Health and Mental Health Resources
For refugee newcomers in Toronto seeking a proactive approach to mental health that includes counselling services, primary care, settlement, and community programs, and more.
Racialized individuals based in Toronto, regardless of status, can access free services at Across Boundaries. This can range from case management to harm reduction to meditation, and more. Services are available in many languages, including Dari, Pashto, Farsi, Swahili, Somali, and Amharic. Services must be booked through The Access Point (see more information under “The Access Point” in this section).
Through weekly virtual sessions, this program empowers women to build self confidence, make informed choices, and create positive change in their lives. This is a safe online space for women who are feeling isolated, experiencing abuse, or having relationship or marital difficulties. They also have free mental health counselling for all newcomers that includes case management, individual and group counselling.
At (416) 863-0511 or toll-free at 1-866-863-0511, women across Ontario can receive free, confidential, 24-hour crisis counselling, emotional support, information and referrals over the phone in over 200 languages. There is also a TTY crisis line and counselling for seniors.
For free, confidential counselling for issues related to the unique experiences of refugees and newcomers in their lives prior to arrival, during their journey to Canada, and upon settling in the Greater Toronto Area.
For supportive, non-judgmental counselling that helps survivors of torture in Toronto and Ottawa to develop trust and regain a sense of empowerment. This includes assessment by in-house psychiatrists, psychologists and family doctors, crisis intervention, and individual and group counselling.
BounceBack is a free program that helps Ontarians aged 15 and up who are experiencing anxiety or depression, or who may be feeling low, stressed, worried, irritable or angry. Participants receive free phone coaching, workbooks, and online resources to help them their journeys towards positive mental health.
Through two-hour workshops, the Opening Doors Project aims to enhance the well-being of newcomers and mental health survivors by helping to create welcoming, inclusive communities for immigrants and refugees, particularly those experiencing mental health challenges. These workshops include stress and self-care, anti-racism and discrimination, and more.
Through group sessions and one-on-one meetings, Syrian and newcomer youth mentors provide a safe space for participants to explore issues of identity and mental health challenges, discuss their educational and professional goals, and receive support as they navigate the immigration and settlement processes. In addition to workshops, they run English conversation circles, book clubs, and a soccer team.
With volunteer-led sponsor groups, advocacy, community-building initiatives, and more, Ottawa’s Capital Rainbow Refuge helps LGBTQI+ refugees and newcomers thrive in Eastern Ontario. Their volunteers can accompany clients to appointments, and connect with things like housing, furniture, or services like a family doctor, mental health counselling, employment, and more.
Through online care, Cover Health serves Ontario residents seven days a week. Patients can connect with general practitioners, pediatricians, cardiologists, diabetes specialists, and more.
At Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital, this clinic serves newly-arrived refugees who are living in shelters and have Interim Federal Health Program coverage. This clinic handles chronic diseases, primary care for children, immunizations, pregnancy care, family planning advice, health exams, sleep disorders, anxiety, and more. They serve all genders and can use interpreters when needed. For more information, call 416-323-6031.
Culturelink offers support groups, wellness workshops, and one-on-one counselling for newcomers needing support, positive connections, and skills to build mental well-being. This free service prioritizes convention refugees and permanent residents.
With 24-hour support available in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Portuguese, and Spanish, Distress Centres of Toronto provides virtual and in-person counselling for everyone from youth to seniors, and group support to those who have lost a loved one to suicide or homicide. This is Canada’s oldest volunteer delivered crisis, emotional support and suicide prevention + intervention + postvention service agency. They can be reached by phone or text.
Refugee newcomers in Surrey, Delta, White Rock, and Langley can access free, culturally informed, confidential services in several languages that include family counselling, youth counselling, substance abuse counselling, and more.
For women who are survivors of violence or trauma, the free H.E.A.L. for Work Program for Women helps participants to build the life the want in Canada. This program provides free occupational skills training, childcare support, and opportunities for paid work, and more. There is also a monetary bonus for completing three months of employment or post-secondary education. This program is offered in English, with language support in Arabic and Punjabi available.
This downtown Toronto clinic offers free or low-cost dental services to refugee families. Services include wisdom teeth removal, discounted root canals, free cracked tooth repairs, and more.
This Toronto-based clinic offers free primary health and mental health services for uninsured refugees who do not have a care provider. Appointments must be booked in advance.
