How to get the services you need



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Puzzle Pieces - What

In this guide, “access” refers to how easy or hard it is to get the services you need. Being able to access your service provider is extremely important. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be getting the services you need!


Saffron finds a great counselling service, where she is able to get an appointment as soon as she wants! But she learns that they charge $200 for each session and it is a two-hour drive away. As great as the service may be, it isnt easy for her to access.


Jaye finds out about a service agency that has a peer-support program that he is interested in. He learns that it is only a 10 minute bus ride from his house, the service is free and the agency provides bus tokens. This service is easy for Jaye to access

This section will give you information on how to find and get the services that may be right for you.


During a first appointment, a service provider may gather information about you and how you feel. It can help to write down beforehand everything you want to talk about during your appointment. For example, you might want to talk about:

  • your symptoms
  • medications you’re taking
  • any questions or concerns you have
  • anything your family doctor may have recommended you ask the service provider.

How I want to book appointments

Some services offer different ways to schedule your appointments, like over the phone, by text, through their website or with a support person who books you in. Once you have booked an appointment, remember to write it down in a place you will remember. You might put a note on your wall or in the calendar on your phone.

If you are not able to make your appointment, try to call the service and let them know as soon as you can or at least 24 hours before your appointment. Find out about their cancellation policy. Some services may charge you a fee for cancelling without much notice.

Questions you may want to ask your service provider before your first appointment:

  • How long is each appointment?
  • What questions might I be asked?
  • What do I need to bring to my appointment?
  • Will there be anyone else at my appointment?
  • Can I bring a family member or friend to my appointment?
  • Can I make follow-up appointments?

Here are some questions that might be useful to ask your service provider:

  • What are the specific eligibility requirements for getting services?
  • If I don’t meet the eligibility requirements, will you help me find another service?
  • Do you have a list of other nearby services?
  • If there is a waiting list, what should I do in the meantime?
"Before seeking services, make sure you have all the information you need to be able to advocate for yourself. This includes being honest in how you are feeling. Knowing how to tell a professional how you are feeling will give you the best chance of success in accessing services for the first time. You are doing the right thing. Get help, even if you are the only one who thinks you should. You know yourself best and if you think you need help, you do."
—Isabella, youth advisor

Self-reflection activity

This is a self-reflection activity. As you do it, you can write your thoughts on a piece of paper. If you have an account, you can click on the button below to write your thoughts on a 'Notes’ page that you can print or save.

What kinds of things would make a service easy for you to access?

  Create an account to write notes in your journal.