Spotlight on: Stella’s Place

Stella’s Place is a Toronto-based organization created to help young adults get the mental health supports they need. Located in the heart of the city’s Queen West neighbourhood, Stella’s offers a place for anyone aged 16-29 to receive support from peers with lived experience of mental health issues.

“We offer low-barrier access to services,” says Jenny Carver, executive director of Stella’s. “So often young people, when seeking help through the health system, come in for an assessment and then have to wait in line for however long for ‘the next thing.’ At Stella’s, young people can pop online and talk to a peer, or come by our Queen West location and speak with someone who can help them decide what their next steps could look like.”

Stella’s has worked with George Brown College to create a training program for young people with lived experience with mental health and addiction issues, providing them with an opportunity to learn skills and strategies to become peer support volunteers at the Queen West location.

“So often what young people are looking for is to meet someone who knows their experience,” says Carver. Those looking to get more involved can visit the organization’s website, which provides further information about volunteer opportunities, and how to donate.

“We see what we’re doing as incubating a whole new way of delivering service,” says Carver. “The importance of choice in delivering mental health support to young people – this is the ground floor of really shaking up how services are provided.”

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