Subsidized Therapy/Counsellor Options for Women in Toronto

My Story

In 2018, I made a commitment to myself to prioritize my mental health. I know that I had experienced situations in my life that I hadn’t taken the time to fully process (or know how to), and therefore could not heal from them. I acknowledged that my inability to process my emotions, and thoroughly understand my thoughts and feelings was preventing me from the self-growth I wanted to achieve. So, I decided to find a licensed professional to help me be great.

The Facts

According to CAMH, 1 in 5 Canadians in any given year will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. Approximately 40% of the Canadian population will have or have had a mental illness by age 40. However, even with such a large amount of people experiencing these issues, only 51% of people actually raise these concerns with a doctor.

The Reality

Unfortunately, we still very much live in an age where mental illness is “taboo”. Mental health is not taken nearly as seriously as physical health. In many cultures, the cure for depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses is simply to get out more, go to your place or worship more often, make more friends, drink tea, etc. While those options can certainly help aid a person’s mental health issues, there are often cases where help and guidance from a licensed professional is required.

The problem? These options are E X P E N S I V E. With rates averaging at over $100/hr, therapists are extremely inaccessible for many people. The health benefit packages from work for many people do not cover the cost of mental health services/treatments (if their place of employment provides benefits at all). Even with some therapists offering “sliding scales” with lower rates based on patients’ wages, therapy can quickly become very costly and it’s easy to see why many people simply de-prioritize their mental health.

Options for Women in Toronto Seeking Therapy/Counselling

After a bit of research, I found 3 therapy options in Toronto that are subsidized (at the time of writing) and have generally great reviews. Please note that the below options all have wait lists ranging anywhere from 2 months to one year. We are not affiliated with any of the organizations. Please reach out to them directly for all inquiries.

1. Women’s College Hospital

This organization offers both group and individual psychotherapy programs for women. Their programs are best for women having difficulties with self-esteem, depression, aging, anger, discrimination/cultural adjustment, separation/divorce, anxiety, body image, parents, employment, sexual assault/abuse/harassment, employment, and more.

2. Women’s Help in Women’s Hands

This organization specializes in the health and wellness needs of racialized women and prioritizes those from African, Caribbean, Latin American and South Asian communities. Their overall goals of therapy are to improve support skills to enhance functioning, improve coping strategies, eliminate negative beliefs and perceptions, etc. They also run workshops including: art therapy, meditation, resistance and resilience, stress reduction, and anger awareness.

3: Parkdale Community Health 

This organization has two locations and their approaches to counselling include: harm reduction philosophy, trauma-informed, body-centered, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and more. They specialize in treating depression, anxiety, anger management, harm reduction, parenting issues, relationship or family difficulties, pre and post-partum mood adjustments, childhood and adult trauma or abuse.

I hope these options help! Comment below if you know of any additional subsidized therapy options for women in Toronto. Also, remember that there’s no shame in seeking a therapist or counsellor to help you work through your concerns and challenges! Championing your mental health is an act of self love <3

Listen to the episode of the #D6IXPodcast where I chat a bit more about these options and me taking my mental health more seriously here.

Source: CAMH “Fast Facts About Mental Health”, https://cmha.ca/about-cmha/fast-facts-about-mental-illness