Local agencies launch Mental Health Crisis Line for children and youth


A Mental Health Crisis Line for children and youth, their parents, caregivers and service providers officially launched on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. The Crisis Line, which is accessed through a single toll-free number, 1-844-287-9072, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, across Muskoka, Nipissing and Parry Sound. It offers increased accessibility and support capacity for children and youth who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

“If a child or youth is in need of help and doesn’t know where to turn, we hope they will contact the Mental Health Crisis Line,” said Michelle Dermenjian, Director of Child and Youth Services at Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca (Hands). “The individuals who answer the calls are trained to listen and make those crucial connections to the appropriate mental health supports.”

The Mental Health Crisis Line is a result of a Crisis Service review with youth and families, by Hands as Lead Agency for Child and Youth Mental Health for the service area of Muskoka, Nipissing and Parry Sound.

Jeffrey Hawkins, Executive Director at Hands stated that “the launch of this service reflects a collaborative, client-focused effort between Hands as the Lead Agency and our core child and youth mental health providers in the service area: Hands, Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions and Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing.”

What can be expected when you call the Mental Health Crisis Line?

Your call will be answered by a trained respondent at Community Connection’s 211 Ontario, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The respondent will listen and connect you to the appropriate help. All calls are confidential. Local Crisis Clinicians are available to provide support by phone or in-person, depending on the location and time of your call.

Who can call the Mental Health Crisis Line?

  • Children and youth across Muskoka, Nipissing and Parry Sound
  • Parents or caregivers
  • Service providers

Additional information on the Mental Health Crisis Line is available online at SomewhereToTurn.ca.

Quick Facts:

  • 412 Crisis Services were provided in 2017-2018 through the Crisis Services of Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca and Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions
  • 80 of these Crisis Services were in the Muskoka District; 332 were in Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts
  • The Mental Health Crisis Line was used 126 times in 2017-2018, increasing from two calls in the first month of its soft launch to 32 calls in a month

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1 Comment

  1. This is fantastic news for our area; as well as for Parry Sound and Nippissing. Children and youth have always represented an under-serviced population with respect to mental health disabilities. Every parent with children under the age of 18 should have this number on the fridge; on every phone in the house; and on every mobile device, as well.
    It is to be hoped that the CMHA ( or our local LHIN) will promote this number, encourage all children and youth to use it extensively and destigmatize its use for parents and caregivers. As with all other illnesses, mental illness benefits from early identification and treatment.
    My only regret is that they didn’t merely add it to the “211” phone tree by adding an additional digit, or having the 211 operator switch to The Crisis Line manually.

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