Last updated: September 22, 2020 at 5:10 p.m.

Call 911 if you are in an emergency, immediate danger, or medical distress. For other needs, call 211 to be connected to mental health and other social services.

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It’s OK not to feel OK

Many people may feel sad, stressed, anxious, confused, scared or angry during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are normal and common responses to unexpected or stressful situations.

Support is available. The City of Toronto has partnered with ten organizations to help connect residents to free telephone, text and online mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through this partnership, the City’s mental health support plan responds to the needs of children and youth, seniors, frontline workers, as well as those with intersectional identities, such as Indigenous, Black, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2S, who are struggling with isolation, stress and anxiety exacerbated by COVID-19 measures.

Our partners provide free mental health supports to diverse communities across Toronto:

Learn about the range of available resources to help support mental health:

COVID-19 has made life more challenging for all of us. Sometimes the sadness, worry and stress of the current situation can get overwhelming.

There are many services available to Toronto’s residents in need of immediate emotional or crisis support. The options listed below respond to the specific mental health needs of children and youth, seniors, frontline workers, and those with intersectional identities, such as Indigenous, Black and racialized communities.

211 Central
A central access point to be connected to the appropriate mental health and other social services that meet your needs.

  • Call: 211
  • TTY: 1-888-340-1001
  • Text: 21166
  • Available 24/7

Gerstein Crisis Centre

Community-based crisis services for adults age 16+ in Toronto who are dealing with mental health issues and/or substance use issues and are currently in crisis. Also offers online face-to-face support, wellness groups, short term follow-up support, and referrals to other services.

  • Call: 416-929-5200 (language interpretation available)
  • Available 24/7

Kids Help Phone

Confidential professional online, telephone, and text-based counselling to children and youth in both English and French.

  • Call: 1-800-668-6868
  • Text: CONNECT to 686868
  • Available 24/7

Crisis Text Line

Provides text support for young people in crisis by connecting them to trained Crisis Responders. Powered by Kids Help Phone.

  • Text: HOME to 686868
  • Available 24/7

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto

Holistic healing services for Indigenous children, youth and families through video or telephone counselling.

  • Call: 416-969-8510, ext. 3290
  • Available 24/7

Toronto Seniors Helpline (WoodGreen)

A single point of access for seniors and caregivers to receive information, supportive phone counseling, crisis assessment and system navigation by registered professionals. Referrals provided to other services, including Crisis Outreach for Seniors.

  • Call: 416-217-2077 (language interpretation available)
  • Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Warm Line (Progress Place)

Confidential and anonymous service for adults (18+) who are feeling lonely, isolated, anxious, depressed or in need of a friendly ear. This is not a crisis service.

  • Call: 416-323-3721 (noon to 8 p.m.) or 416-960-9276 (8 p.m. to midnight)
  • Text: 647-557-5882

Caribbean African Canadian Social Services

Culturally safe mental health services for Black children, youth, adults and families.

  • Call: 416-740-1056
  • Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Across Boundaries

Mental health support and services delivered through Anti-Racism/Anti-Black racism and Anti-Oppression frameworks.

  • Call: 416-787-3007
  • Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ontario Psychological Association

More than 300 psychologists in Ontario will provide care at no cost to frontline workers without or with limited coverage and their families during COVID-19. Call 211 to access this service.

Hospice Palliative Hotline

Responds to the emotional needs of people who are facing serious illness, including COVID-19, and end of life. Provides service to the person who is ill, their family and those who are grieving. Also provides consultation, education and resources to frontline workers supporting those who are palliative or diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Call: 905-667-1865
  • Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • After hours support available in cases of emergency

Crisis Services Canada

Support for people who are thinking about suicide.

  • Call: 1-833-456-4566 (available 24/7)
  • Text: START to 45645 (daily from 4 p.m. to midnight)

Distress Centre of Greater Toronto

Emotional and crisis support including help for people who are thinking about suicide. Language interpretation is available for crisis calls.

  • Call: 416-408-4357 (available 24/7)
  • Text: 45645 between 4 p.m. and midnight

Family Services Toronto
Counselling and group sessions available by phone and video for anyone living or working in the City of Toronto. See the Virtual Workshops and Groups page for upcoming sessions.

