Turning Point Youth Services (TPYS) understands that many young people need support to be successful. We offer a variety of integrated programs to support youth who are experiencing challenges in their lives. Our goal is to help them learn skills and strategies to cope with and solve their problems. We have listed some of the common challenges that bring our clients to Turning Point, but each person’s situation is unique. We work with youth and their caregivers to develop an individualized treatment plan, adjusting it over time as the client’s needs change.
We offer programming in three main areas:
- Counselling (individual, family and group), at our 95 Wellesley Street East location, in the community, and in some cases in homes.
- Residential treatment for those struggling with behavioural or mental health difficulties and unable to live at home. We also offer emergency shelter and other support services for homeless young men, or clients at risk of homelessness, and transitional housing for young men who need some support as they move from adolescence to adulthood.
- Youth Justice programs including counselling, support for youth at court, residential programs for young men ordered to spend time in custody or detention, programs to teach young people skills so they do not get into trouble with the law again and other support services.
We work with clients to build on their personal strengths such as leadership, self-awareness, and cultural identity, in order to develop individualized treatment plans. Our approaches are youth-centered, relationship-based, and collaborative.
TPYS offers individual, family, and group counselling. These services are free of charge. Services are available in our offices, in the community, by phone, and in some cases in the client’s home. Counselling can be scheduled throughout the day and into the evening to accommodate client needs.
Services are provided by counsellors trained in social work or related fields such as clinical psychology. A consulting psychologist or psychiatrist may also be involved as part of the multi-disciplinary counselling team. The clinical and counselling team is committed to providing an evidence informed, client centered, strengths-based relationship-based approach that is sensitive to each client’s unique needs. Our support focuses on achieving the goals we have set out in partnership with the client. Sometimes other service providers, such as doctors, teachers, or other agencies, are encouraged to be a part of the service team (with the consent of the client).
TPYS staff also provides walk-in services. They give youth a chance to get short-term counselling. We apply the same model of building upon strengths and developing skills to help cope with mental health issues, health issues or substance abuse concerns. We are based in the walk-in clinic located at and run by Oolagen, that is facilitated in partnership with Oolagen, Hincks- Dellcrest Centre (HDC) and Central Toronto Youth Services (CTYS). All walk-in clinics throughout the City are free of charge.
If someone is in need of immediate help and cannot wait, the walk-in might be a good choice for them. The walk-in operates five days a week. You do not need an appointment, and can attend up to 3 sessions. Many people feel that is enough, but if they need more support and counselling after visiting the walk-in, they can always access longer term counselling support by calling our Intake Coordinator.
TPYS offers a supportive residential program for youth ages 12 to 18 who live with mental health or substance abuse issues. For some youth these challenges can make it difficult to live with their family, and getting care at one of our homes is an effective alternative.
TPYS has three residences, which look just like private homes. Each home is staffed by trained youth workers and professional counsellors trained in social work or related fields such as clinical psychology. A consulting psychologist or psychiatrist may also be involved as part of the multi-disciplinary service team.
Some youth stay a few months, while some stay for a few years. There is no set time for how long a client can stay in residential treatment. Goals are created when the client moves in, so their length of stay depends on their progress toward their goals. Youth are involved in all aspects of life in the residences, including grocery shopping, menu preparation, cooking, cleaning, and choosing community activities and in-house programming.
To ensure clients stay on track with their education, we partner with the TDSB and provide an educational assessment and plan for clients who need to complete their schooling. When appropriate, we also provide employment services and training, life skills training (such as financial and household management), health and mental health services and counselling, and legal services. For those transitioning towards independence, our transitional housing program may be an option, but we can also help them navigate the adult services available to them.
TYPS’ residences include:
- The Clifton Program is a non-gender specific home located in the Victoria Park and St. Clair area. It offers 6 beds with additional beds available on a fee for service or per diem basis for youth living with mental illness and/or developmental disabilities who may require longer term treatment.
- We also have two 8 bed homes near Pape and Danforth. The Woodycrest Residence serves young men and the Withrow Residence serves young women.
