Counselling Services

  • A Safe Environment

    Our goal is to offer high-quality, confidential mental health services in a non-judgmental and welcoming environment. Mental Health Counsellors are respectful and sensitive to your issues. Information about your health, including private discussions with your healthcare provider is kept in the strictest confidence. For more information, view Sherbourne’s privacy policy or contact

    LGBTQ Health Team

    Sherbourne is committed to providing (free) specialized mental health counselling services and groups that empower LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer/questioning, 2 spirit) people – individuals over 18 years of age, couples, families and parents – to live healthier, happier Queer-positive lives. We provide a range of services – free of charge – to those who have trouble accessing quality care due to poverty, gender identity, homophobia/biphobia/transphobia, racism/xenophobia, substance use and social isolation.

    Our Mental Health counsellors have an in-depth understanding of the issues and life difficulties faced by LGBTQ people. Many of our counsellors also identify as LGBTQ and all providers are LGBTQ positive.

    We can support/help you with issues such as:

    • Stress and anxiety
    • Sadness, grief and isolation
    • Depression, motivation and anger
    • Substance use and body image
    • Sexuality, self-esteem and relationships
    • Gender identity and Transition Related Surgeries (assessments)
    • Connection and referrals to other LGBTQ relevant services and programs

    Newcomer Health Team

    Sherbourne provides free mental health programs, support groups and workshops that cater to the specific needs of those who have recently immigrated to Canada.

    The Newcomer Health Team provides partnership, collaboration and outreach to St. James Town Community Centre. Some of our mental health services are available through this centre. For more information, please visit:

    If you are new to Canada, we offer many programs to help you cope with difficult circumstances and any stress you may experience as a result of settling in a new country. Our team of mental health counsellors is highly trained in social work, psychotherapy and counselling education. They have experience working with many clients like you – new Canadians – who have suffered the trauma of war, displacement, PTSD, racism, xenophobia, immigration, poverty, homophobia/biphobia/transphobia and other stressful events.

    Through one-on-one and group counselling you may find the support and hope you need to build a healthy and balanced life for yourself and your family/supports. Workshops and groups provide more opportunities for you to build a support network, share cultural experiences and learn new coping skills.

    We can support/help you with issues such as:

    • Childhood and adult experience of abuse/violence
    • Trauma and issues relating to the affects of war, poverty and racism
    • Anxiety, depression, sadness and anger
    • Relationship difficulties and couples counselling
    • Stress reduction programs
    • Culturally specific issues faced by newcomers
    • Advocacy services and links to community resources

    Urban Health Team

    While all members of our community are welcome, we focus on providing care to those community members who are homeless or under-housed (living in precarious housing situations like couch surfing, crashing with friends).

    We offer free confidential, counselling services in a non-judgmental environment.

    We offer solution-focused supportive appointments. Each appointment is 55 minutes in length.

    We can support/help you with issues such as:

    • Stress, depression & anxiety
    • Substance use
    • Self-esteem and relationships
    • Gender identity
    • Transition-Related Surgery Assessments
    • Referrals to other services

    Mental Health Groups – as of May 1, 2017

    Supporting Our Youth – A Program of Sherbourne Health Centre

    Supporting Our Youth (SOY) is an innovative community development program of Sherbourne Health Centre. SOY works to support the health and wellbeing of all queer and trans spectrum youth by running groups, programs and events and by providing one-on-one support for queer, trans and questioning youth who are 29 years old and under.

    T.R.E.E (Trauma Recovery Education & Empowerment)

    Running: March 17 to June 30, 2017 – group, registration closed

    This is a trauma-based recovery group for male identified (transgender, genderqueer, cisgender) clients at Sherbourne.

    Group objectives:

    • Accept and reframe some of the problems/challenges/obstacles associated with current coping strategies
    • Explore, review and discuss negative/unhelpful (sometimes hidden or minimalized) strategies
    • Expand our sense of freedom (empowerment, safety) to choose the most helpful and least costly coping strategies
    • Gather in safe and respectful spaces that honour queer/GBTQ/trans Black, Indigenous and People of Colour

    Registration and intake (closed) is required and can be arranged by calling Daniel Pugh at: 416-324-4100 x 5234.

    Keep Calm and Carry On – CBT based group for social anxiety

    Starts: May 15 to Monday July 24, 2017 – Monday’s from 10 am to 12 pm.