  • Call: 416-595-9618
  • Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hong Fook
An ethno-cultural community mental health agency with a consolidated culturally competent team in Ontario serving Asian community members who are 16 years and older. Services include case management, psychotherapy, psychiatry, peer support, virtual group activities and virtual mental health workshops

  • Call: 416-493-4242 ext 0
  • Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Strides Toronto
Supports clients from the pre-natal stage to age 29 and their families, helping them move forward and developing their abilities and skills including those currently or at risk of experiencing social, emotional, behavioural or adjustment difficulties or disorders, including speech and language disorders (preschool only), hyperactivity, attention deficit disorders, autism spectrum disorders, or trauma.

  • Call: 416-321-5464
  • Monday to Thursday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Access Point
Mental health case managers and service navigators providing telephone support, referrals and resources for those experiencing mental health and addictions challenges, and are 14 years of age or older. Help is also available to apply for supportive housing or access other essential services such as food, income supports, legal and health supports.

  • Call: 416-640-1934 or toll free 1-888-640-1934
  • Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged everyone’s ability to cope with stress. Managing stress is more difficult when we are taken out of our regular routines, dealing with a constantly changing situation and distanced from our usual supports. COVID-19 has created new life stressors and made existing ones even more intense.

General Coping

Specific Stressors

The challenges Toronto residents face because of COVID-19 are often experienced differently depending on factors such as race, Indigenous identity, age, and disability.

Below is a list of community-specific resources available to promote mental health and wellbeing. You can use the search function below to find support for Black communities, children and youth, Indigenous communities, LGBTQ2S, newcomers and refugees, people living with mental health issues, people who use substances, people with disabilities, racialized communities, and seniors and adults.

Community Description
Indigenous Communities Native Child and Family Services of Toronto

416-969-8510 ext. 3290

Holistic healing services for Indigenous children, youth and families through video or telephone counselling. Available 24/7

Indigenous Communities Anishinabe Health Toronto

416-920-2605

Walk-in counselling is operating over the telephone during COVID-19.

Indigenous Communities Indigenous COVID Pathways Hotline

437-703-8703

Helps connect Indigenous Peoples in the GTA to needed services during COVID-19.

Indigenous Communities Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council

A list of various services available to Indigenous People in Toronto during COVID-19 offered by member agencies. Indigenous People can also access food, resources and/or goods by filling out an emergencies supplies request form.

Indigenous Communities Talk4Healing HelpLine

1-855 554 4325

A culturally grounded, fully confidential helpline for Indigenous women available in 14 languages across Ontario. Telephone and e-chat provided.

Indigenous Communities First Nations & Inuit Hope for Wellness Line

1-855 242 3310

Immediate, culturally competent, telephone crisis intervention counselling for First Nations and Inuit Peoples. Counselling is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut.

Indigenous Communities Assembly of the First Nations: COVID-19 Info and Resources
Indigenous Communities COVID-19 and Indigenous Ceremonial Spiritual Practices
Indigenous Communities COVID-19: Strategies to Address Stress and Anxiety for Indigenous Peoples (video)
Black Communities Across Boundaries

416-787-8808

Holistic mental health and addiction services for racialized communities. Stay informed about service changes due to COVID-19.

Black Communities Caribbean African Canadian Social Services

Offers a range of social services for Black residents, including mental health counselling. Stay informed about service changes due to COVID-19.

Black Communities Substance Use Program for African Canadian and Caribbean Youth

416-535-8501 (press 2)

Services for African and Caribbean youth and their families who are dealing with problem substance use and mental health concerns. Registration required.

Black Communities 8 Mental Health Practices for People of African Descent while Isolated Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Black Communities Affirmations and Reminders – Black Youth Project
Black Communities Staying Socially Connected In Our New Physically Distanced World
Black Communities Your Housing Rights During COVID-19 – For Black residents
Newcomers & Refugees Across Boundaries

416-787-8808

Holistic mental health and addiction services for racialized communities, including those who are newcomers and refugees. Stay informed about service changes due to COVID-19.

Newcomers & Refugees Caribbean African Canadian Social Services

Offers a range of social services for Black residents (newcomers and refugees) including mental health counselling. Stay informed about service changes due to COVID-19.

Newcomers & Refugees Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services

1-844-493-5839

Provide a wide range of services for newcomers and refugees, including short-term counselling.

