Community Counselling

Community Counselling CTYS’ Community Counselling Programs offer support to youth ages 12-18 through outreach, individual counselling and group work. Many of our clients face unique challenges that cannot be addressed using traditional approaches. The services we offer are creative, flexible and comprehensive.

In the community, workers interact on an individual basis with youth in their homes, neighbourhoods and schools. This outreach relationship-based model is noted for being effective in reaching the most difficult to serve youth.

In school settings, we bring services directly to high-risk students. Our counselling groups respond to emerging client needs and concerns. In all our programs, we help youth find their own solutions by forging consistent and supportive relationships.

We accept referrals from professionals and other agencies, as well as self-referrals from youth. An intake worker will assist callers in accessing the appropriate program. Contact us.

MORE Frequently Asked Questions

Community Outreach Program

Clients in this program are often very hard-to-serve youth who would have difficulty being in a traditional office setting. Community Outreach offers services to hard-to-serve and marginalized youth in their homes and communities, and periodically in an office setting. The overarching goal is to improve coping and life skills using a client-centred and strength-based approach. The professionally trained outreach counsellors can help youth respond more effectively to a variety of issues, including:

  • aggression
  • anger management
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • social isolation and other peer relationship problems
  • self-harm behaviours
  • school-related problems
  • family conflicts

With their counsellors, youth are actively engaged in setting treatment goals and the methods by which these objectives will be achieved. Counsellors also connect with key individuals, such as parents, teachers or other significant people, for the purpose of additional support and coordination of services. Developing a trusting relationship between worker and client is the foundation for developing coping and life skills and overcoming challenges.

We accept referrals from professionals and other agencies, as well as self-referrals from youth. An intake worker will assist callers in accessing the appropriate program. Contact us.

School Outreach

This program offers group counselling within six designated Toronto District School Board schools. These groups are offered to a variety of students identified as needing support in building and maintaining healthy relationships, dealing with anxiety, managing their anger, and building social skills.

The program has operated for many years at a number of elementary and high schools with participation from a significant population of high-risk youth. Counsellors offer support to promote attendance, reduce aggression and behaviour problems, build communication and relationship skills, and encourage healthy social skills.

The program’s strength is that it is offered at school by a counsellor familiar to both teachers and students. Offering the program in a school-based, non-threatening environment helps us reach youth who would be unlikely to access support in a traditional setting.

Teachers can refer students to the program or youth can get involved on their own by contacting CTYS. Program delivery is flexible and adaptable based on students’ specific needs.

RITES for African-Canadian youth

Exposure to racism, discrimination, violence and poverty can lower self-esteem and compromise potential for academic, personal and career success. CTYS’s Black Youth Program, the product of consultations with youth of African descent, service providers and parents, promotes positive youth development, strengthens racial identity, and builds resilience. The goal is to empower youth of African descent with a deeper understanding of themselves, the influence of their cultures, and the issues which impact their mental health. Through discussion and team building, the program instills a sense of kinship and creates awareness of assets within the African Canadian community. As well, participants learn how to create a photo/digital story that incorporates their awareness of and perspective on issues and challenges that affect their own mental health and well-being.

Participants are identified by school personnel, youth justice, child welfare and other community service providers.

Learn more about RITES

We accept referrals from professionals and other agencies, as well as self-referrals from youth. Contact us and ask to speak with Maxine Brown.

Group programs

CTYS offers innovative counselling groups for youth and parents/caregivers. The content and structure of groups are flexible and adapt over time depending on client needs. Groups for youth address issues such as coping with anger, social skills, isolation, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem.

Groups run for 12-16 weeks and are delivered at CTYS. Group counsellors work with youth to create goals and support youth in practicing new skills in a safe and supportive environment. These groups use art, media, role-play, as well as traditional therapeutic approaches to help youth identify their triggers and challenges, and find alternative approaches. Youth may self-refer or be referred by parents, caregivers, teachers and community supports.

Learn more about our Groups

We accept referrals from professionals and other agencies, as well as self-referrals from youth. An intake worker will assist callers in accessing the appropriate program. Contact us.

School Priority Access Program

The student focused workers provide a collaborative, evidence informed, accessible and family focused intervention for youth and their families. Within a period of up to six months, our therapeutic work attends to an array of presenting issues, including mental health difficulties posed by social emotional and psychiatric challenges as well as those imposed by societal oppressions.

