Community-Based Child and Youth Mental Health

Within all of our Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) locations, a full range of assessment and treatment services, including individual, family and group counselling, is provided by an inter-disciplinary team of clinicians to children and youth with complex needs and their families.

Upon a thorough assessment of treatment needs, these services are provided to clients in the most appropriate environment to best meet their needs, including Kinark offices, in-home, in the community or schools as well as to children and youth who are in residential care.

A number of changes are occurring in our community-based CYMH programs. Across the province, the CYMH sector is undergoing a significant transformation under the Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ Moving on Mental Health (MOMH) strategy.

MOMH is designed to improve the way CYMH services are delivered across Ontario by ensuring families have clear and efficient pathways to obtain services for their children and youth and that the services offered across the province will be consistent. This means that the full range of treatment and services, from prevention and early intervention to more intensive services will be available in all communities. Kinark currently provides the full range of “core services” as identified by the Ministry, including:

  • Targeted Prevention

    • Targeted prevention services focus on changing views and behaviours, building skills and competencies and/or creating awareness and resiliency through the provision of information, education and programming to defined at-risk populations. Targeted prevention programs may occur in a variety of settings, including education, health and community settings, and may involve health practitioners and educators as partners.
  • Brief Services

    • Like counselling and therapy services, brief services focus on reducing the severity of and/or remedying the emotional, social, behavioural and self-regulation problems of children and youth, but these services differ with respect to the duration of the service. Brief services provide “quick access” (usually up to six sessions of therapy) to address the immediate or presenting needs of a child or youth.
  • Counselling and Therapy Services

    •  Counselling and therapy services include a series of planned, inter-related interventions focused on reducing the severity of and/or remedying the emotional, social, behavioural and self-regulation problems of children and youth. Services are provided within the context of the family, culture and community and can be delivered in a range of settings.
  • Family/Caregiver Capacity Building and Support

    • Families (including parents, caregivers, guardians, siblings and other family members) have a critical role to play in promoting and supporting the mental health of their family members. Family capacity building and support services may include access to peer support to promote resilience and positive child, youth, and family functioning.
  • Specialized Consultation and Assessment Services

    • Specialized consultation and assessments are designed to provide advice in the assessment, diagnosis, prognosis and/or treatment of a child or youth with identified mental health needs. Children and youth may only receive a specialized consultation or assessment as a component of a service plan.
  • Crisis Support Services

    • Crisis support services are immediate, time-limited services, delivered in response to an imminent mental health crisis or an urgent situation as assessed by a mental health professional that places the child/youth or others at serious risk of harm.
  • Intensive Treatment Services

    • Intensive treatment services are targeted to children and youth who have been diagnosed/identified with mental health problems that impair their functioning in some or many areas. Many of these children/youth will require intensive intervention either for a defined period of time or periodically throughout their lifespan, to maintain functioning in their home, school and/or community.
    • Intensive treatment services include:
      • community-based/day treatment services;
      • in-home services and
      • residential services.

How to Access Services

Call Central Intake:1-888-454-6275.

Central Intake is the front door to services and supports for children and youth who need help with a mental health issue.

Central Intake can answer your questions, guide you through the referral process or steer you to an agency or service in the community that can best meet your needs.

For more information about Moving on Mental Health, visit the Ontario government’s website: