Local partners remind youth that free walk-in counselling services
are available in Northumberland County, no referral required

Youth (7-18) walk-in counselling services are available, with in-person, virtual, and telephone options, thanks to a creative local partnership between two Northumberland-based mental health service providers.

The collaboration between Northumberland Hills Hospital’s Community Mental Health Services and Rebound Child & Youth Services launched in March 2019, expanding a popular adult walk-in service to also offer youth in Northumberland County free and accessible walk-in counselling.

To minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19, adult and youth walk-in services were shifted to virtual only through much of the pandemic. In-person counselling has resumed but, unfortunately, the participation of youth in the walk-in clinic option has not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Walk-in clinic partners are reminding area residents, particularly youth, that the walk-in counselling option is here to support all and is once again offering in-person, virtual, telephone support, and counselling sessions free of charge.

Accessed through a centralized telephone intake, the mental health walk-in clinic is physically located at Northumberland Hills Hospital’s Community Mental Health offices at 1011 Elgin Street West, Suite 200, Cobourg.

Call 905-377-7784 or find information about walk-in counselling services online at: mentalhealthwalkinclinic.ca and on the websites of Northumberland Hills Hospital (nhh.ca) and Rebound Child & Youth Services (rcys.ca).

The Youth Walk-In Counselling Clinic currently operates two days a week, with hours of operation as follows:
Tuesdays (8 AM – 4 PM) and
Thursdays (10 AM – 6 PM)

Youth and their family members seeking walk-in counselling services do not require a referral. Seen on a first-come, first-served basis, walk-in clients meet first with a community mental health staff member who will determine if they are a good fit for
walk-in support. Once confirmed, clients will receive a same-day individual counselling appointment (in-person, virtual or via telephone) with a counsellor from the mental health team at Northumberland Hills Hospital or Rebound Child & Youth Services. In the event that crisis and/or in-patient hospital support is required, or if additional referrals are needed, this will be coordinated.

There is no limit to the number of times local youth and their families may access the walk-in service. Longer-term counselling and group support are also available. Referrals for these services continue to be coordinated as appropriate.

Emma Taylor, Northumberland Hills Hospital’s Integrated Director for Mental Health, Community Programs and Services, confirmed that after more than three years of operation, the goals of the walk-in option for both youth and adults remain the same: “Wait times for care have decreased, and client access to treatment has increased as a result of the walk-in counselling option,” Taylor confirmed. “We continue to see a steady flow of adult counselling visits, but requests for walk-in support for youth have declined through the pandemic with the summer months proving to be particularly low this year. We know that the need exists, particularly during the summer, when supports that might be available through the school system are less available. We are calling on our community and community partners to help us raise awareness of the walk-in option for vulnerable youth both through the summer and into the school year. Through this unique and successful partnership, we have resources available to listen and help. We just need youth—or those who love them—to make that call.”

“Positive mental and emotional wellness is integral for people of all ages,” said Carol Beauchamp, Executive Director, Rebound Child & Youth Services. “The Youth Walk-in Counselling Clinic was designed to offer support in a timely and accessible manner. We are very pleased to be able to offer walk-in services in-person, virtually and by telephone – this truly emphasizes the rapid and accessible nature of our walk-in option. With mental health, timeliness is everything. Rebound is proud to provide free and timely counselling to children and youth in Northumberland County. The earlier we provide support, the more unlikely it is that situations will escalate.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: