We are still providing services during COVID-19, but they have changed. In-person appointments are taking place on a limited basis. Services are primarily provided over the telephone or online. There is a new online registration process for children, youth and families looking for brief or single session mental health support.
Who we are
Child and Adolescent Services is an outpatient children’s mental health program. It is part of Public Health Services, in the Healthy and Safe Communities Department for City of Hamilton.
We provide mental health assessment and treatment for children and youth, under 18, and their families. Our services are confidential and free.
What do we support children, youth, and families with?
- Social, emotional and behavioral difficulties
- Suicidal thoughts
- Gender and sexuality
- Family conflict, family separation
- Fire setting
- School difficulties
How to Book an Appointment
If you need a single session, brief mental health counselling:
Children, youth and families can now book an appointment for a single session, brief mental health counselling by completing an online self-referral form.
If you need longer-term counselling and therapy
To request longer-term counselling and therapy, you will need a referral from Contact Hamilton. This will help to ensure that you are directed to the most appropriate services given your unique needs.
You can contact them by:
Email: [email protected]
Before your first visit
Before your first visit, we will ask you to complete a mental health questionnaire to help us get to know you. If you’d like to have your family or other significant people involved, we will ask them to complete a mental health questionnaire as well. Your answers will help us to learn more about you and what we can do to help.
We will send a link to the questionnaire by email. The questionnaires can typically take up to 20-30 minutes to complete.
If you would like support to complete the online questionnaire through our on-line Client Portal, please call us at (905) 546-2424, ext. 3671.
What to expect at your first visit
We welcome family and supportive people to participate with the child or youth who has been referred for services. Some youth may choose to come on their own.
Your meeting with your therapist will take about an hour and a half. We suggest planning for a visit that will last approximately two hours.
Please let us know ahead of time if you would like culturally-responsive services and/or translation services, including American Sign Language Services.
First, you will be greeted in our clinic lobby by COVID screening staff. They will:
- ask you a few questions to ensure you have no COVID symptoms
- ask you to sanitize your hands and;
- if you do not have a face mask, we will give you a face mask to put on.
When it is time for your appointment, your Therapist will meet you in the lobby.
What we need from you to ensure safety for all:
- Maintain physical distance of 2 meters (6 feet) when you are in clinic
- If you feel sick, please stay home. Call to rebook, or ask to switch to a phone or video appointment
- Only come to the office for booked appointments. We cannot offer drop-in services at this time.
Virtual (Phone or Video Appointment)
You will receive confirmation of your first scheduled appointment and instructions for your preferred method of care (phone or link to video conferencing).
Planning for your virtual care appointment:
- 15 minutes before session, test your phone or computer.
- Find a quiet space that will provide privacy for the meeting.
- Find a comfortable space where you can sit and set up your phone or computer.
- Wear clothing that is comfortable and dress as you would, if you were attending an appointment in person.
If you have any questions, please call 905-546-2424 extension 3671.
Who will provide my care?
We are a team of professionals who work together to support you based on your individual needs, whether you are cared for virtually or in-person. Our team is made up of registered professionals who provide the following services:
- Counselling and Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Psychological Services
- Administrative Support
- Student Interns: We are a teaching clinic. If you give permission, we may include student interns in your care.
Our Approach to Care
We embrace a collaborative and compassionate approach to providing services to children, youth and families. Our approach is informed by evidence and best practice. When developing a holistic plan of care with you, we will assess and take into consideration your unique needs, the best option for services, and whether or not you would like your family members to be involved. This may include a referral to other community service providers.
How to make and cancel appointments
If you need to make, change or cancel an appointment, please contact your therapist directly or our program secretary at 905-546-2424 extension 3671 as soon as possible.
We do our best to provide an appointment time that is convenient. Please understand that there are many requests for an ‘afterschool’ appointment time, and we do our best to share these preferred timeslots.
If you are late, more than 20 minutes without notice, you will need to re-book another appointment.
After missing three appointments we will close your referral. This ensures that Child and Adolescent Services can offer counseling service within a short time to children, youth, and families. If your referral has been closed for two months or more, you will need to call CONTACT Hamilton at 905-570-8888 to initiate a new referral.
How is my personal health information protected?
We protect your personal health information, and we ask you for your consent before we share your information with others. In some cases, someone else may be able to provide consent on your behalf. This will be discussed further during your first visit as we know you may have questions. We will discuss situations when you have the right to keep your information private from anyone you choose, including family members. We will also discuss situations when others might be able to access your information.
We also want parents/caregivers to feel comfortable to share information. This information will be kept within your care team, unless we ask for further consent to share it.
There are times when privacy can’t be maintained due to safety.
Reasons for this:
- If a child under the age of 18 is being hurt or abused, or at risk of being hurt or abused
- If anyone is in immediate danger of hurting themselves or someone else
- If a regulated health professional is or has been sexually inappropriate with someone
- If we are required by law to release the records
Questions about the collection of this personal information can be directed to the therapist you are working with. Alternately, please contact the Manager of Child and Adolescent Services, Lynn Foye at 905-546-2424 extension 3697.
How we improve services
We will ask you to complete short questionnaires throughout your care. The questionnaires will ask you about how you are doing and your experience of care. This information helps us keep track of what has been helpful for you in service and how we can better meet your needs.
Using information to improve services
Sometimes, we group your responses from the questionnaires together with responses from other youth and families to look at how well our services are doing overall. When the information is grouped, any identifying information (name, address, date of birth) is removed so your privacy is maintained. Your information helps us to improve our services and respond better to the needs of children, youth and families in our community.
Research is an important part of the work we do. Through research we can learn more about the experiences of children, youth and families and how best to support them. We will ask you whether you and your family would like to be involved in current or future research. You can choose not to take part in research. Your decision will not impact your care in any way.
We are located at 100 Main Street E, 2nd Floor
Our program is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Late appointments are available on a limited basis and upon request. The building is closed weekends, and holidays.
If you/your child’s needs become more urgent, please:
- Contact your family physician
- Emergency Mental Health Services for children and youth are available at McMaster Children’s Hospital Emergency Department
- Call the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) at 905-972-8338 to speak with a mental health clinician available 24 hours.
- Kids Help Phone: 24/7: 1 800 668 6868
- Youthline: 1 800 268 9688 (Sunday to Friday: 6 pm to 9 pm EST)
- Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1 855 242 3310
- Barrett Centre: 905-529-4343
- Date modified: