What services interest me?



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Puzzle Pieces - What

There are many different types of treatment services available. Take a look at what might be right for you.

Throughout the guide, you will come across words such as service provider and service.

A service provider is a licensed health professional. They can provide health care treatment services. Examples of service providers are nurses, social workers, doctors and psychiatrists. To learn more about service providers and people who can help see People who I want support from.

A service is an organization or agency that provides treatment services. Examples of services include agencies, hospitals, crisis centres and peer-support programs.

Something to think about before choosing a service is how often you need the service and the level of support you think you need. Click below to find out more.

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This is a service where you can just drop in during certain hours to see a counsellor. It is a great option for people who want support from a professional, but who don’t really want to talk to someone on a regular basis. It allows you to get help quickly and only when you need it.

If you are interested in walk-in counselling, think about the following questions:

  • What are their office hours?
  • How can I get there? Is transportation provided?
  • Do I need a health card?
  • Will they see me if I am a new patient or client?

You can often find this information online or by calling them and asking!

Having regularly scheduled appointments means that you see a service provider on a regular basis. For example, you might see a counsellor once a week. Sometimes people call these outpatient programs.

If you are interested in regularly scheduled appointments, some things to ask your service provider include:

  • How often can I get an appointment?
  • Is there a limit to how often or how many times I can come?
  • How long is each appointment?
  • Who do I contact if I need to cancel an appointment?
  • Does it cost money to get this service?

Day treatment programs are more structured services that you go to during the day. For example, it could be a school program with treatment built into it, where you would be with other young people who are going through similar experiences as you. Day treatment might interest you if you need more intensive mental health or substance use support. It can also give you the option to complete school credits while getting help. You may be able to move on to less structured support later.

If you are interested in day treatment programs, some things to ask your service include:

  • What courses are offered?
  • Can I get school credits in this program? If so, what school board is working with this program?
  • How long does it usually take to get a credit?
  • What does the daily schedule look like?
  • How many other people are in the program?
A crisis is any situation in which a person’s feelings or behaviours can lead to them hurting themselves or others or being unable to care for themselves.

Some examples of being in crisis include

  • having plans to self-harm or having self-harmed
  • considering or having plans to die by suicide
  • having made an attempt to die by suicide
  • hearing voices that others cannot hear, seeing things that others cannot see, having a hard time knowing what’s real and what’s not
  • experiencing serious side-effects from using alcohol or other drugs, such as:
    • excessive vomiting
    • seizures
    • trouble breathing
    • unresponsiveness.

Sometimes you might need to talk to someone right away. Crisis support is usually a short-term service to use during a crisis or a distressing event. Crisis support can be in-person, over the phone, through text or on a computer chat.

When in a crisis

If you feel that you can't keep yourself or people around you safe, call your local distress centre or crisis line. (Using Google, search for the name of your town and the words "mental health crisis" and call the number that shows up). You can also go to the nearest emergency department or call 911.

Quick tip: It's a good idea for everyone to know a number to call in a crisis. Write it down or put it in your phone so you can find it easily of you ever want it. One example is Kids Help Phone, 1 800 668-6868. Click here for more information about getting help in a mental health emergency www.camh.ca/gethelp

When I was accessing mental health services for the first time, it was too many years too late. By the time I went to my family doctor for help, I was in ‘crisis’, which meant I was at threat to take my own life. I did not know how to advocate for myself and did not understand all the consequences of following some of my doctor's advice. The best thing you can do before accessing mental health services for the first time is to have an understanding of the professional lingo you might encounter and what it could mean for you.
—Anonymous, youth advisor

An inpatient or residential program is a place where people go and stay while getting mental health and/or substance use treatment and support. You may need residential care if you are not able to cope with your symptoms at home and need more support. This involves a higher level of support for people to feel safe, manage their symptoms and receive treatment. They can then get help to go back to living in the community.

Inpatient and residential programs could be located in a mental health hospital, substance use treatment facility or any other place that provides people with treatment and a place to live, too.

If you are interested in inpatient programs, some things to ask your service could include:

  • How long is a typical stay?
  • Who will be giving me support and treatment?
  • Will I be able to sign myself out if I no longer want to be there?
  • What kind of support can I expect after my stay?
  • Will I be able to leave the program during the day (e.g., go for walks, get groceries, visit friends and relatives, etc.).

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