The student focused workers offer flexible hours, drawing from a community-outreach model joining families for meetings within their homes, communities, as well as at CTYS office.

Referrals come from the TDSB and TCDSB social work departments.

New Outlook

New Outlook

New Outlook is the only program of its kind in Toronto that provides a wide variety of programs to young adults 14-24 years old who are recovering from serious mental illness, primarily psychotic disorders.

Our programs take a holistic approach and support our clients on their road to recovery by providing best practice client-centered treatment. Building relationships and client networks is central to our work. Our clients are frequently stigmatized in society. Our programs offer them inspiration and hope.


Referrals are accepted from health care or social service agencies as well as individuals. We only serve clients who live in Toronto. New Outlook will consider clients who have concurrent disorders or dual diagnosis if they are able to benefit from our services.

To apply, fill out & return the New Outlook Referral Form plus additional program specific form as indicated Questions? Contact Us.


WATCH New Outlook Camping Trip

Day Program

Supports young people with serious mental illness (psychosis, affective disorders). The mainstay of the program is life and social skills training, recreation, as well as academic studies in a structured and supportive environment. A typical week may include a wellness and recovery group, a drama workshop and spending time at the YMCA. Clients set personal goals in collaboration with program staff. The program focuses on helping young people to understand and manage their illness. An on-site teacher provides an innovative special education program that allows clients to earn high school credits.  A confirmed diagnosis of a serious mental illness, case management and ongoing psychiatric/medical care are necessary for eligibility.

Complete the New Outlook Referral Form + Referral form for Day Program

Early Intervention (EI)

Supports young adults who are experiencing a first episode psychosis. We assist young people ages 14-24 and their families in connecting to mental health services. Through counselling, support, skill building and advocacy, this program helps young people navigate the mental health system.


Referrals for the Early Intervention Program are only accessible through The Access Point.

Community Support Program (CSP)

Offers long-term case management to young people with serious mental illness (psychosis, affective disorders). Through building relationships with our clients, goals are developed that are individualized, flexible and comprehensive. A community support worker collaborates with clients to develop a rehabilitation plan.

Referrals for the Community Support Program are only accessible through The Access Point.

Community Support and Intervention (CSI)

Supports young people with serious mental health illness who are involved with the criminal justice system or at risk of coming into conflict with the law. This crisis response and intervention program offers transitional intensive case management to link clients with psychiatric, housing and other supports. It serves as a bridge for marginalized young people facing the dual challenge of a mental illness and navigating the justice system.


Referrals for this program are generally made through the courts. We also accept referrals from professionals and other agencies, as well as self-referrals from youth. Please complete the New Outlook Referral Form

or contact Rosemary de Simas at,  (416) 9242100 ext. 255.

Youth Hostel Outreach Program (YHOP)

Meets the needs of young people with serious mental illness who use the shelter system. It supports hard to reach youth who are unlikely to seek out traditional mental health services. YHOP offers psychiatric consultation and assessment as needed and links to mental health services. The goals are to reduce the risk of homelessness and connect youth with much needed services.


Referrals for this program are generally made through the various youth shelters in Toronto. Please complete the New Outlook Referral Form

Pride & Prejudice

pgm-3 P&P offers unique programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, Two-Spirit and questioning youth, ages 13-24. We also offer services for families of LGBTQ2S youth.

Individual, Family and Group programs



Individual counselling

Young people we work with may need support with issues related to: gender identity and/or sexual orientation, relationships with romantic partners, family, peers or community, or the impact of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, transmisogyny and other forms of oppression (such as racism or ableism) on their mental health. They may also need support during a life transition. We serve youth who are struggling with depression or anxiety, or confronting traumatic experiences, including childhood abuse or family violence. We help clients make sense of and build resilience to cope with a variety of complex struggles. At the same time, youth are encouraged to explore and embrace their own individuality and identity.


Family Counselling and Parent support/education

 LGBTQ2S youth and their parents/caregivers often have very different needs from counselling, for this reason, they may meet separately for a number of sessions, and eventually come together in joint sessions:

  • Parents/caregivers can access education and counselling about gender and transition-related issues, have a supportive space to explore fears, worries and societal/ cultural/ religious beliefs about gender and sexuality, and learn how to promote youth mental health at home;
  • Youth can do separate sessions on any issues relevant to their lives, as well as prepare for family sessions;
  • In joint sessions, families are supported to repair and strengthen their relationships, create supportive home environments, and improve their ability to communicate. Siblings and other family members may be involved in some sessions, if needed.


