December 24, 2023

Free and low-cost counselling options in Ontario

crop unrecognizable man talking to female psychologist
Photo by Alex Green on

This page contains a regularly updated resource list of free, low-cost, and sliding-scale options for counselling and therapy services in Ontario. I’ve included and noted the services requiring a referral from a primary care provider.

Some private clinics and therapists offer reduced cost and/or sliding scale options. In these cases, it’s always best to directly connect with the counsellor you’re interested in working with about your financial situation.

Please let me know if there’s a community organization that I have missed!

General Counselling and Mental Health Services

Family Physician
Description: Serves as the initial contact for mental health concerns, offering referrals to psychiatrists and access to treatment programs.

Description: Offers a helpline providing information and resources for alcohol, drug, mental illness, or gambling issues in Ontario.
Website: ConnexOntario

RAAM Clinics
Description: Provides walk-in access to addiction medicine, including counselling and medication management, across Ontario.

Canadian Mental Health Association
Description: Offers extensive services such as group therapy, case management, peer support, and counselling in various communities.
Website: CMHA Ontario

Free Virtual Therapy
Description: Online platforms offering self-referred virtual therapy for various mental health issues.
Website: BounceBack Ontario,,

The Centre for Clinical Interventions
Description: Provides free resources and workbooks for self-directed cognitive behavioural therapy, covering a range of mental health issues.
Website: CCI

Ontario Structured Psychotherapy
Description: Offers cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety, depression, and other common mental health struggles, with group and individual therapy options. The program is coordinated by nine networks across the province, who work with different organizations across their regions to offer services.

To learn more about the networks and how to get assessed, choose your area:





North East

North West

Municipal/Regional Counselling Services
Description: Local organizations across Ontario providing free, time-limited counselling services.
Websites: Toronto: Family Service Toronto, Durham: Family Services Durham, York Region: Family Services York Region

Wellness Together Canada
Description: A nationwide service offering 24/7 professional phone counselling and text support for mental health and substance use issues.

Counselling Connect
Description: Provides free individual counselling and support groups, focusing on short-term assistance in Ottawa and surrounding areas.
Website: Counselling Connect

Description: A virtual cognitive behavioural therapy program, accessible online, designed to help with mental health and stress management.
Website: AbilitiCBT

Ontario Caregiver Helpline
Description: Offers support and resources specifically for caregivers in Ontario, providing guidance and help.
Website: Ontario Caregiver Organization

Description: Therapist-guided program offering mental health support, including structured activities and personalized therapy.
Website: MindBeacon

Distress Lines and Crisis Support

Crisis Lines – Distress Centers Ontario
Description: A network of distress centers providing immediate crisis and emotional support across Ontario.
Website: Distress Centers Ontario

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto
Description: Offers 24/7 hotline and text support for individuals in crisis or experiencing emotional distress in the Greater Toronto Area.
Website: Distress Centres of Greater Toronto

Youth Services

Kids Help Phone (Youth Services)
Description: Provides around-the-clock e-mental health support for children and youth, available through phone, text, and online resources.
Website: Kids Help Phone

Description: Specialized support services for post-secondary students, offering counseling and information on mental health and wellness.
Website: Good2Talk

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario
Description: A network of hubs offering integrated services for youth mental health, substance use, primary care, and other social services.
Website: Youth Wellness Hubs

LGBTQ+ Support

LGBT Youthline Ontario
Description: Provides peer support for LGBTTQQ2SI individuals through various channels, including text, live chat, and email.
Website: Youthline

About Quadra Wellness

We specialize in helping people through sleep troubles like insomnia and nightmares. Sleep therapy (cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia or CBT-I) services are available virtually in British Columbia and Ontario and may be covered if you have benefits for counselling and therapy provided by a Registered Social Worker. Connect today for a free consultation or read more Quadra Wellness blogs here.