FAQs for Parents

I’m not sure if my problem is an emergency. When should I access YSB crisis support?

We believe that there is no fixed definition of an emergency — if it feels like a crisis to you, we urge you to call the 24/7 Crisis Line. Our trained professionals will provide immediate assistance and can also help you make a plan to get further support from other services and programs.

24/7 Crisis Line:
In Ottawa: 613-260-2360
Long distance toll-free: 1-877-377-7775

Read more FAQs about the 24/7 Crisis Line.

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I don’t know the warning signs of a teenager in crisis. Can YSB help me?

Yes, we can help. Contact the 24/7 Crisis Line to speak to a trained professional. He or she can help you identify various warning signs and suggest how best to approach your teenager and deal with your specific situation.

24/7 Crisis Line:
In Ottawa: 613-260-2360
Long distance toll-free: 1-877-377-7775

Read more FAQs about the 24/7 Crisis Line.

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I feel there is something wrong in my teenager’s life, but can’t get a conversation going on the subject. What should I do?

YSB’s Youth and Family Counselling program may be a good place to start. We offer youth (aged 12 to 20) and their families the opportunity to address a wide range of issues affecting the family relationship. Our sessions are flexible, according to need: we can bring parents and youth together for family counselling, and we can offer individual counselling to the youth on his or her own, or to one or both parents on their own.
For more information, call 613-288-1588.

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My teen is out of control but refuses to go to counselling. Does YSB offer services to parents in this situation?

We do offer services to parents in your situation. If you are concerned about your teen, we urge you to call the 24/7 Crisis Line. It’s there to support youth and their parents. We can provide you with tips and suggestions on how to approach your teen, and we can direct you to a range of support services that could benefit you and your family. If your teen won’t see a counsellor right away, for instance, you can make arrangements to meet with a family counsellor on your own.

24/7 Crisis Line:
In Ottawa: 613-260-2360
Long distance toll-free: 1-877-377-7775

Read more FAQs about the 24/7 Crisis Line.

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My child is in YSB counselling. Are the sessions confidential, or will the counsellor share what was discussed with me?

Youth aged 12 and older can receive confidential counselling services without a parent’s consent. However, there are some situations when safety concerns outweigh the right to privacy. So if a youth tells a counsellor that somebody under the age of 16 is being hurt by somebody else or that he or she is thinking about self-harm or harming others, we do not need consent to share that information with parents and other authorities. All other details revealed in counselling are confidential unless the youth waives the right to privacy and consents to his or her information being shared.

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Will YSB keep my family’s information confidential?

Absolutely. YSB carefully protects your privacy. Services are provided in a confidential manner and your family’s information is kept secure. The only exception to our confidentiality policy is when YSB counsellors are told that someone under the age of 16 is being hurt by someone else or that a youth in counselling is considering self-harm or harming others. We will share that information as appropriate.

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My child is getting help from YSB, but has now moved out of our home. Will YSB continue to help my child?

Yes, youth between the ages of 14 and 24 can continue to receive YSB support regardless of where they live.

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My child’s friend needs a safe place to stay right now. How can I discretely involve YSB?

YSB services are available to those who reach out for help — we cannot be called in to intervene in any situation. So while you cannot ask us to approach your child’s friend, you can suggest that he or she contact YSB for help. Here are some options.

The youth can call the 24/7 Crisis Line to talk to a counsellor about his or her situation.

24/7 Crisis Line
In Ottawa: 613-260-2360
Long distance toll-free: 1-877-377-7775

YSB emergency shelters serve youth aged 12 to 20, so you can suggest that the youth call a shelter to talk to professional staff about using the service.

Young Men’s Emergency Shelter: 613-907-8975
Young Women’s Emergency Shelter: 613-789-8220

The youth can visit the Downtown Drop-in Centre at 147 Besserer Street. Staff there can help him or her find a safe place to stay the night.

Note that a report to the Children's Aid Society must be made should an adult learn that a youth under the age of 16 is in an unsafe living situation.

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I have lost my job and the stress of unemployment is making my children anxious, too. How can YSB help our family?

YSB understands the effects that the stress of unemployment can have on a household. We offer Youth and Family Counselling that may help you and your family better cope with your situation.
For more information, call 613-288-1588.

YSB also offers Employment Counselling for parents — not just young people — looking for a job.

For more information, call 613-236-8244.

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My teen needs help finding a job. Does YSB offer employment programs?

