Home > News

News | 5th February 2019

Male Survivors 3-Day Retreat

You are not alone.  Begin to heal with other male survivors of sexual abuse in a safe and confidential space.

For more information or to register, call Diana at (807) 684-1878.


News | 5th September 2018

Community Mentors Wanted to Help Get Youth at Risk on the Right Path

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 – Thunder Bay Counselling announced today it needs volunteer mentors to help positively change the lives of young people. Twenty-five people are urgently needed to be mentors to youth for their upcoming CHOICES program.

The CHOICES program is designed specifically to provide youth aged 12-17 with healthy coping strategies. Mentors participate once a week for ten weeks, supporting youth in a group setting to think and act positively, and feel more confident to choose the right direction in life. Programs are offered in both school and community settings. Most importantly, it provides youth with an opportunity to talk openly about their concerns and worries in a safe environment.

People of diverse backgrounds, cultures, ages, sexual orientation, gender identities are wanted to talk about and explore issues such as: self-respect, goal setting, decision-making, relationships and social media.

“We cannot run the CHOICES program without volunteer mentors,” says Pia Heikkinen, CHOICES Coordinator. “We are looking for people from all walks of life who can give their time to our community’s youth for a few hours during the day or in the evening. It’s amazing to see how inspired the youth are after attending these sessions and how proud they are when they graduate the program.”

CHOICES programs will run during the following time periods:

  • Tuesdays, October 2nd – December 4th: 10:30 am – 1:00 pm (School Program)
  • Wednesdays, October 3rd – December 5th: 10:30 am – 1:00 pm (School Program)
  • Thursdays, October 4th – December 6th: 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm (Community Program)

CHOICES program mentors are provided with mandatory orientation and training prior to the program start. Volunteer mentors must be 19 years of age or older and be able to attend the one-day training Saturday, September 22nd, 9 am to 5 pm.

To apply today or for more information visit:

News | 16th August 2018

Training Opportunities now Open!

safeTALK Training
February 28, 2019
6:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Thunder Bay Counselling
$40 per person

safeTALK is an alertness training that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to become a suicide-alert helper.  Through words and actions, most people with thoughts of suicide invite help to stay alive.


Governance Training Session
Wednesdays – in October, November, January, March, May
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Insight on Memorial (594 Memorial Avenue)
Presented by: Diane Walker, MSW, RSW, PhD
Single Session: $75 per person
Full Series: $300 per person

  1. October 10, 2018 – Orientation to Good Governance (Principles of Good Governance – Quality = Outcomes, Authority, Accountability)
  2. November 21, 2018 – Governance – Policy in Action (Monitoring and Managing Organizational Performance, CEO Board Relationship, CEO Performance Reviews, Board Performance)
  3. January 16, 2019 – Governance and the Strategic Plan – (balancing outcomes with strategy in the pursuit of sustainable excellence)
  4. March 20, 2019 – Governing for Quality Services – (How to govern for quality without getting into operations )
  5. May 8, 2019 – Risk Governance – (protecting and sustaining organizational capacity in both governance and operations)


News | 9th July 2018

United Way’s 26th Annual Great Billboard Rescue

Thunder Bay Counselling was thrilled to once again participate in the United Way’s Annual Great Billboard Rescue on May 17th 2018. This year’s event raised $90,000 that will help to fund programs and services at 30 local agencies. Many thanks to our supporters and everyone who donated to the Great Billboard Rescue. Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated!


News | 18th June 2018

AffordAbility Fund Program

The power of energy efficiency to ease the burden of electricity bills:

Thunder Bay Hydro announces AffordAbility Fund Program to bring energy savings to homes and produce lasting benefits

THUNDER BAY, ON, JUNE 15, 2018 – Today, Thunder Bay Hydro introduced the new AffordAbility Fund Program in Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario. The utility has partnered with local community services to deliver the program that is designed to alleviate electricity bill costs for residents and families with moderate incomes.

Those who qualify for assistance through the Fund will receive free energy saving upgrades to their home that will make it more energy efficient and help reduce their electricity bills for the long-term. Upgrades include a Home Energy Kit with products which may include ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs, power bar, faucet aerator, along with energy-saving tips, while customers demonstrating a greater need, could qualify for equipment such as new appliances, programmable thermostats, and building insulation.

“Thunder Bay Hydro is committed to expand our thinking about how energy efficiency can be deployed and increase residential home energy efficiency. The AffordAbility Fund Program is about increasing support and ensuring opportunities are available for our customers to save on their electricity bills through energy efficiency,” says Tim Wilson, Thunder Bay Hydro, VP Customer & Information Services. “When you save energy you save money, and you may see the comfort, health, and value of your home increase.”

