the Ontario HIV Treatment Network. The project was committed to understanding and improving the lives of trans youth living in Toronto and across Ontario through identifying gaps in knowledge about their lives and in current program/service delivery.
Continuous quality assurance
CTYS views continuous quality assurance as indispensable to the development, assessment and evaluation of our programs. It is a powerful tool that ensures our programs and services continually meet the needs of young people. We are committed to program evaluation because it drives the agency’s innovation.
CTYS regularly gathers input from various stakeholders, including clients and referring professionals. This is an important part of our evaluation process because it provides an opportunity for young people who use our services to give us first hand input on their experiences at CTYS. Among our quality assurance tools are the following.
CAFAS: CTYS participates in the administration of this Ministry of Child and Youth Services-mandated program outcome assessment measure. The aggregated data we receive back from CAFAS in Ontario at the Hospital for Sick Kids are analyzed further in house to produce program specific results. These results help us continually improve our models of service delivery.