Newcomers & Refugees Hong Fook Mental Health Association

416-493-4242

Services to address the mental health concerns of the Cambodian, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Korean and Vietnamese communities, including newcomers and refugees. Stay informed about service changes due to COVID-19.

Newcomers & Refugees COVID-19: Resources for Newcomers and Refugees
Newcomers & Refugees Multilingual emotional self-care information
Racialized Communities Across Boundaries

416-787-8808

Holistic mental health and addiction services for racialized communities, including those who are newcomers and refugees. Stay informed about service changes due to COVID-19.

Racialized Communities Caribbean African Canadian Social Services

Offers a range of social services for Black residents (newcomers and refugees) including mental health counselling. Stay informed about service changes due to COVID-19.

Racialized Communities Women’s Health in Women’s Hands (Community Health Centre)

Provides mental health and other services to the African, Black, Caribbean, Latin American and South Asian communities in Toronto and surrounding municipalities. Using a feminist, anti-racist, anti-oppressive approach.

Racialized Communities Hong Fook Mental Health Association

416-493-4242

Services to address the mental health concerns of the Cambodian, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Korean and Vietnamese communities, including newcomers and refugees. Stay informed about service changes due to COVID-19.

Racialized Communities Project Protech

1-888-210-6606

Provides online information related to COVID-19, mental health and practical coping strategies for Chinese Canadians. Includes live support by text or telephone.

LGBTQ2S 519 Church Street Community Centre

416-392-6874

Sign up for Friendly Check-Ins to have a 519 staff contact you weekly to see how you are doing. The 519 also offers free takeaway meals seven days a week.

LGBTQ2S LGBT Youth Line

Peer support to LGBT people 29 years and under. Text and online chat is available. Stay up-to-date on how COVID-19 is affecting their telephone support service.

LGBTQ2S 2 Spirited People of the First Nation

437-288-7963 (call or text)

Offers a Support Hotline for people who identify as Two-Spirit.

LGBTQ2S Family Service Toronto

416-595-9618

Single session virtual counselling available to all persons 18 years and older. This is an LGBTQ2S positive service.

LGBTQ2S Pieces to Pathways

647-209-2043

Peer-led support program for LGBTTQQ2SIA youth (ages 16-29) who use substances.

LGBTQ2S Trans Lifeline Hotline

1-877-330-6366

Peer support for trans and questioning callers.

LGBTQ2S LGBTQI2S Mental Health Tips during the COVID-19 Pandemic
LGBTQ2S Stuck in quarantine with your homophobic or transphobic family?
Children & Youth Kids Help Phone

1-800-668-6868

Professional counselling, information and referrals available 24/7 for young people in both English and French. Counselling over text is also available.

Children & Youth Crisis Text Line

Text: HOME to 686868

Provides 24/7 text support for young people in crisis by connecting them to trained Crisis Responders. Powered by Kids Help Phone.

Children & Youth What’s Up Telephone Walk-in

1-866-585-6486

Free mental health counselling by phone or video for children, youth, young adults and their families.

Children & Youth Bean Bag Chat

Online support and counselling for young adults (aged 16-29) and current George Brown College students (with no age restriction) in Toronto.

Children & Youth Skylark Telephone Walk-in

416-482-0081

Counselling and referrals for children, youth and their families.

Children & Youth Good2Talk

1-866-925-5454

Confidential support services for post-secondary students in Ontario provided by phone or text (GOOD2TALKON to 686868).

Children & Youth Strides Toronto

416-321-5464

Supports clients from the pre-natal stage to age 29 and their families who are currently or at risk of experiencing social, emotional, behavioural or adjustment difficulties or disorders.

Children & Youth COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub
Children & Youth Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario: COVID-19
Children & Youth Letters of support from kids like you during COVID-19
Children & Youth 13 ways to ease concerns about school during COVID-19
People with Disabilities Progress Place

416-323-0223

Support for people living with a mental illness. Find out which services are being offered virtually during COVID-19.

People with Disabilities Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT)

416-599-2458, ext. 291 or email peers@cilt.ca

Peer support for people with disabilities, including those parenting with a disability.

People with Disabilities CNIB

1-800-563-2642

Free virtual programs available to Toronto residents who are blind or partially sighted as well as their families, friends and caregivers.

