Mental health affects us all – and has real impacts on our lives. At HWDSB, we are committed to supporting the mental health and well-being of all students and staff. We believe that this is much more than the absence of illness. We embrace Public Health Canada’s definition of positive mental health as:
“the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and social well-being that respects the importance of culture, equity, social justice, interconnections and personal dignity.”
Schools are an ideal place to help promote and support student mental health and well-being. Please explore our initiatives and supports below, and reach out if you have questions.
Get Help – Emergency
Mental health crisis outreach and support for all ages.
Crisis Line (905) 972-8338; coasthamilton.ca
Kids Help Phone
24/7 counselling and information service for young people.
Crisis Line 1-800-668-6868; kidshelpphone.ca
McMaster Children’s Hospital: Child and Youth Mental Health Emergency Services (CHYMES)
McMaster Located within the emergency department for youth age 17 and younger.
1200 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8N 3Z5
Get Help – Non-Emergency
- Children’s Aid Society – The CAS mandate is to protect children (age 18 and under) from physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. (905) 522-1121 (intake)
- Catholic Children’s Aid Society – The CCAS mandate is to protect children (age 18 and under) from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and neglect. (905) 525-2012 (intake)
- Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton (SACHA) – Crisis Line (905) 525-4162 sacha.ca
- Notre Dame House – An emergency shelter for homeless or street- involved youth age 16-21. (905) 308-8090
- Youth Reconnect – For youth age 13-19 at risk of homelessness or with a history of housing instability. 905-308-8090
- Your Family Doctor’s Office
- CONTACT Hamilton – Single access point for children and youth (age 18 and under) requiring service for social-emotional, behavioural, developmental and/or mental health needs. (905) 570-8888; www.contacthamilton.ca
- Youth Wellness Centre – Mental health and addiction programs and support available to individuals aged 17-25. Clients can self-refer. (905) 522-1155 x 31725 or email email@example.com ; stjoes.ca/hospital-services/mental-health-addiction-services/mental-healthservices/youth-wellness-centre38 James St S, Hamilton, ON L8P 4W6
- De dwa da dehs nye>s (Aboriginal Health Centre) – Provide mental wellness services that are culturally safe for all members of the urban community who self-identify as having Aboriginal ancestry. 678 Main Street East (905) 544-4320 https://aboriginalhealthcentre.com/
- Barrett Centre – Mental health crisis program that responds to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis but do not need hospitalization; supports individuals 16 and up. Crisis Line (905) 529-7878; goodshepherdcentres.ca/barrett-centre-for-crisis-support
- East Region Mental Health Services – Community mental health program available to individuals age 16 and over, located in the east end of Hamilton. Clients can self-refer. (905) 573-4801; stjoes.ca/hospital-services/mental-health-addiction-services/mentalhealth-services/east-region-mental-health-services-ermhs-
- Sexual Health Clinics provide many services including testing for sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy tests and birth control. There are four locations across Hamilton. To find the closest one to you visit, hamilton.ca/public-health/clinics-services/sexual-health-clinics or call the info line 905-528-5894
- Catholic Family Services – Various counselling, including walk-in and support programs available to the Hamilton community. (905) 527-3823; cfshw.com
- Youth Wellness Centre (age 17+) – Drop in counselling Wednesdays 1-5:30 p.m. at Child and Adolescent Services, 100 Main Street East, Suite 220. Ask for Peter from the Youth Wellness Centre at Reception on Thursdays 8:30-11:30 a.m. at 38 James St. S., Hamilton.
- Alternatives for Youth – Free substance abuse counselling available to youth age 12-22, as well as their families. (905) 527-4469; ay.on.ca
- Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line – Free service provided for youth by youth. 1 (800) 268-9688; youthline.ca
Didn’t find what you were looking for?
You can also browse the Red Book, a directory of community services. (905) 528-8127 or 211; www.informationhamilton.ca/redbook
HWDSB Helps is a free and anonymous way for students to find help for themselves and one another. Tips may relate to student mental health, bullying, substance use and more. When students, staff and families help promote a positive school environment, schools are safer and more welcoming places. The service receives anonymous messages and shares the report with staff who follow existing Board and school protocols. This is not a crisis line or counselling service.
Get help or share anonymous tips using…
Text to 905-963-0066. Standard rates apply.
The HWDSB Helps app for iOS and Android.
In case of emergency, call 911.
If you have questions, please contact your school’s principal.
Staff work hard to make schools safe, welcoming and accepting. Students may still be uncomfortable sharing concerns with adults. As part of We Help, students will learn how to recognize when someone is upset and how to find help.
Families may see We Help posters in HWDSB schools. We hope that families can help reinforce this work. If you have any questions or wish to learn more, please speak with your child’s teacher or principal.
We Help Posters
Letter to Families
Student Videos Tell us What Help Looks Like
What is We Help?
School Mental Health Assist – provincial implementation support team helping Ontario school boards promote student mental health and well-being.
Quick Facts for Parents about Mental Health – Ministry of Education overview for parents.
Cannabis: What Parents/Guardians and Caregivers Need to Know
Support After Tragic Events
Advice on Online Hoaxes