Thunder Bay Hydro has partnered with local community services to ensure that all eligible customers are benefiting from this important program and savings continue into the future. Community partner, Thunder Bay Counselling, will help get the word out about the program and will support those that sign up for the initiative through its Financial Counselling Program. “Our financial counselling can provide residents with further supports and tools to increase savings and equip residents with the knowledge to see lasting benefits and improve their financial well-being,” explains Sheri Fata, Manager of Education and Support Services, Thunder Bay Counselling. “Energy efficiency is a great resource. It delivers many societal benefits such as energy savings, improved health and safety, community revitalization and enhanced energy reliability.”

Whether residents rent or own, or live in a house or an apartment, they can be eligible for the AffordAbility Fund Program. The level that they qualify for depends on net income and average energy bill. Those that are eligible for the AffordAbility Fund Program do not have to pay for the upgrades or installation with the program offered free of charge.

“Older households lack adequate insulation and usually have dated and less energy efficient appliances. Small changes through the AffordAbility Fund Program can make a big difference. A program like this can be really transformative for a community. The AffordAbility Fund Program provides vital support for people that need it the most,” continues Wilson.

To apply for the AffordAbility Fund Program, visit or call 1-855-494-FUND. Those that start the process will be asked to answer a quick questionnaire.

The AffordAbility Fund Program will also be offered in Atikokan, Fort Frances, Kenora and Sioux Lookout. Information sessions with potential community partners will be held in the communities between June 18th and June 20th.

News | 24th November 2017

Resolute’s Thunder Bay Mill Donates $5,000 to Thunder Bay Counselling Centre

Accepting check

(From left to right: Sarah Hakala, Kevin Moriarty, John Cole and Peter Giardetti – Resolute; Nancy Chamberlain – Thunder Bay Counselling Centre)


On October 17th, 2017, members of Resolute Forest Products’ Thunder Bay Management team and Joint Health and Safety Committee presented a $5,000 donation to Thunder Bay Counselling Centre Executive Director, Nancy Chamberlain.

Through the company’s Board of Directors Safety Award program, Resolute can earn $5,000 to add to annual community contributions for every 250,000 hours worked without a recordable injury. The Thunder Bay mill employees worked for over 250,000 consecutive hours injury-free, achieving an important safety milestone and earning $5,000 to donate to the organization of their choice. The Joint Health and Safety Committee reached out to Thunder Bay Counselling to offer support for its local programs.

In 2016, Resolute donated nearly $190,000 to charitable and community organizations chosen by employees, who contributed to the company’s outstanding safety performance.

Thunder Bay Counselling is the leading provider of counselling, education and support services in the Thunder Bay area, offering both personal and workplace support services to help people make positive changes in their lives.

News | 30th October 2017

Expression of Interest

Child Protection Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is intended to improve the outcomes for children and their families who are, or may become, in need of protection, and their families, by offering a strength-based, inclusive and collaborative approach to resolve child protection issues or disputes.

Thunder Bay Counselling currently provides two methods of Child Protection ADR: Child Protection Mediation and Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) (also known as Family Group Conferencing (FGC)) in the Districts of Kenora-Rainy River, Thunder Bay, Algoma, and Sudbury-Manitoulin.

We are seeking Expressions of Interest from qualified professionals interested in receiving training to become FGDM/FGC Coordinators to provide service in Thunder Bay and Kenora-Rainy-RiverDistricts. Applicants must participate in all aspects of the training, and a subsequent mentorship, to be eligible to be placed on the provincial rosterwhich is a requirement to become a coordinator.

Training will be conducted over the course of three consecutive days in Thunder Bay and/or Kenora-Rainy River in the fall/winter of 2017/2018. Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • A post-secondary educational qualification in human services from an accredited college or university;
  • A minimum of five (5) years’ experience and demonstrated ability in working with families and children;
  • Registration (or eligible for registration) with the college or regulatory body governing their profession where applicable;
  • An understanding of or experience interfacing with the child protection system in order to sufficiently inform families about how the system functions;
  • An understanding of domestic violence risk assessment and management and/or experience with domestic violence dynamics and best practice;
  • Knowledge and experience working with marginalized populations;
  • Experience in facilitating large groups and creating an environment of trust, collaboration, and safety;
  • Ability to be flexible and adjust to changing, challenging environments;
  • Willingness and ability to work flexible hours including daytime, evenings, and weekends to maintain service delivery;
  • Strong organizational competency and self-directive abilities;
  • Proficient in use of personal computers, with practical experience in current software applications, including Microsoft Office and client management systems
  • Strong written and oral communication skills; and
  • Commitment to continuing personal and professional development.

We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds representative of the diversity of the population of Northern Ontario to apply. Cost of the training and materials is $600; subsidies may be available to support the training.

