Youth Mental Health


The Thunder Bay District Health Unit supports mental health in a variety of ways across our programs. We do not, however, provide acute crisis or mental health services or counselling. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis:

  • Call 911
  • Visit your nearest emergency department
  • Call Crisis Response
    • Thunder Bay: 807-346-8282
    • Thunder Bay District: 1-866-888-8988

To find out where you can access counselling support and treatment for mental health concerns:


People can’t simply be described as “happy” or “sad." Just as with physical health, there is a range of positive and negative factors on the mental health scale that change and can affect our mental well-being every day.

Youth are more susceptible to these changes for a variety of reasons. Creating a positive environment for our youth – in our classrooms, at home and in the community – is important to support their mental and emotional well-being. This can be done in a number of ways including but not limited to promoting healthy living (eating well, exercising and getting lots of sleep), promoting positive coping skills for dealing with stress, and reducing the stigma of mental illness so that everyone, especially youth, are more likely to seek help when needed. Although these steps do not guarantee good mental health (just as an apple a day won’t always keep the doctor away), they certainly can help improve it.

The numbers show why it is so important to promote mental health in our youth. Suicide is the leading cause of death in young people age 15-24. LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, and rates are six to seven times higher than average in the Indigenous population.

But suicide is just part of the story. Mental health challenges in general affect an estimated 1 in 5 of youth, though that number may be much higher. Peer pressure, sexuality, gender identity, home life, stress and anxiety around school, friends and relationships, low self-esteem and a changing sense of self can all trigger or intensify symptoms. Despite this, fewer than 25% of those with mental health challenges receive specialized treatment.

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit works with community and other partners to raise awareness and develop programming that aims to support youth and promote positive mental health and well-being.

For more information, resources and services available, see below or visit Mental Health Support.


Mental Health Resources for Youth

Walk-in Counselling

Our Kids Count

  • Free counselling for adults, youth, and children either through walk-in or appointment
  • Walk-in counselling closed until further notice. Call (807) 345-7323 for other counselling options

Thunder Bay Counselling & The Children's Centre Thunder Bay

  • Talk-in counselling (first come first serve basis) offered Monday to Friday. Visit the Thunder Bay Counselling or Children's Centre Thunder Bay websites for schedules
  • Main line: (807) 700-0090

Dilico Anishinabek Family Care

  • Walk-in counselling available in Thunder Bay, Tuesdays 1pm to 7pm. (See 'Supports and Services in the District' for district clinic information)
  • (807) 624-5818

Locally Operated Support Programs

The Children’s Centre Thunder Bay

  • Provides a wide range of services related to child development needs, speech & language, parenting, and mental health. In partnership with Thunder Bay Counselling, they offer single-session counselling services. 
  • They are accepting referrals and are expanding service options to include face-to-face where physical distancing can be maintained. 
  • Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • (807) 343-5000

Canadian Mental Health Association Thunder Bay

  • First Place
    • Treatment for people (aged 14-35) who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis (referral needed)
    • (807) 345-0060
  • New Foundations
    • Day program for people with mental health concerns over 16 years old to work through recovery. In house activities suspended until further notice. Members will have access to their caseworkers during regular hours.
    • (807) 345-5564

Dilico Anishinabek Family Care

  • Children and youth mental health services available through Dilico with referral

Youth Inclusion Program

  • Group programming for one-on-one support for youth aged 12 to 24 that supports youth with personal development, skill building, guidance, and with recreational activities and outings. Currently not accepting new referrals due to COVID-19. Youth Navigators are providing virtual support to their clients.
  • Located at: 97K Limbrick Street AND at 288 Windsor Street, Unit 16

Online/Over the Phone Support

Kids Help Phone

  • Confidential crisis support and professional counselling for youth up to 20 years old offered 24/7
  • Call: 1-800-668-6868
  • Text: CONNECT to 686868


  • Confidential crisis support and professional counselling for post-secondary students (ages 17-25) offered 24/7
  • Call: 1-866-925-5454
  • Text: GOODTOTALKON to 686868

Big White Wall

  • Online mental health and wellbeing service that allows you to express your feelings and connect with others in a safe and secure online space. Resources and self-assessments available. Accessible 24/7 
  • Moderated by trained practitioners

Bounce Back Ontario

  • Skill-building program delivered through a variety of videos and over the phone coaching to help manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress, and worry.


  • Confidential online or text peer support for LGBTTQQ2SI youth Sunday to Friday from 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Text: (647) 694-4275
  • Live chat on website


Counselling for Post-Secondary Students

Lakehead Student Health and Counselling

  • Free counselling services to full- and part-time students at Lakehead University (must book appointment)
  • (807) 343-8361

Confederation College Counselling

  • Free counselling services (including personal counselling, career exploration, and academic issues and academic dispute resolution support) to students of Confederation College
  • (807) 475-6618 or Toll-Free: 1-833-330-1550
Last Updated: