DCAFS Talk-in mental health clinic expands to help more children and youth

We all need a safe, supportive place to be heard. The Talk-in clinic at Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS) helps provide this, and so much more, for many families in Dufferin. They connect children, youth and their caregivers with a clinician to develop strategies around a challenge that they are experiencing – all in a single session.

A huge benefit of the Talk-in single session model is that DCAFS has the flexibility to accommodate whatever challenge the individual or family comes in with. For one family, it was a place where their son could finally feel comfortable talking openly about his nightmares for the first time. For a teenager, it gave her the tools to begin to cope differently with her experiences of depression. For a set of caregivers, it allowed them a non-judgmental space to open up about their struggles in parenting a young child with anxiety.

Talk-in is a drop-in program that takes place once a week on Wednesdays. The Dufferin Emergency Support Fund grant allowed DCAFS to hire interns to expand the program by an additional 12 hours/week. The immediate support that children and youth receive can result in fewer crisis situations, which often end up in the hospital Emergency room.

The Talk-In clinic is dedicated to hearing the concerns of children, youth and families and providing accessible, in-the-moment strategies to help build resiliency through these tailored mental health supports. It also helps the DCAFS team identify appropriate next steps and services for the individual in a timely manner.

Dufferin Child and Family Services received a $5,000 Dufferin Emergency Support Fund grant to expand its youth Talk-in Clinic by 12 hours/week.

What Talk-in therapists say:

“The talk-in model allows us to meet clients where they are at. We can have a therapeutic conversation with no expectations or commitment to service.”

“Committing to therapy upfront is difficult for everyone. Talk-in allows folks to come for a single session before committing to an ongoing support plan. Some individuals find one session is enough and others may continue on with counselling and other supports. Every individual’s needs are unique and Talk-in allows for a confidential place to share challenges and concerns around mental health without judgement.”

What Caregivers say:

“I would like to state my appreciation for this program. When I first looked for help with my struggles, I was told it could be months before I could get access to other mental health resources. I sincerely believe that programs like this need to be more visible.”

“My child was able to communicate freely how she was feeling. The clinician was able to help her handle her emotions and explain that this is normal. The tools she received were life changing.”

“The therapist was fantastic, so easy to talk too and such great insight and knowledge. She gave us practical ways to support our daughter and make the overall relationships in the house stronger.”

What Children and Youth say:

“I like being able to have an outlet outside of my family and friends.”

“Thank you. You gave me a lot of help.”

“I found the therapist easy to talk to and wanted to talk even more.”

How to donate