Resources for Children and Youth Services

General Information and Forms

Family Resources:

  • Muskoka Family Network – A network for families and friends touched by a disability to come together. It is all about connecting with other families.
  • Fem’aide – A provincial helpline for Francophone women dealing with violence.

Child and Youth Mental Health

Resources to support Child and Youth Mental Health:

  • Mental Health Crisis Line for Children and Youth – 1.844.287.9072 (Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across Muskoka, Nipissing and Parry Sound).
  • Kids Help Phone – 1.800.668.6868. (For children and youth between the ages of 5 and 20. Provides professional counseling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being. Phone and online via web post or live chat Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Free, anonymous and confidential).
  • Good2Talk – 1.866.925.5454 (For people between the ages of 17-25; post-secondary students in Ontario. Provides professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being. Free, confidential and anonymous helpline. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Ontario Distress Centres (All ages – A free telephone help-line for people experiencing emotional distress (including suicide). Provide listening and referral services primarily through highly trained volunteers. Most centres are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Ontario Autism Program

Resources to support families as part of the North East Ontario Autism Program (NE OAP):

Please complete and return both of the forms below to start the referral process:

Autism Walk-In Clinics schedule: 

First Tuesday of every month from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (last walk-in at 5:30 pm):

  • Walk-in to Hands
    391 Oak Street East, North Bay
  • Or, call Hands to book your virtual visit.

Third Tuesday of every month from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (last walk-in at 5:30 pm):

  • Walk-in to Hands
    2 May Street, Parry Sound
  • Or, call Hands to book your virtual visit.

Virtual Autism Walk-In Clinics: 

Available the first and third Tuesday of every month from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm for families across North Eastern Ontario. To make arrangements for a same-day virtual session, parents may call Hands at 1.800.668.8555 ext. 3200, starting at 9:00 am the morning of each Clinic.

Note: Hands’ Walk-In Clinics are not a crisis or emergency service. If you experiencing a crisis, please contact the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1.844.287.9072 or visit your nearest health centre.

Tip sheets are brief summaries of information that can be provided to help families understand a variety of themes that are relevant to their child/youth’s development or Family Service Plan.

Tip sheets that are available for distribution are:

NOTE: Change to application deadline for Autism Enhanced Special Activities Funding. If you have not yet applied for Special Activities Funding this fiscal year, please do so before February 15, 2019. Applications received after this date, or people applying for the second time this year, will not be approved until April 1st, 2019. For more information, please contact Paula Hampton, Enhanced Respite Coordinator at 1-800-668-8555 ext. 1333 or by email at [email protected].

At Hands, we understand that parents and caregivers may worry if their toddler/preschooler has some form of developmental delay.

The following “red flags” may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child shows any of the following signs, please speak with Hands, your pediatrician or family doctor as soon as possible:

  • Not responding to sounds, voices, or name
  • Poor eye contact
  • No social smiling by 6 months
  • Unusual attachment to or use of toys/objects
  • Not showing items or sharing interests
  • No babbling, pointing, meaningful gestures by 12 months
  • Any loss of speech or social skills
  • No two-word phrases by 24 months
  • No use of single words by 16 months

Hands’ School Support Program – Autism Spectrum Disorder offers:

  • Support for school board staff to build skills and increase knowledge to help students with Autism (recommended strategies are based on Applied Behaviour Analysis);
  • Transition support for children who are entering the classroom environment;
  • Student-specific support, including consultations and resource creation, for any student with Autism.
  • Referrals are made by the school board. For more information please call your local Hands office, or 1.800.668.8555.