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Compass News

June 2021: A Time to Pause and Reflect

June 30, 2021

As the month of June comes to an end, we celebrated diversity, equity and inclusion. We acknowledged colonialism as settlers and sat in circle with First Nations, Inuit and Metis neighbours on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. We raised the Pride flag – a rainbow of colours now including black and brown stripes, in solidarity with the 2slgtq+ communities.

June has also been a month deeply impacted by unspeakable and brutal acts of racism, intolerance and hate resulting in meticulously targeted deaths. We also mourned the lives of children found at former residential schools across Canada. These acts are a reminder of the work still left to be done to create a world where everyone has the same equal opportunity.

The road to achieve equality is hard but we must be willing to see, bear witness, listen, learn and most importantly act to deconstruct what is, to create what must be.

Together we can make a difference!

Compass News

Strategic Plan for 2021-2025

June 29, 2021

Compass is excited to announce the launch of our new Strategic Plan for 2021-2025!

The new plan is titled “Collaborate – Discover – Support” –  three key words that reflect not only the objectives that we will be working towards, but also the essence of the culture we as an organization willaspire to achieve over the course of this plan.

We would like to thank the youth, caregivers, community partners, staff and board members who were instrumental in shaping the future of Compass.

Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium

2021 Provincial Priorities Report (PPR), Better Together: Strengthening the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions System for Children, Youth and their Families

June 29, 2021

The Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium (LAC) has released its 2021 Provincial Priorities Report (PPR), Better Together: Strengthening the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions System for Children, Youth and their Families.

COVID-19 has amplified long-standing issues as mental health needs are becoming greater, more serious and more complex. The system struggled to keep up with demand before the pandemic, and now these challenges have been both unearthed and exacerbated.

The report highlights the importance of continuing to make progress on the four provincial priorities of the LAC in child and youth mental health. Better Together is about tangible, systems level quality improvements that can be led and advanced by the sector that will improve services and outcomes.

Together, we have solutions to ensure children, youth and families can access high quality care.

Compass News

Residential Schools in Canada

June 29, 2021

We mourn the discovery of a mass grave of 215 children found at a former residential school in Kamloops British Columbia and the most recent discovery of an additional 751 children in unmarked graves near the Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.   We want to further acknowledge the findings of the 104 children found in Brandon, Manitoba, 38 children in Regina Saskatchewan, and 35 in Lestock, Saskatchewan.  This is a stark reminder of the dark realities that Indigenous people endured in Canada’s attempts to assimilate the Indigenous people of the lands.   The cultural genocide inflicted by Canada’s residential school system and the resulting intergenerational trauma experienced by residential school survivors and their families have left its mark to this day. The enactment of the ‘Indian Act’ and to ‘Kill [ ] the Indian in the Child’ declaration from John A Macdonald resulted in the horrific reality of innocent lives lost.

The first residential school opened in 1831 at the Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ontario, and last one to close was Gordon Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan in 1996. It is estimated that approximately 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were separated from their families, and forced to attend these schools, where at least one in every 50 of these students died.

We must acknowledge what this country, we call Canada, has done to the Indigenous people and how will we grasp hold of this truth and act to ensure it never happens again and look to the Indigenous people as partners in healing and reconciliation.


Linda Dugas                                                                                   Iva McNair

Executive Director                                                                       Board President

Compass News

National Indigenous People’s Day

June 22, 2021

Today is National Indigenous People’s Day.

National Indigenous People’s Day was proclaimed on June 21, 1996. This day is the official day of celebration to recognize and honour the heritage, cultures and valuable contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis People in Canada. June 21 is also the day of summer solstice and the longest day of the year and has important symbolism for many Indigenous people.

Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium

Lead Agency Consortium Applauds Annualized Funding to Deliver Province-wide Virtual Walk-in Counselling

June 1, 2021

(June 1, 2021 TORONTO, ON): Children and Youth Mental Health Lead Agency Consortium (LAC) co-chairs Karen Ingebrigtson and Linda Dugas, applaud the Government of Ontario for its announcement today of annualized funding to support the delivery of province-wide virtual walk-in mental health counselling for children, youth and families.

For the past five months, members of the LAC, led by Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) and Strides Toronto, have been moving forward with launching a province-wide model to deliver virtual counselling services to children, youth and families. The provincial program, planned to launch in 2021, will offer rapid access virtual walk-in counselling, plus an entryway into ongoing mental health services.

“During the pandemic, children, youth and families responded favorably to connecting virtually with clinicians and mental health services. For many families —in particular, those living in remote and underserved regions of Ontario— virtual access to mental health services eliminates the burden of travel and wait times while enhancing service levels,” said LAC cochairs Ingebrigtson and Dugas.

Strides Toronto CEO Janet McCrimmon and HDGH President & CEO Janice Kaffer added, “The pandemic revealed the child and youth mental health sector’s ability to pivot quickly and to tailor our services to support virtual connections with youth and families. The children, youth and families we serve will benefit immeasurably from the availability of one-number, virtual access to mental health counselling —regardless of where they live in Ontario.”

Given the funding announced will be annualized, LAC will redouble its efforts to implement a new innovative and connected virtual walk-in counselling program, affirming the pledge of Ontario’s child and youth mental health service providers to meet clients and families in a manner best for them.


For more information, please contact LAC executive director Patrick Dion,, 613.297.4028

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I need help now…

If you or someone you know is in crisis or feeling overwhelmed, please contact Crisis Intervention Services – Health Sciences North. 24 hour hotline—365 days/year 1.877.841.1101

I need someone to talk to…

MINDSPACE offers mental health services without an appointment for children and youth under 18.