People with Disabilities Looking after your mental health during COVID-19 (Council for Intellectual Disabilities)
People with Disabilities COVID-19 Resources for Adults with Disabilities
People with Disabilities COVID-19: Disability-Related Resources for Families
People with Disabilities What to do while in isolation: COVID-19 Resources for the Disability Sector
People with Disabilities COVID-19 and people with disabilities in Canada
People with Disabilities How to stay safe, well and connected: COVID-19 information for people with developmental disabilities
People Living with Mental Health Issues Progress Place

416-323-0223

Support for people living with a mental illness. Find out which services are being offered virtually during COVID-19.

People Living with Mental Health Issues Warm Line (Progress Place)

416-323-3721 (noon to 8 p.m.) or 416-960-9276 (8 p.m. to midnight)

Text: 647-557-5882 (8 p.m. to midnight)

Online chat (8 p.m. to midnight)

Confidential and anonymous service for adults (18+) who are feeling lonely, isolated, anxious, depressed or in need of a friendly ear. This is not a crisis service.

People Living with Mental Health Issues Gerstein Crisis Centre

416-929-5200

24-hour crisis services for adults 16+ in Toronto who are dealing with mental health, concurrent, or substance use issues.

People Living with Mental Health Issues Mood Disorders Association of Ontario

1-866-363-6663

Provides a telephone support line for people across Ontario, and their families, who are living with depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder.

People Living with Mental Health Issues Support Line – Institute for Advancements in Mental Health?

1-855-449-9949 or email support@iamentalhealth.ca

Supportive counseling, system navigation, information and education to caregivers, individuals living with chronic mental illness, and the community as a whole.

People Living with Mental Health Issues Sound Times

416-979-1700

Mental health and addiction services in downtown Toronto provided by people who have histories of mental and substance use issues.

People Living with Mental Health Issues The Access Point

416-640-1934 (Toll free 1-888-640-1934)

Mental health case managers and service navigators provide phone support, service navigation and resources for those experiencing mental health and addictions challenges.

People Living with Mental Health Issues Coping with anxiety and COVID-19
People Living with Mental Health Issues COVID -19 and Mental Health
People Living with Mental Health Issues Resources for Ontarians Experiencing Mental Health and Addictions Issues
People Living with Mental Health Issues COVID-19 Mental Health and Addiction Resources
People Who Use Substances Connex Ontario

1-866-531-2600

Free and confidential health services information for people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, mental illness or gambling over the phone.

People Who Use Substances Overdose Prevention Line

1-888-853-8352

Connect with a peer who can stay on the line with you as you use drugs.

People Who Use Substances Gerstein Crisis Centre

Provides 24, 7 support to people experiencing a crisis due to substance use or mental health issues.

People Who Use Substances The Access Point

416-640-1934 (Toll free 1-888-640-1934)

Mental health case managers and service navigators provide phone support, service navigation and resources for those experiencing mental health and addictions challenges.

People Who Use Substances Supervised Consumption Services Locations and Hours

Using supervised consumption services reduce drug overdoses. Services also provide sterile injection supplies, education on overdose prevention and intervention, health counselling services and referrals to drug treatment, housing, income support and other services.

People Who Use Substances Harm Reduction Supplies and Locations

COVID-19 has affected harm reduction services in Toronto. Please check with individual agency websites or call ahead. For example, the following harm reduction programs have modified services during COVID-19:

People Who Use Substances Coping with Stress, Anxiety and Substance Use During COVID-19
People Who Use Substances COVID-19 Mental Health and Addiction Resources
People Who Use Substances Harm Reduction Resources
People Who Use Substances Harm reduction during COVID-19 for Indigenous Peoples
Seniors & Older Adults Toronto Seniors HelpLine

416-217-2077

Point of access for seniors and caregivers to receive information as well as access to community, home, and crisis services. Web chat also available.

Seniors & Older Adults Seniors Safety Line

1-866-299-1011

Safety planning and supportive counseling for older adults who are being abused or at-risk of abuse. Family members and service providers can also call for information.

Seniors and Older Adults A Friendly Voice

1-855-892-9992

Empathetic support to seniors who may be feeling lonely or isolated by trained volunteers.

Seniors & Older Adults Student-Senior Isolation Prevention Partnership

Volunteer U of T medicine students (who speak many languages) are available to call seniors to prevent isolation and provide COVID-19 information. Family physicians who have vulnerable senior patients they believe are at risk of social isolation can contact monisha.persaud@mail.utoronto.ca

Seniors & Older Adults The Friendly Neighbour Hotline

1-855-581-9580

Uses volunteers to deliver groceries and other household essentials. Priority is for seniors living in low-income housing.