Group programs

P&P offers a number of groups for LGBTQ2S youth and parents/caregivers of trans youth:

Boyoboy – a twice-monthly, drop-in group for youth 16-24, exploring issues of health, identity, arts & culture.

Chillout – an 8-week group for youth focused on developing skills and awareness for coping with anxiety, reducing social isolation and increasing knowledge of programs and services in LGBTQ2S communities.

Families in TRANSition (FIT) – a 10-week group for parents/caregivers of trans and gender questioning youth focused on learning about trans-related issues,  strengthening family relationships, and promoting  youth mental health and resilience.

Transcend – a 24-week project for trans, non-binary and questioning youth age 21 and younger to explore gender identity through art and activism.

Transceptance – an ongoing parent-led peer support group for parents/ caregivers of trans people, hosted by CTYS.

Yo! Yoga – an 8-week trauma sensitive yoga program using yoga as a tool to develop relaxation skills, to explore making choices, and to develop self-compassion, awareness, and skills in navigating mental health challenges.

Click here to learn more about our groups.


Interested in the Pride & Prejudice program?  Contact us here.



Youth Justice

pgm-1 CTYS’s Youth Justice programs support young people who are serving a youth order and/or have matters before the youth court. YJ programs connect with youth who are facing a range of complex challenges in their homes, neighbourhoods, schools and communities.

Whether youth have been charged and are seeking bail, have had their court matter diverted, are serving a custodialsentence or are on probation, our professionally staffed YJ programs offer guidance, counselling and comprehensive support to young people in ways that are engaging, respectful and empowering. CTYS delivers established YJ programs and services that generate measurable results.

How do I access these services?

RSVP and EEJS clients enter the program as a result of a youth court order and are referred by Toronto probation officers at youth court. ERSP clients are sanctioned by the Toronto youth courts as part of a bail ordercondition. YJOP, Transitions and TMHC clients are referred by Toronto youth probation officers. In all cases, youth must consent and make a commitment to participate in the program.

 With the exception of ERSP, for all other CTYS Youth Justice referrals contact:

YJ Intake Coordinator

FAX referrals to: 416-924-2930

Or contact Lori Brklacich 416-924-2100 ext. 230


WATCH Youth Justice Family Work

Toronto Mental Health Collaborative (TMHC)

TMHC is a brief assessment, brief counselling, consultation and brief service for youth when probation officers are concerned that there may be a mental health issue impeding a young person’s functioning in the community.

Assessments for young people with low level sexual offending behaviours will also be offered. Youth probation officers in Toronto can refer to the program.

Transitions (a YJOP service)

Transitions is a shorter term community based program for youth who are serving a custodial sentence (e.g. CCSO, DCSO, CSO). In partnership with Toronto probation officers Transitions workers provide outreach counselling supports to youth in a Toronto facility.  Youth probation officers in Toronto can refer to the program.

Youth Justice Outreach Program (YJOP)

YJOP provides outreach counselling supports to young people who are serving a youth probation order. In partnership with Toronto probation officers YJOP workers develop a case management plan in collaboration with the young person.  Youth probation officers in Toronto can refer to the program.

Early Release Support Program (ERSP)

ERSP is a bail support program for youth who require additional supports to be released on a bail with ERSP mandated as a bail condition. ERSP provides outreach counselling supports to youth in their community for up to 6 months.  Service providers at court, duty counsel, defense lawyers, probation officers, detention/custody staff, parents and youth can refer to the program.

To make a referral to ERSP contact: ERSP Intake

Carol Skacel   647-878-8764

Enhanced Extra-Judicial Sanction Program (EEJS)

EEJS is an Enhanced Extra-Judicial Sanction (EJS) that provides counselling supports to youth whose charges are being addressed through Diversion. The young person is referred to the program by a 311 Jarvis youth court probation officer as a diversion matter at the recommendation of Crown and Duty counsel.

Relationship Skills for Violence Prevention (RSVP)

RSVP is an Extra-Judicial Sanction (EJS) that provides counselling supports to youth who have been charged with domestic violence related offences against parents, siblings, dating partners and peers in their schools. The young person is referred to the program by a Toronto court probation officer as a Diversion matter at the discretion of Crown and Duty Counsel.

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