This questionnaire helps to assess risk factors for COVID-19 and provides guidance and next steps for keeping safe.
A number of assessment centres have been established across Ontario for COVID assessment and testing. OHIP cards not required.
Book free COVID vaccination appointments here.
Launched by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Health Care Connect helps Ontarians find a family health care provider in their community.
Administered by the Ministry of Health, Healthy Smiles Ontario offers free dental care for children 17 years and younger for Ontario residents whose household meets income eligibility requirements. Eligible children and youth from lower-income families can receive free teeth cleaning, check-ups, and dental treatment.
With Registered Psychotherapists, Toronto’s IG Vital Health holds free psychotherapy sessions 7 days a week in Farsi, Dari, Pashto, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, Sinhalese, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Russian; interpretation for other languages is available. For asylum seekers and refugees, psychotherapy assessments can strengthen applications and assist decision-makers in their resolutions. Services are free and available in-person and online.
The interim Canada Dental Benefit helps lower dental costs for families with small children. Families can use the free online tool to estimate their child’s benefit amount.
Kids Help Phone counsellors and crisis responders offer free 24/7 mental health and wellness support for newcomer youth in many languages, including English, French, Ukrainian, Russian, Pashto, Dari, Mandarin, and Arabic. All services are free and private, and no ID is required. Call 1-800-668-6868 and press 3 for more languages.
Refugees with IFHP support can access free psychotherapy counselling at the Toronto-based Mennonite New Life Centre. Internationally-trained clinicians offer both individual counselling and group programs. Open to Spanish, Farsi, and English-speaking families, with other languages available upon request.
Refugees in Canada can call 1-866-286-4770 for free, multilingual support to find healthcare providers who can deliver transitional health care and services, including primary care, specialist care, and mental health support. While this is not an emergency or crisis line, this healthline can help find a matching health care provider for services offered by OHIP, the IFHP, or provincial programs.
This site brings together the national spectrum of healthcare, settlement, education and public-serving sectors that are available to Ukrainian newcomers. For those seeking information on helping the Ukrainian refugee population, this toolkit provides many helpful resources, including trauma-informed care, cultural support and integration, and much more.
With one-on-one support and group sessions, North York Community House provides free services for newcomers as they navigate their new personal and professional lives.
With counselling available in English, Arabic, Urdu, and more, OCISO provides clinical counselling to culturally diverse youth with migration and culture-related issues. Children and Youth Counsellors provide short term counselling to immigrant and refugee children, youth and their families in a way that incorporates their culture into the therapeutic process. Services available in virtually or in-person. For mental health services that relate to issues of migration and culture, OCISO specializes in assisting survivors of war torture, trauma, political persecution and imprisonment. OCISO’s specially-trained counsellors provide counselling and psychotherapy services in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Urdu, Tigrinya, German, Czech, and other languages as needed.
With its location inside the Catholic Centre for Immigrants, refugee newcomers can access counselling, psychiatric assessments, psychotherapy, and more with legal, settlement, counselling and social services.
In Mississauga and Toronto, Polycultural provides confidential short-term counselling at no cost for youth, adults and families who are in need of crisis counselling. They serve refugees who are adjusting to Canadian life, struggling with trauma, and experiencing family conflict, and more.
Queer Love in Colour is a free, safe and supportive environment for anyone with 2SLGBTQIA+ BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color/Global Majority) lived experiences. This group gathers virtually and in-person at QMUNITY at to hold discussions and host activities.
For refugees in Toronto’s Regent Park area, there are many health services, like a monthly mental health and addictions support group for Somali men, a health education program offered in Tamil, Bengali, and Somali, a Vietnamese cultural interpretation service, and more.
Free services for immigrant, refugee, and women of colour who are facing domestic violence or are dealing with a crisis. These entail counselling, healing groups, safety plan development, client accompaniment to medical appointments, support with navigating legal systems, and more.
With programs for both youth and adults living with disabilities, Scadding Court provides opportunities for swimming, drama, cooking classes, and more. Programs are free; register in advance.
Located in Scarborough, this all-women team of nurse practitioners, doctors, nurses, mental health counsellors and other allied providers give comprehensive women’s care without questions, fees, or judgement. Provided with the Canadian Centre for Refugee & Immigrant Healthcare.