Seniors & Older Adults Seniors Supports in Toronto during COVID-19
People Affected By Eating Disorders or Body Image Sheena’s Place

416-927-8900

Supports individuals, families and friends affected by eating disorders to overcome barriers and provide effective, community-based services at all stages of recovery.

People Affected By Eating Disorders or Body Image National Eating Disorder Information Centre

416-340-4156

Provides information, resources, referrals and support to Canadians affected by eating disorders. Telephone and online support available.

Difficult times call for all of us to take care of one another whether you are a concerned friend, a caregiver or a healthcare worker.

Checking-in On Someone Who is Struggling

COVID-19 has changed all of our lives in significant ways. If you know someone who is struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.

The three steps below will guide you. If someone is so distressed that they pose a danger to themselves or others then call a crisis helpline or in emergencies call 911. Learn about how to help someone at risk of suicide.

Step 1 – Ask:

  • Tell the person what you have noticed about them that has been concerning. Just say what you see without making judgements or assumptions.
  • Ask the person whether they want to talk about their situation.
  • Example: “I’ve noticed … and I am concerned about you. Would you like to talk to me about anything?”
  • If the person does not want to talk or tells you that there is nothing wrong, then don’t force the conversation. You can say: “Okay. Just know that you can talk to me if you ever need to.”

Step 2 – Listen:

  • Don’t rush. Take the time to give the person an opportunity to talk about what’s important to them.
  • Use open-ended questions. For example: “What was that like for you?” or “How do you feel about that?”.
  • Show that you are listening not only to their words but their feeling as well. For example: “I can hear that the last few weeks have been really difficult for you”.
  • Normalize the person’s experience to lessen feelings of judgement. For example: “What you’re feeling is a totally normal response to a challenging situation”.

Step 3 – Support:

  • Ask the person if there is anything you can do to support them. Be realistic. Don’t agree to something that you are unable to do.
  • Help the person access any needed resources and services. However, don’t force them to use these supports.
  • Keep what they tell you private (if they are at risk of hurting themselves or others then call a crisis line or in an emergency 9-1-1).

Adapted from: Talking to someone you are worried about and Be there

Supporting Children & Youth

During COVID-19, children and youth may feel sad, stressed, confused or frustrated about the disruption and worry in their lives. All of these things are natural and common during this uncertain time.

Caregiver Mental Health

While caring for children, people with disabilities, or seniors it’s also important for caregivers to look after their own mental health.

The Ontario Caregiver Helpline provides caregivers with a one-stop resource for information and support. This service is available 24/7. Call 1-833-416-2273.

The Hospice Palliative Hotline responds to the emotional needs of people who are facing serious illness, including COVID-19, and end of life. They provide service to the person who is ill, their family and those who are grieving. This service is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Call 905-667-1865.

Other resources:

Healthcare Workers

During COVID-19 there have been increased demands on our healthcare system which has put healthcare workers under more intense pressure. There are a variety of supports for healthcare workers in Toronto:

  • Ontario Psychological Association: Over 300 psychologists in Ontario will provide care at no cost to frontline workers without or with limited coverage (excluding physicians) and their families during COVID-19. Call 211 Toronto to access this service.
  • Ontario COVID-19 Mental Health Network: A network of Ontario-based mental health professionals?dedicated to supporting frontline COVID-19 workers?through teletherapy.
  • ECHO Coping with COVID: Virtual sessions to share and learn about ways to build resilience and overall wellness through lectures and case-based discussions.
  • Workplace Strategies for Mental Health: Offers a virtual wellness program which includes videos to support stress reduction and deep relaxation. Designed by the University Health Networks for healthcare workers.
  • The Hospice Palliative Hotline: Provides consultation, education and resources to frontline workers supporting those who are palliative or diagnosed with COVID-19. This service is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Call 905-667-1865.

Download information about mental health support during COVID-19 as a PDF (also available in Amharic | Arabic | Bengali | Farsi | Gujarati | French | Pashto | Portuguese | Punjabi | Simplified Chinese | Somali | Spanish | Tamil | Urdu | Vietnamese)