Youth and Family Counselling

Sometimes, people need a little help to feel good about themselves or to learn how to cope with difficulties in their lives. That’s why we provide counselling services to young people (aged 12 up to 17 years old) and their families. 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 their own, or to one or both parents on their own.

Counsellors from a range of disciplines (psychiatry, sociology, social work, etc.) cooperate with youth and families to identify specific goals and work towards their achievement. Progress is regularly reviewed to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes.

Some of the issues addressed in counselling are:

  • Family conflict
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Violence and/or abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Sexual orientation
  • Relationships
  • Loss and bereavement

Services include ongoing individual and family and parent counselling, aftercare, and access to consultations with a multi-disciplinary team (psychiatrists, psychologists, and reflection team).

How to access the program

Youth or parents can call YSB Mental Health at 613-562-3004 for more information on a mental health service that would be right for you: 613-562-3004 

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Milo's Story

Every year when I was little, I’d think “this will be the year that everything will be okay”. And every year, I’d be crushed. By the time I was 18 I couldn’t take my dad’s drinking or my mom’s crying anymore, so I packed a knapsack with the warmest clothes I had and I left. It was freezing cold, and I was alone…but I was free.

The next few months were rough and at times very scary. I spent nights in parks, doorways and even under bridges all with just an old sleeping bag a friend had given me. One night it was so cold that I walked until the sun came up, afraid that I would freeze to death if I slept.

It took me awhile to get over the embarrassment to start asking people for money. But, it was swallow my pride or stay cold and hungry. After two weeks of doing this I learned about YSB. I didn’t know it then but, in that moment, my life changed for the better. I got connected to YSB’s Young Men’s Emergency Shelter and my first night in the shelter I slept 11 hours. I felt so safe and secure. I remember that moment clearly and I felt so hopeful I now have my own apartment in one of YSB’s long-term housing buildings, am attending college to become a graphic designer, and am working part-time to support myself.

“For the first time I can remember, I’m really excited about my future. Growing up I just thought about getting by one day at a time.” I hope my story conveys just how life changing it was for me to be able to access YSB’s shelter during a really difficult time in my life. The team at YSB supported me every step of the way, and I’m grateful they were by my side. I hope you’ll consider taking the opportunity to transform the life of another young person like me today.


*While Milo’s story is real his name has been changed to protect his privacy