7 May 2018

Skylark at MLSE Launchpad: An Innovative Approach to Accessible Counselling

Written by David Cho, Individual and Family Therapist at Skylark based at MLSE LaunchPad.

Skylark’s counsellors are integrated with life at MLSE LaunchPad.

Skylark is excited about our recent partnership with MLSE Launchpad! This partnership is an innovative way of engaging with the community, while promoting the connection between healthy bodies and healthy minds.

What is MLSE LaunchPad?

Located in Toronto’s urban centre of Moss Park, MLSE LaunchPad serves as an ambitious ‘living lab’ to explore and measure how sport can help improve the lives of youth. Their 42,000sq ft. space is an incubator for collaboration. In addition to sport programs developed by their team of expert coaches, they host expert partners who deliver best-in-class programming that supports their 4 Pillars: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready For School, and Ready For Work.

What is Skylark’s role at MLSE LaunchPad?

Skylark Children, Youth & Families has partnered with MLSE LaunchPad to provide mental health services in their hub, in order to help support their Healthy Mind pillar. Drop-in counselling is available twice a week (Tuesdays 3:30-7:30 pm, Fridays 1-5 pm). On-going counselling is another service that the community can access as well.

How has Skylark integrated themselves into MLSE LaunchPad and the community?

Skylark staff, known as Coach Shawnette and Coach Dave, can be found engaged in the daily fabric of MLSE LaunchPad life. When they are not in the Wellness room, they can be found on the rock climbing wall or on court or in the atrium, as well as other areas of MLSE LaunchPad engaging with children, youth, and families. By being an active participant in the life at MLSE LaunchPad, Skylark staff are able to establish strong relationships and meet the needs of those that access the space.

What have some people said about Skylark at MLSE LaunchPad?

“Skylark at MLSE LaunchPad is a brilliant partnership!”

“The drop-in hours, no fee, and referral policies make them very accessible to those that may experience stigma associated with the practice of counselling.”

“We’ve already benefited from their knowledge, assistance and sharing of best practices. Especially with some of our students suffering with different physical and emotional challenges. Their sensitivity with these students has been great; from just sitting and truly listening to playing one-on-one basketball with them.”

Where can you find Skylark staff at MLSE LaunchPad?

If you visit MLSE LaunchPad, please feel free to say hello to Coach Shawnette and Coach Dave in the Wellness room, and if we’re not there you might find us on the basketball court!

To learn more about Skylark’s partnership with MLSE LaunchPad visit this page