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Ontario expands virtual mental health counselling for youth

WHITBY, Ont. — Ontario is putting $4.75 million toward expanding a virtual walk-in counselling program for children and youth to access mental health services.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones says the One Stop Talk program is a way to offer modern, convenient options for youth in ways in which they are used to communicating.

The program allows youth to talk to a clinician by phone, video conference, text and chat without an appointment.

It started two months ago involving six mental-health organizations and is now being expanded to more organizations and patients on wait lists.

The government also says it is adding eight new youth wellness hubs, bringing the total to 22 across the province.

The hubs connect young people to mental health and substance use support, primary care and social services.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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