Upon completion of the FGDM/FGC Coordinator training, prospective coordinator (PC) applicants are eligible to apply for mentorship. Goals and objectives of mentorship are to:

  • Assist the PC in developing a comprehensive understanding of the entire FGC/FGDM process;
  • Provide the PC with opportunities to observe a diverse range of FGDM/FGC processes, working towards independent coordination;
  • Allow the PC to successfully integrate and apply the guiding FGC/FGDM principles and philosophy into all aspects of their practice;
  • To provide support, consultation and/or supervision to the PC; and
  • To observe and interact with the PC so that an informed judgement can be made about the PC’s ability to coordinate the FGDM/FGC process independently

Mentorship is successfully completed with a recommendation form and letter from the mentor to the FGC Provincial Resource office indicating that the mentee has acquired the necessary skills and experiences, and is deemed capable of coordinating conferences independently. Mentees cannot coordinate conferences independently until mentorship is completed and they are registered on the FGC Provincial Roster of Coordinators.

Completion of training and mentorship, as well as placement on the FGC Provincial Roster, does not guarantee future contracts or employment. Child Protection ADR is a voluntary service in the Province of Ontario. As such, programs are subject to fluctuating demand and need for service providers.

Thunder Bay Counselling is interested in securing contracts with trained and rostered individuals in Thunder Bay and Kenora-Rainy River District to provide services on a fee for service basis.

If you are interested in participating in the FGDM/FGC training, please forward the completed attached Expression of Interest Form along with your current resume electronically, by Friday November 17, 2017 to Sheri Fata at Additional information regarding FGDM/FGC training and the rosters can be found at:

Please note:  Your submission will be acknowledged by email.  If you do not receive a response to your submission, please contact Sheri Fata at (807) 684-1880.

Expression of Interest Document

News | 19th September 2017

Thunder Bay Counselling Leads Community Strategy to Reduce Poverty

Thunder Bay, Ontario; September 19, 2017: – Thunder Bay Counselling is taking a lead role in partnership with the Lakehead Social Planning Council to address the priorities of the Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy for Thunder Bay residents. With support from Prosper Canada and funding from the Ontario government, Thunder Bay Counselling and the Lakehead Social Planning Council will now be offering expanded and free financial counselling services to improve the wealth of individuals and families living in Thunder Bay.

Full Release

News | 19th July 2017

We’re getting a facelift!

Thunder Bay Counselling will be undergoing some minor renovations between July 24 and August 4.  During this time, it will be business as usual, although there may be temporary interruptions to phone and fax services.  Thank you for your patience.

News | 1st June 2017

Thunder Bay Counselling takes a look back to celebrate the future


Thunder Bay Counselling takes a look back to celebrate the future:

Commemorates the evolution of counselling services in Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay, ON, June 1st, 2017 – Today, Thunder Bay Counselling Centre welcomed past and present staff, volunteers, board members and the community to join the organization in celebrating 50 years in Thunder Bay. Several events were held throughout the day to commemorate the milestone and the evolution of counselling services in the community. Attendees took a journey into the past to present day through themed historical era rooms at the centre, which included speakers and interactive displays. Keynote speakers also shared stories of their involvement with the centre from early beginnings to new programming.

“To celebrate today, it is important for our team and the community to reflect on the past. We are very excited to be celebrating our 50th year of service. Thunder Bay Counselling has evolved tremendously throughout the years, assisting almost 100,000 people. We have provided timely access to mental health services that touch the lives of men, women, children, youth, families and couples;” says Thunder Bay Counselling, Executive Director, Nancy Chamberlain. “People over the years have reported that they feel heard when they talk to our counsellors; They feel safer, are more aware of their options and find positive ways of coping and most importantly, they have hope.  There is no doubt that Thunder Bay Counselling has had a positive impact on the lives of the people in the community.”

Thunder Bay Counselling started out with very humble beginnings.  Back in 1967, a group of dedicated individuals identified an unmet need in the local community and incorporated the Lakehead Family Service Agency. “Despite some tough times that nearly resulted in the organization closing at one point, our dedicated staff and volunteers were able to persevere.  Over the years, Thunder Bay Counselling responded to the needs of our diverse community and introduced new programs and services to meet those ever-changing needs;” explains Thunder Bay Counselling Board Chair, Nelson Sidorski.

The organization currently serves more than 5,000 clients every year in Thunder Bay and across Northwestern Ontario. Services are provided in Addiction & Mental Health, Budget & Debt Management, Child & Youth, Counselling, Education & Training and Employee Assistance.

79-year-old Armand Danis was President of the board for the organization in 1973. Today he expressed appreciation to Thunder Bay Counselling. “I have so much gratitude for everyone involved. This organization has been crucial in our community, ensuring that people are aware of support and counselling services that are available. I truly admire what the organization is doing and believe counselling has very positive outcomes. You are providing people with tools that will change their lives forever. Thunder Bay Counselling has made Thunder Bay a better place.”


Media Contact:

Amanda Bay
Firedog Communications
T- (807) 767-4443 Ext 223