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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