Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions About WhereToStart.ca

What is WhereToStart.ca?

WhereToStart.ca provides access to a variety of mental health services for children and youth offered by six service providers in Peel Region. Our network of service providers includes Associated Youth Services of Peel, Nexus Youth Services, Peel Children’s Centre, Rapport Youth and Family Services and the child and adolescent mental health clinics at Trillium Health Partners and William Osler Health System.

How does WhereToStart.ca work?

After you call 905-451-4655, you will have the opportunity to schedule a telephone intake appointment with one of our Access and Intake Specialists. After completing the intake, the Access and Intake Specialist will review your options with you and talk about next steps. For detailed information about what to expect before, during and after the intake appointment, please visit this page on our website.

Who can use WhereToStart.ca?

You can call WhereToStart.ca if you are:

  • between the ages of 12 – 24, and you live in the Region of Peel; or
  • the parent or legal guardian of someone who is under 16 and lives in the Region of Peel.
  • a community service provider or physician making a referral on behalf of a child/youth and/or their legal guardian (you must have child/youth’s consent to send the referral)

When can I contact WhereToStart.ca?

Our phones are answered between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you call while our office is closed or while we are on another call, please leave us a brief voicemail message with your contact information and we will return your call within 24 business hours. If you need immediate help after hours, please call one of the crisis lines listed on our website.

How can I contact WhereToStart.ca?

You can contact WhereToStart.ca by calling 905-451-4655 or by filling out this form.

How much does it cost to use WhereToStart.ca?

There is no cost associated with using WhereToStart.ca.

Who will I work with from WhereToStart.ca?

WhereToStart.ca is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of Access and Intake Specialists.

Our Access and Intake Specialists have a variety of educational backgrounds (such social work, psychology, and child and youth care) and are specially trained to talk to children, youth and caregivers about their concerns and help them find the most appropriate service(s) to meet their needs.

When you call us, you will be connected to a caring and empathetic person who will listen to your story and ask you questions to better understand your situation.

Access and Intake Specialists are NOT doctors or psychologists and we cannot diagnose you or your child during or after your intake appointment.

English is not my first language or I have a hearing impairment. Can I still use WhereToStart.ca?

That’s no problem! Some of our Access and Intake Specialists speak multiple languages and we are also more than happy to provide interpretive services in your language at no cost to you. We cover the cost of interpretive services.

I am under the age of 18. Can I use WhereToStart.ca on my own?

If you are a child, youth or young adult over the age of 12, you can contact WhereToStart.ca on your own. We will not share any of the information you share with us with anyone else without your permission unless there are concerns about your or someone else’s safety.

What does WhereToStart.ca not do?

We do not provide assistance for the following concerns:

  • Funding for housing, utilities, food or recreational activities
  • Court-mandated psychological assessments
  • Court-mandated counselling
  • Court-mandated anger management
  • Psychoeducational assessments
  • Supervised access
  • Developmental assessments for children and youth
  • Mandatory parenting classes for separated and/or divorced parents
  • Mediation for separation, divorce or reunification
  • Student placements
  • Parenting capacity assessments

Please visit our Resources page for links that may be helpful to you.

Intake Appointment FAQ

Do I need to book an appointment for my intake?

Yes. Please call 905-451-4655 to set up an intake appointment, or fill out a request form.

How long will the intake appointment take?

Your intake appointment will take about an hour to complete.

Do I need my health card or any other documents for my intake?

Yes. Please have the following items handy during your intake appointment:

  • your health card
  • a list of medications currently you are currently taking
  • any assessment reports
  • the names of any professionals who have worked with you (past and present)

Mental Health Services for Children and Youth in Peel

What kinds of services are available in Peel through WhereToStart.ca?

When you call WhereToStart.ca, we will work with you to find the best service(s) possible for your unique situation. The services available through the Peel network of service providers include:

  • On-going counselling
  • Walk-in counselling
  • Workshops and groups
  • Services that are delivered in-home, at school, in a licensed childcare, and/or out-of-home
  • Crisis response services
  • Respite services

How much do services cost?

All of the services that you can be connected to through WhereToStart.ca are provided free of charge.

What happens if I have to wait for service?

