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Priority Access for Schools


Priority Access for Schools


The Priority Access for Schools (PAS) program provides individual and family counselling and case management support to youth who are referred from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB).

Given the substantial number of youth in the school system requiring mental health support, the school social workers often refer youth who need mental health services to the PAS program at various children’s mental health agencies One of the primary goals of this community-based treatment is to decrease the likelihood of youth needing more intensive/intrusive treatment such as residential and day treatment services in the future. Secondly, it is designed to connect the youth to appropriate internal/external community resources otherwise difficult to access. Lastly, this program is intended to prepare youth to function independently and effectively within the school environment and the greater community.


The PAS program at EMYS has 4 dedicated individual and family therapists to provide individual, family & group counselling as well as case management support to youth and their families. The workers provide IFT (Individual and Family Therapy) once a week or up to two times a week if needed. The program offers flexibility around the time of the session (sessions during the day or in the evening).  The workers will try to flex their schedules to meet clients in the community, at school, at home, or at the agency, depending on what works best for the individual. However, given the large case load of workers, clients are encouraged to attend office-based sessions. The workers will provide Individual, Group and Family Therapy to clients based on evidence-based practices (EBP) (such as DBT, CBT, Narrative Therapy etc.) depending on the clients’ needs and strengths. CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) is the identified EBP of PAS program.  In addition, the program provides linguistically and culturally sensitive counselling support to Cantonese and Mandarin speaking clients and their families.

The program offers support to clients and families for six months.

To access services: Must be referred either from the TDSB or TCDSB.