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System Collaborations



MENTAL HEALTH T.O (MHTO) access for infants, children, youth & families is a foundational step towards meeting the former Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ (MCYS) expectation for fully coordinated access with and between service providers and developing and facilitating coordination among community agencies and partners. (PGR1 – Coordinated Access) and responds to the Moving on Mental Health objective: “Parents will know where to go for help, and know how to get services quickly” (see Appendix)

MENTAL HEALTH T.O., designed by and for Toronto, will also enhance the capacity of our sector to achieve our collective goal of creating a system that better meets the needs of those who need our help.

The intent of MENTAL HEALTH T.O. is to have a one-stop-shop for infants, children and youth up to 18 years old and their families in Toronto to find and get the mental health help they need as efficiently and as quickly as possible.

MENTAL HEALTH T.O. does not provide phone or web counselling. We are a referral service and will connect you to the closest and most appropriate infant, child and youth mental health centre in your community.

MHTO Executive Advisory Committee
To help with the launch of MHTO, we have established an Executive Advisory Committee to provide insight and governance for Mental Health T.O. This committee reflects a diversity of experience in areas such as intake processes, previous work with similar type of services, partnerships within and across relevant sectors and geography. A subsequent call for nominations from CSP agencies yielded several qualified individuals willing to provide their time and expertise into this important initiative.

After a careful selection process, we are pleased to announce the Executive Advisory Committee for Mental Health T.O.: Access for Infants, Children, Youth & Families:

  • Brian O’Hara, Director, Centralized Access to Residential Services (CARS), Skylark
  • Deb Shime, CEO, East Metro Youth Services
  • Emma Turner, Clinical Supervisor, The Etobicoke Children’s Centre
  • Heather Sproule, Executive Director, Central Toronto Youth Services
  • Janice Hayes, Executive Director, YouthLink
  • Laurie Marsan, Director of Services, Child Development Institute
  • Eli Perell, (MCYS) – Ex-Officio

MENTAL HEALTH T.O. Project Planning, Developments, Announcements & Updates


David Willis has been hired as the Director of Strategy and Systems Management. Read the Full Announcement here. 

To see older reports click this link here:


Urban Tele Mental Health


With support from the Ministry of Child and Youth Services and facilitated by the Healthcare Partnership Table, East Metro Youth Services initiated a partnership with The Hospital for Sick Children to open up four new Urban Tele Mental Health Service locations within organizations that are part of our ‘what’s up’ walk-in consortium (Griffin Centre, Etobicoke Children’s Centre, Yorktown Child and Family Centre, and YouthLink.)  EMYS will act as the coordinating agency supporting pathways, access, and referrals to the service. As part of a step care approach, the purpose of the Urban Tele Mental Health Service is to extend the availability of psychiatric consultations in underserved areas of Toronto.

Using live video broadcasting, clients at any of the four locations listed above can be connected to a psychiatrist at SickKids Hospital.  Common concerns that can be addressed under this treatment service can include (but are not limited to):  anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, eating disorders, personality disorders, and concurrent disorders.

To be eligible, the client needs to be assessed by a primary health care provider or a community mental health worker and a referral needs to be sent to the Urban Tele Mental Health Service Coordinator, located at EMYS. The Coordinator will complete all service readiness reviews then fax the service reviews to SickKids.

Services are offered through one of the four Urban Tele Mental Health Service locations below:

For all inquiries or to learn more about Urban Tele Mental Health Service, please email Karlene Haughton,

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 ‘what’s up’ walk-in®


‘what’s up’ walk-in is a collaboration between six Core Service Providers across Toronto that offer walk-in counselling service for children, youth, young adults, and families. It is community-based, city-wide, free, and open up to six days a week.  Established in 2011, the service is available to the City of Toronto and aims to increase equitable access to evidence-based brief solution-focused mental health services.

The six ‘what’s up’ walk-in locations across the city of Toronto are:

Every ‘what’s up’ wall-in location is part of a continuum of services and applies a stepped care approach through seamless transitions to ongoing counseling, groups, intensive services, youth outreach workers, school-based programs, residential treatment, and psychiatry through Urban Tele-Mental Health in partnership with The Hospital for Sick Children. Each ‘what’s up’ walk-in location hosts partnerships that offer specialized services such as drug and alcohol treatment, counselling staff that specialize in youth justice issues, and pathways to adult services.

Learn More About ‘what’s up’ walk-in here!