The demand for mental health services for children and youth is very high, and you may have to wait before you can begin receiving services. The following services are available locally to support you while you wait:

I need help right now. Who can I call?

If you are in crisis and need help right now, please call one of the following options for help. You can also call 911 or visit your nearest hospital emergency room.

Peel Children’s Centre – Crisis Response Service

416-410-8615

If you are under 18 years of age and live in the Region of Peel, you can use PCC’s Crisis Response Service. This service provides crisis support if you are experiencing a mental health crisis that is not life threatening but would benefit from a supportive response. Crises may include feeling depressed, worried, and/or experiencing suicidal thoughts. Your parents or caregivers can also call if they are concerned about your safety or behaviour. One of PCC’s specially trained Crisis Workers will talk with you about your problem to recommend what needs to be done to help support you.

24.7 Crisis Support Peel Dufferin

905-278-9036

24.7 Crisis Support Peel Dufferin is a community crisis service offering timely response to adults (16 years and over) experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis; individuals having difficulties coping; and family, caregivers and friends needing support. 24.7 Crisis Support Peel Dufferin professionals will speak to you by phone to provide support and help you make a plan to stay safe.

Kids Help Phone

1-800-668-6868

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only national 24-hour, bilingual and anonymous phone counselling, web counselling and referral service for children and youth. Whether by phone, mobile app or through the Kids Help Phone website, you can connect to help whenever you want, however you want.

Child and Youth Mental Health

How do I know if I’m struggling with my mental health?

Your mental health is just like your physical health – sometimes you might not feel your best and you need help from professionals to feel better. There is nothing wrong with reaching out for help. In fact, often the sooner you reach out, the sooner you can start feeling better.

You might be need mental health services and supports if you:

  • don’t feel like being around other people, even close friends and family members
  • are avoiding or have lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy
  • are sleeping and/or eating more or less than usual
  • are feeling stressed, worried, sad or angry more than usual
  • are frequently experiencing overwhelming or very intense thoughts and feelings
  • are having a hard time concentrating or completing daily tasks
  • are getting in trouble at home and/or at school

When should I contact WhereToStart.ca?

You should contact WhereToStart.ca if you are struggling with difficult feelings, behaviour and/or situations and you would like help.

Privacy and Accessibility

What personal information will I have to share with WhereToStart.ca?

To provide the best service possible, we need to collect and use information about you. We promise to make sure that all your information is kept private and secure.

We collect basic information about you so that we can provide the best service possible.  We also collect information for our records, as the law requires us to. This information will include things like your name, date of birth and contact information.

Who will have access to my personal information?

Your information will only be shared with the clinicians and other professionals involved in your treatment. This information helps us find out what your concerns are. It also helps us provide the best treatment for you, and it helps us track your progress in treatment.

What is PHIPA and how does it affect me?

PHIPA stands for the Personal Health Information Protection Act. PHIPA provides a set of rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information, and includes the following provisions:

  • Consent is required for the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information, with few exceptions
  • Health information custodians are required to treat all personal health information as confidential and maintain its security
  • Individuals have a right to access their personal health information, as well as the right to correct errors
  • Individuals have the right to instruct health information custodians not to share their personal health information with others
  • Rules are provided for the use of personal health information for fundraising or marketing purposes
  • Guidelines are set for the use and disclosure of personal health information for research purposes
  • Accountability is ensured by granting an individual the right to complain if they have identified an error in their personal health information
  • Remedies are established for breaches of the legislation

In short, PHIPA requires that WhereToStart.ca keep you informed of how your information is collected and used, and we must also protect your privacy.

I have an auditory/visual/physical impairment. Will WhereToStart.ca accommodate me?

Yes! Please make us aware of any needs we may need to accommodate when you contact us and we will work with you to ensure you can access our services.

What are my rights as a user of WhereToStart.ca?

  • It is completely voluntary for you to work with WhereToStart.ca. No one can force you to use WhereToStart.ca if you don’t want to.
  • Information about you will not be shared with anyone else unless you give us permission in writing to do so. We will make an exception if we suspect abuse or neglect. Please refer to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services’ website for more information about Canada’s duty to report law.

What should I do if I have complaint or other feedback?

Is WhereToStart.ca’s website in compliance with the Customer Service Standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)?

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