Rural families with children and youth in need of mental health services will soon have an easier time accessing help, as Front Door extends its services to several less-urban communities.

Front Door, a program created by Carizon and Lutherwood, now offers child and youth mental health services in North Dumfries, Wellesly, Wilmot and Woolwich.

"Families living in our in rural communities haven't had the same ability to access our services as easy as families living in our cities," said Lesley Barraball, director of children's mental health services at Carizon.

"It was really important for us to take our services closer to them where they live."

Because families may have to travel longer distances to access these services, the rural extension of Front Door won't operate as a walk-in counselling clinic like it does in more populated regional centres, but rural families can call to make an appointment instead.

Then, families can access outreach services at:

  • The North Dumfries Community Health Centre on Mondays
  • Wellesley Township Community Health Centre on Tuesdays
  • Interfaith Counselling Centre located in Wilmot on Thursday
  • Woolwich Counselling Centre on Thursdays

A growing need

Barraball said that there has been an increase in need of mental health services for children and youth over the last several years. Particularly for those living in rural areas.

"They can feel isolated when they are having a hard time, or they don't understand what's going on, or why they are experiencing the struggles that they are. And so it's really important that these services are accessible to them," she said.

Between 2015 and 2016, Front Door doubled its walk-in capacity from two days a week to four days, including Saturdays, in their Kitchener and Cambridge locations.

Families can access urban services:

  • Tuesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 35 Dickson St. in Cambridge.
  • Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 1770 King St. E. in Kitchener.
  • Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1145 Concession Rd. in Cambridge.
  • ​Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1770 King St. E. in Kitchener.