Seven Community Service Agencies Announce First-Year Results of Collaborative Mental Health Initiative for Thunder Bay and District

Thunder Bay, ON, May 4, 2023 – As Mental Health Week in Canada comes to an end, seven local community service agencies are announcing the first-year results of their new collaboration to provide improved mental health care across the region.

Seven agencies came together to identify free walk-in and/or talk-in counselling services being offered across the city and district. The result was a collaborative initiative to ensure free clinics were available at diverse locations throughout the community, with services offered in French, Cree, and Oji-Cree. Community demand to the walk-in/talk-in counselling services has surpassed expectations and since May 2022, the agencies have collectively met with over 1,500 individuals.

Says CEO of Thunder Bay Counselling, Nancy Chamberlain; “It’s crucial for individuals and families to have free, same-day access to mental health care and resources when they need it most. Many individuals who attended the clinics shared that they would have otherwise gone to an Emergency Room or had nowhere else to turn for help during a mental health crisis.”

From January 1 to March 3, 2023 alone, the agencies collectively met with over 400 individuals who were seeking mental health support through Walk-In/Talk-In Counselling clinics for issues such as anxiety, stress, parenting concerns, and adult relationship concerns.

Key results from 2022-2023 include:

  • Walk-In/Talk-In Counselling clinics are free and available across Thunder Bay & District.
  • Services are available 5 days a week, from 9am to 4pm, with some clinics open as late as 8pm.
  • 418 individuals were supported between January 1 – March 31, 2023.
  • 90.5% of individuals were supported through face-to-face clinics.
  • 9.5% of individuals received services through phone or virtual clinics.
  • 12% of individuals served were aged 60+
  • 72% of individuals served were aged 19-59
  • 16% of individuals served were aged 0-18

Top presenting concerns included: addictions, anxiety, stress, parenting concerns, and adult relationship issues.

The seven participating partner agencies involved in the mental health initiative are:

  • Alpha Court
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Children’s Centre Thunder Bay
  • Dilico Anishinabek Family Care
  • North of Superior Programs
  • Our Kids Count
  • Thunder Bay Counselling

Diane Walker, CEO of Children’s Centre Thunder Bay says; “We’re grateful to our partners who have helped make this service model collaboration so successful. Our priority is to remove barriers and continually improve our collaborative model to get more services, in more places, to more people at the community-level. In conjunction with Mental Health Week, we’re pleased to shine a spotlight on this community mental health initiative and its positive community impact.”

For more information, visit any one of the participating agencies listed above.