Supporting Our Youth (SOY) is a community development program of Toronto’s Sherbourne Health Centre that supports the health and well-being of 2SLGBTQ youth under 29– many of whom are homeless, racialized and newcomers to Canada.
Free, confidential health information delivered over the phone by registered nurses. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and in over 300 languages. Nurses have specific resources pertaining to refugee health. Health cards not required. Hotline available at 1-866-797-0000.
For Toronto residents 14 years of age and older, The Access Point can help individuals to access mental health programs delivered by over 50 agencies. These include intensive case management programs, assertive community treatment teams for those with a history of hospitalizations who are experiencing psychosis, and early psychosis intervention for individuals aged 14-34 who are experiencing early signs of psychosis.
The Wise Self is a psychotherapy clinic based in Toronto offering services by phone and online. With their team of therapists who speak Spanish, Farsi, Arabic, and more, they serve diverse clients, and are seeking to help refugees. They provide both low-cost therapy and therapy that is covered under the Interim Federal Health program. Under the IFH, refugees are eligible for a free 1.5-hour initial assessment and 10 1-hour sessions.
The TDSB has gathered many free resources to help support students’ mental health, including changing routines, separation anxiety, and the social and emotional challenges of the new school year. Resources available for elementary, secondary, and middle grades.
Toronto Public Health offers a confidential and anonymous health information and counselling service for Toronto residents. The general public health line addresses many topics, including Child and Family Health, Prenatal and Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Mental Health Promotion, Substance Use, Senior Health, and Healthy Eating. Calls are not meant for emergencies. All services are free of charge and are available in multiple languages.
This Toronto Public Health chatline provides free, confidential, and anonymous counselling regarding sexual health (HIV/AIDS), sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), risk assessment, birth control options, emergency contraception, sexuality, relationship concerns, pregnancy, injection drug use and needle exchange information, and referrals to clinics and agencies. Calls are not meant for emergencies. All services are free of charge and are available in multiple languages.
At Toronto Western Hospital, a new neurology clinic has opened to serve the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. The 2SLGBTQIA+ Neurology Clinic is an outpatient service that provides inclusive, comprehensive, and individualized assessment and care to persons identifying as 2SLGBTQIA+ for a full range of neurological conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
Based in Surrey and Vancouver, VAST helps newcomers who have endured torture, trauma, and political violence to receive counselling, documentation, education, and referrals. They specialize in preparing clients for the refugee claim and settlement process. They also have trauma-informed services in an LGBTQ+ welcoming environment, and they work alongside Rainbow Refugee and MOSAIC’S I Belong group for queer refugees. Through their Refugee Mental Health Line, they provide consultation and referrals to sponsorship groups sponsoring LGBTQ+ refugees.
This North York clinic offers free dental services for refugees in Toronto and surrounding areas. Refugees can access free emergency dental care, root canal therapy, oral surgery, and more. Same-day appointments are available.
This clinic is for non-insured Torontonians who live west of Yonge Street. Their mission is to provide care for those without health coverage whether due to precarious status, failed refugee claims or the three-month OHIP wait.
The Newcomer Youth Program at West Neighbourhood House provides free mental health support to newcomer youth between the ages of 13-24. Services can be provided in English, Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi, Tagalog, Spanish, French, Ilonggo, Nepali, and Mandarin.
Free mental health counselling by registered professionals for children, youth, young adults and their families, and families with infants. Counselling sessions at 1-866-585-6486 are available Monday to Saturday by phone & video, and typically last 45-60 minutes long.
Free counselling sessions to cope with anxiety, depression, anger management, and more take place twice a week, either over the phone or on video. Health cards are not required. Counsellors are social workers, psychotherapists, or WoodGreen staff, students, or volunteers who are supervised by a registered professional. Services are available for anyone aged 16 years and up, or for children aged 12-15 with parental consent. Call ahead to book a session.
Free rapid access therapy is available both online and in-person at Yorktown Family Services Jane Street Hub location, 141 Jane Street. No appointments necessary. Click the link for hours.
For Ottawa-based youth interested in free mental health services, the Youth Services Bureau has a free youth mental health walk-in clinic at 1355 Bank Street. This is open to youth aged 12-20, or parents of teenagers. In addition, for those who are experiencing a crisis, they can call the Youth Services Bureau 24/7 Crisis Line at 613-260-2360 at any time.
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