Resources and Support Services: Ontario

Crisis Lines/Mental Health Awareness

Crisis Text Line
www.crisistextline.ca
Text HOME to 686868 in Canada to text with a trained Crisis Responder. 


Every texter is connected with a Crisis Responder, a real-life human being trained to bring texters from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening and collaborative problem-solving. All of our Crisis Responders are volunteers, donating their time to helping people in crisis.

Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone is a service partnership between Kids Help Phone and U.S.-based crisis line and technology pioneer Crisis Text Line, providing young people in Canada with the first ever, 24/7, free nationwide texting service.

Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis, connecting people in crisis to trained Crisis Responders.

Progress Place Warm Line
Chat Online: www.warmline.ca
Text: (647) 557-5882
Call: (416) 960-WARM (9276)


The Warm Line is a confidential and anonymous service for adults living in the GTA and Peel Region in need of a friend with an empathetic ear. It is operated by peers who have experienced loneliness, isolation and anxiety. They are people who will really listen.
 
As partners in recovery, the Warm Line offers support 7 days a week from 8 pm to midnight, a time when most other community mental health services are closed.

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto
Chat Online: www.torontodistresscentre.com
Text: 45645
Call: (416) 408-4357

Our crisis and emotional distress services are available via hotline, online chat, and text. We also offer face-to-face individual as well as group support and counselling to those who have lost a loved one to suicide or homicide and are navigating the aftermath.

Central Intake
Email: cfi@toronto.ca
Call: (416) 338-4766

Centralized access system for homeless individuals and families requiring emergency shelter. Coordinated shelter placement with family shelters, assaulted women’s shelters, shelters for single women and single men, and youth 16 years and older. Comprehensive homelessness prevention strategies.

Access CAMH
Call: (416) 535-8501

With one phone call, Access CAMH can provide patients, families, friends and health care professionals with: 

  • General information about our services
  • Information regarding eligibility requirements and instructions on how to make a referral to CAMH
  • Support to self-refer for addictions services 
  • Family members and friends may contact Access CAMH if they are concerned about a loved one’s mental health or substance use

Access CAMH answers phone calls Monday – Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm. The line is closed weekends and statutory holidays. Interpreters are available to assist callers in their language of choice.


Income Assistance

Ontario Works
Call: (416) 338-8888

Ontario Works helps people who are in financial need. It offers two types of assistance:

  • Financial assistance, including:
    • income support to help with the costs of basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter
    • health benefits for clients and their families
  • Employment assistance to help clients find, prepare for and keep a job. This assistance may include:
    • workshops on resume writing and interviewing
    • job counselling
    • job-specific training
    • access to basic education, so clients can finish high school or improve their language skills

In most cases, a client must agree to participate in employment assistance activities in order to receive financial assistance.

Emergency assistance is also available to people who are in a crisis or an emergency situation (e.g. people who have lost their homes, are leaving an abusive relationship and/or are worried about their safety).

Ontario Disability Support Program
Call: (416) 338-8888

If you have a disability and need help with your living expenses, you may be eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

ODSP offers:

  • financial assistance to help you and your family with essential living expenses
  • benefits, for you and your family, including prescription drugs and vision care
  • help finding and keeping a job, and advancing your career

If you require immediate financial assistance, please contact your local Ontario Works office (you can also still apply for ODSP).

Types of support

ODSP offers two types of support:

Income support – Financial assistance provided each month to help with the costs of basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter. Income support also includes benefits, like drug coverage and vision care, for clients and their eligible family members.

Employment supports – Services and supports to help clients with disabilities find and keep a job, and advance their careers.


Food Banks

Daily Bread Food Bank
Call: (416) 203-0050

Serves downtown Toronto
How to Apply:
Call early morning for referral to local food bank

Services:

  • Food Assistance and Information and Referral Centre — referrals to local food banks and meal programs for persons in need of food
  • Information, referral, advocacy and crisis support related to income supports and government entitlements (such as Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program)
  • Community services related to housing, legal, mental health, abuse and other issues
  • Food Distribution and Coordination — collects, stores, distributes food to over 130 social service agencies
  • Supports food programs that provide meals or groceries to people in need across the Greater Toronto Area

North York Harvest Food Bank
Call: (416) 635-7771
Email: info@northyorkharvest.com

Locations:

The Oriole Community Food Space, located in the Oriole Community Centre at 2975 Don Mills Road West, is a multi-use community food space designed to build a healthy community through food. This centre offers a variety of programs, including: community kitchens, drop-in food bank hours, food skills workshops, gardening workshops, and farm trips.

The Oriole Community Food Space runs as a collaboration between North York Harvest Food Bank, Flemingdon Health Centre (Fairview Community Health) and Working Women Community Centre.

The Bathurst-Finch Community Food Space supports local individuals and families with food assistance and helps to create connections with other neighbourhood resources.

The program also works to foster community participation and action around food-related issues. As such, this centre can regularly host visiting agencies, deliver workshops, and run field trips for participants.

The Lawrence Heights Community Food Space is located at 81 Varna Drive, Toronto, ON M6A 2L8.  The program provides an on-site community food bank, community garden, as well as information and referral services to a wide range of community resources and supports, extending beyond food assistance.