- Emergency Shelter is available in a 35-bed dormitory like setting at our 95 Wellesley Street East location.
- Our Redwood Program at Greenwood and Gerrard supports males aged 16-24 who need housing support as they transition towards living more independently. The primary focus of the program is to help clients gain the skills they need to be successful either on their own or wherever they may live next. Clients are expected to be full-time students or engaged in full-time employment, a training program, or some combination of these, and are expected to pay a contribution toward their living expenses.
Our residences are accredited by Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) and licensed by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
We also have residences for young men involved in the youth criminal justice system. You can learn more about this below.
TPYS provides services to youth who are in trouble with the law. Our specialized programs include the following:
- The Turning Point Attendance Program (TAP) helps young people who are in trouble with the law to build the skills and awareness they will need to reduce the risk of reoffending. Group and individual services are offered on site at 95 Wellesley Street East, at probation offices in Toronto, and in the community, with flexible hours to meet client needs. Some examples of programming include anger management, victim empathy, SNAP-Youth Justice (Stop Now and Plan) for males, substance use education, girls’ programming, individual and family counselling, and employment and education support. Service typically lasts 3 to 6 months, and clients are welcome to reconnect with the program if they encounter challenges later or if they find themselves in crisis. Referrals to the TAP program usually come through probation services or another youth justice program.
- The Youth Mental Health Court Worker Program (YMHCW) serves youth who have been charged and are required to appear at court. Services are offered at 311 Jarvis St. and in the community, with flexible hours to meet client needs. The program is a voluntary short-term assessment and planning service for youth and the courts. The YMHCW plays a central role in the Community Youth Court, a specialized youth court at 311 Jarvis Street focused on mental health and addiction issues. It is not a trial court, but rather a problem-solving court. Youth work with the court team to develop a creative, individualized plan focusing on the client’s mental health and substance needs and the offending behaviour that brought them into conflict with the law.
- The Toronto Mental Health Collaborative (THMC) is a partnership with Central Toronto Youth Services (CTYS) and offers specialized assessment and counselling support to youth who are working with the YMHCW program or a Probation Officer. The TMHC offers quick access to services such as mental health assessments, psychoeducational assessment to help youth understand their learning style and needs, psychiatric assessment and brief counselling (8-10 sessions).
TPYS operates two residences geared to the needs of young males involved in the Youth Criminal Justice System. The Everett Program and the Logan Program are both 8-bed houses offering specialized residential treatment programs for young males living with mental health or addiction issues. Clients are referred through the courts and probation services. The goal of the program is to prevent and reduce youth involvement in the criminal justice system and support their reintegration back into the community. TPYS staff work with clients to develop individualized Case Management Plans that reflect the client’s needs, strengths, and factors that could lead to reoffending. Both of these youth justice residences are staffed by at least two youth workers at all times, with additional employees scheduled to support programming and court. Residents also receive additional counselling support from professional counsellors with training in social work, clinical psychology, or related disciplines.
TPYS also provides a number of other programs and services that supplement and enhance our core programming. If you are a youth or caregiver and are interested in learning more about all of the services we provide, please refer to our handbook. What We Do – A Guide to our Programs and Services.
How to begin?
Clients start the process by calling or emailing TPYS. You can reach our amazing Intake Coordinator, at 416-925-9250, ext. 224. They will guide you through an initial assessment over the phone, and direct you to the appropriate services. Then you work with TPYS staff to develop a personalized service plan that is delivered through one or more of our programs. At the end of treatment, TPYS staff assist you and your parents or caregivers in developing after care and follow-up support plans so you can maintain the progress you have achieved with TPYS.
What does it cost?
There is no fee for accessing services through TPYS.
Is there a wait time?
We try to return calls within 48 hours of contact. There may be a wait to access counselling or residential treatment services. Our Intake Coordinator will be able to tell you how long the wait is likely to be, and what alternatives are available.
How long does it last?
Treatment programs can last a few days or several years, depending on the needs of the individual client. Individual counselling sessions typically occur weekly in one hour sessions. The times for these sessions are very flexible and can occur either during the day or after school, or even in the evenings – whatever works best for the client’s schedule.