Yes, YSB offers a variety of services to help prepare youth for the job market and find employment. Learn more at Youth Employment.

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What will it cost me to get help from YSB?

YSB services are free.

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FAQs for Youth

I need help immediately. Who can I contact right now?

If you are in danger call 911. In case of medical emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

If this is not an emergency, please call the 24/7 Crisis Line. A caring professional will listen and provide immediate help.

24/7 Crisis Line:
In Ottawa: 613-260-2360
Long distance toll-free: 1-877-377-7775

Read more FAQs about the 24/7 Crisis Line.

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I feel like I can’t handle my life right now, but I’m not sure it’s right to call my situation a “crisis” or an “emergency.” How bad do things have to be to call the Crisis Line?

People call crisis lines for many reasons. Because they’re scared, sad or just feel like they can’t cope. Because they’re confused about their own feelings or impulses. Because they’re worried that their friend might be in a crisis. If it’s important to you, it’s reason enough to call the 24/7 Crisis Line. We’re here to help, so give us a call. Counsellors will provide immediate assistance and put you on a path to get further help.

24/7 Crisis Line:
In Ottawa: 613-260-2360
Long distance toll-free: 1-877-377-7775

Read more FAQs about the 24/7 Crisis Line.

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I need help, but I don’t have any money. Are YSB services free?

Yes, YSB services are free. You don’t have to pay to get the help you need.

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How old do I have to be to get help from YSB?

You have to be at least 12 years old to get help from the YSB. If you are under the age of 12, you can contact Crossroads.

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I don’t have any I.D. Can I still use YSB services?

Yes, you can.

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If I talk to a YSB counsellor or use another YSB service, will my parents find out? Can I come to YSB on my own?

If you are 12 or older, you can meet with counsellors privately and we will not tell your parents or anyone else what we’ve talked about. The only time we would share anything you say with someone else is if we think it may save somebody from harm. So if you tell us that somebody under the age of 16 is being hurt by somebody else or that you are thinking about hurting yourself or others, we have the right and responsibility to pass along that information without getting your permission. We are very committed to protecting your privacy, but safety comes first.

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Are the YSB counsellors young or old?

Both! YSB counsellors are a wide range of ages. But they have the same thing in common — they understand what you’re going through and can help you find the support you need.

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Where will my counsellor meet me?

That’s up to you. YSB counsellors can meet you at your house, a coffee shop or anywhere at all that you feel comfortable having a conversation.

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I would like to see a doctor, but I’m not comfortable going to my family’s clinic or to a hospital. Can YSB help? Even if I don’t have my health card?

Yes, YSB can help. Our Youth Health Clinic offers health care, dental care and addictions counselling. Our nurse practitioner can prescribe some medications without having to refer you somewhere else. And if you are betweeen the ages of 16 and 24, we can also offer you mental health services. The Youth Health Clinic is a safe environment free of judgement. No health card necessary and no appointment necessary — just walk in!

Walk-in Clinic Hours:

Monday to Friday: 12:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.
Nurse Practitioner: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays
Ottawa Public Health Agency, Sexual Health Clinic: Thursdays
Algonquin College, Preventative Dental Care: Fridays

For more information, call 613-241-7913 ext. 222

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What about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, two-spirit, questioning or queer (GLBTTQ) youth? Does YSB offer services and programs to them?

Of course. YSB’s services are available to all young people who need our help. If you’re interested in our GLBTTQ Drop-in, visit the Downtown Drop-in Centre at 147 Besserer for more information.

If you’re interested in programs by and for GLBTTQ youth, check out the Rainbow Youth Advisory. Through youth-led education sessions, workshops and peer-to-peer outreach, this advisory group keeps GLBTTQ issues in the spotlight, contributing to a community environment of acceptance and inclusion.

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How can I file a complaint about a YSB service?

YSB clients have access to a complaint process if they have a concern about any aspect of our services, including provision of French Language services.

A complaint can be made verbally or in writing on a Complaint Form. Available in all YSB locations, these forms include the names and contact information of all agency managers as well as further details on how to file a complaint.

Completed forms can be mailed to:

Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa
2675 Queensview Drive
Ottawa ON K2B 8K2

Clients can also file their complaint by email at complaints@ysb.on.ca.

Clients have the right at any time to direct their complaint to any management level of the agency or to external advocates. One such advocate is located at:

Child and Family Advocate
6th Floor, Hepburn Block
Toronto ON M7A 9Z9
416-325-5669

 

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