    Group objectives:

    • To increase individual understanding and knowledge of living with and managing social anxiety
    • Apply relaxation skills such as breathing and muscle tension-release techniques
    • Change self-defeating patterns of fearful or negative thinking
    • Develop coping and assertiveness skills for entering into and managing social situations based on CBT principles
    • Develop a greater confidence and more effective self-image in social situations
    • Participate in exposure exercises targeting social and/or performance situations

    Eligibility criteria:

    • Must be registered clients of Sherbourne – this refers to those actively engaged with primary care, mental health counselling and wait list, the Acute Respite Care Program, members of any of Sherbourne’s LGBTQ community programs (i.e., SOY, Mindfulness Meditation, etc…)
    • Aged 18 years or older
    • Living with experiences of generalized social anxiety that negatively impact their social interactions
    • Recruits who have engaged in a formal intake process and agreed to Sherbourne’s Rights and Responsibilities agreement

    Clients can register for intake/assessment by contacting Kaitlyn Arcuri or Jake Farr at 416-324-4100 x 5019.

    The Road to Change – a group for trans folks with substance use challenges

    Starts: May 31 to July 19, 2017 – Wednesday’s from 6 to 8 pm.

    Who is this group for?
    The Road to Change is for trans-identified people (including genderqueer and non-binary folks) who want to learn more about their use and/or make a behavioural change. It is ideal for people who experience their substance use a problem at least some of the time. Participants can define what constitutes “a problem”.

    What are the group objectives?
    The group program seeks create a safe space for trans people to connect around unique experiences, such as transphobia and internalized transphobia, and explore the relationship between a) their oppression(s) and substance use, b) interpersonal challenges and substance use, as well as c) self-concept and substance use. This group will support participants to create insight around their substance use and develop skills to initiate and maintain their harm reduction goals.

    What topic areas will be cover? [tentatively]
    Week 1 – Beginnings and defining problem substance use
    Week 2 – Oppression, internalized oppression and substance use
    Week 3 – Initiating Change and identifying triggers
    Week 4 – Emotion awareness and management skills
    Week 5 – Trauma and substance use
    Week 6 – Coping strategies
    Week 7 – Healthy relationships
    Week 8 – Endings and departures

    To register and schedule intake, please contact:
    Jake Farr 416-324-4100 x 5019 or
    Rahim Thawer 416-324-4100 x 5248

    Mind Your Mind

    *Not currently running – check back for fall 2017 dates*

    From time to time, Sherbourne’s Mental Health Team offers a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based group to help manage the common symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. Registration and intake is required and can be arranged by calling our mental health intake line at: 416-324-4180 x 5310.

    Art Therapy/Creative Expression

    A trial project for SHC clients and those on our mental health wait list – running fall 2016 to winter 2017. Not currently running.

    Mindfulness Meditation Practice Group

    Registration is required for current SHC clients only. Friday’s from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm between: April 28 to June 23, 2017. Orientation session: April 21, 2017 from 10-11 am. Call Elisa Davies at 416-324-4100 x 5096.

    Contact Us

    For more information call our mental health intake line at 1-416-324-4100 ext. 5310.

    Languages served

    It is important that you inform the intake counsellor of your language needs when you call (416) 324-4180 x 5310 to make an appointment.

    As of May 1, 2017 our Mental Health Team can be provide services in: Bengali, English, Farsi, Hungarian, Hindi, Spanish and Urdu.


    Services are free-of-charge for individuals who cannot afford to obtain mental health counselling services elsewhere. Groups and workshops are free, unless otherwise stated.


    Sherbourne Health Centre is not equipped as a crisis response unit. If you are in crisis, you can call one of the following 24-hour crisis lines:

    • Gerstein Centre: (416) 929-5200
    • Distress Centre: (416) 408-4357
    • Assaulted Women’s Helpline: (416) 863-0511
    • Victim Services: (416) 808-7066
    • Toronto Rape Crisis Centre: (416) 597-8808
    • LGBT Youthline: 1-800-268-9688
    • Trans Lifeline: 1-877-330-6366
    • Ontario Mental Health Helpline: 1-866-531-2600
    • Ontario Drug & Alcohol Helpline: 1-800-565-8603
    • Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline: 1-888-230-3505
    • 911 or your nearest Hospital Emergency unit