Written by Chantelle Brown-Kent, Intake Coordinator & Individual and Family Therapist at Skylark.
Skylark operates two walk-in clinics offering free counselling for children and youth.
What is a walk-in clinic and who can come?
A walk-in clinic is a drop in service that offers free therapy sessions to youth and caregivers on a first come first serve basis. At our Uptown location (Yonge and Eglinton) we can see young people aged 12 to 26th birthday and at our Downtown location (Church and Wellesley) we meet with folks from birth to 26th birthday. We ask that you attend at least ninety minutes prior to our closing time. At a walk-in session you can feel free to speak about anything that is important to you as no problem is too big or too small.
What is the walk-in space like?
Our walk-in spaces are designed by youth for youth. We have fidget toys, snacks, safer sex kits, menstruation kits and colouring books available for you while you wait. The walk-in space is also physically barrier-free and a safe space for individuals from all sexual orientations, gender identities, ethnocultural and racial communities.
Who do you meet with at the walk-in clinic?
At each location you will be greeted by our friendly reception and introduced to an expertly trained therapist. The therapist will work with you to increase your understanding of the problems impacting you and help you begin working towards overcoming these challenges. You are welcome to bring a friend, family member or partner with you to the walk-in clinic to support you before, during or after your walk-in session.
What is a session like?
Walk-in sessions typically may last forty-five minutes to an hour. The therapy session is for you to talk about anything bothering you or that you are unsure about. You can also explore sadness, your goals, and worries about what to do next in life, as well as if you are having difficulty getting out of bed, having trouble completing homework or even having big emotions you find challenging to contain. A walk-in session can make a big difference after just one visit. And it may take a few visits. In any case, the therapist will go through the journey right alongside you.
A therapist will not tell anyone what is shared in the session. However, in cases where our young people are at risk of being physically, sexually and/or emotionally harmed, or there’s an imminent danger to individuals or property, Skylark Children, Youth & Families is obligated by law to inform the right people to make sure you’re safe.
What help is available?
Walk-in can be used more than once if necessary and the therapist can connect youth with other important resources such as case management, housing, financial assistance and other service providers. The walk-in clinic is the gateway to Skylark’s longer term counselling and other services and after approximately three visits, young people can be placed on the waitlist for ongoing services if needed.
To learn more about Skylark’s walk-in clinics visit this page
Skylark’s YouthCan Impact Walk-in Clinic is located at 40 Orchard View Blvd, Unit 102 (lower level) near Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave.
Skylark’s ‘what’s up’ Walk-in Clinic is located at 65 Wellesley Street E., Unit 500 near Church St. and Wellesley