For many of us, therapy is an essential part of our lives. But the reality is: Accessing mental health services is a privilege—sky-high costs and seemingly endless wait times mean so many people are struggling to get by without critical support.
In some provinces and territories (like the Northwest Territories, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador), psychiatrists are covered by provincial/territorial health insurance, but psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors are not. In the Yukon, Nunavut, British Columbia and Manitoba, therapy is only covered if it’s through a hospital or a mental health institution. In Saskatchewan, only mental health services treated through the Saskatchewan Health Authority are covered.
That means that most people are left paying out of pocket. Fortunately, there are a number of private mental health clinics across the country offering services that are either free, covered by private insurance or adjustable to your individual income—plus, walk-in appointments without the need of a referral. They’re just not always the easiest to find. So, we’ve done the work of rounding up a list of affordable and accessible mental health care services in Canada so we can all get the care we deserve.
Find it: 208 Main Street, Suite 203, Whitehorse, northernfocus.ca
The services: A team of certified counsellors who “understand the unique challenges that northern communities can present.” They provide a very wide range of services for people of all ages, including individual and group therapy.
Walk-ins: No. Call (867) 689-1885 or fill out an intake form to book an appointment.
For emergencies, call the Yukon Distress & Support Line at 1-844-533-3030.
Yellowknife Primary Care Centre
Find it: 4915-48th St., Yellowknife, yhssa.hss.gov.nt.ca
The services: From family counselling to psychiatry, this diverse health clinic has a team of psychologists, dieticians, nurses and more to get you the help you need.
Walk-ins: No, but a referral is not needed. Call the central intake counsellor at 867-767-9110 t0 book an appointment. Same-day appointments are available for urgent care.
Frame Lake Community Health Clinic
Find it: 312B Old Airport Rd., Yellowknife, yhssa.hss.gov.nt.ca
The services: Working in collaboration with the Yellowknife Primary Care Centre (above), this health clinic focuses on team-based care, meaning no matter what health issue you have (mental or physical), someone will be there to support you.
Walk-ins: No, but a referral is not needed. Call the central intake counsellor at 867-767-9110 t0 book an appointment. Same-day appointments are available for urgent care.
For emergencies, call the NWT Help Line at 1-800-661-0844.
Iqaluit Mental Health Central Intake Coordinator
Find it: Qikiqtani General Hospital, 503 Saputi, and other locations across Iqaluit, gov.nu.ca
The services: To access any mental health service in Iqaluit, you have to go through this intake line. They have multiple locations across the city that offer counselling, like at the Qikiqtani General Hospital where a mental health nurse is on staff 24/7. There’s also a women-only Recovery and Moving Forward workshop on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Building 503.
Walk-ins: No, but a referral is not needed. Call 867-975-5999 to make a self-referral and book an appointment.
Cambridge Bay Wellness Centre
Find it: 13A Omingmak St., Cambridge Bay, cambridgebay.ca
The services: This wellness centre offers a wide range of healing services, from residential school recovery to family violence and women’s support groups. They have a staff of psychologists, Elders and healers whether you’re looking for professional, emotional or cultural support.
Walk-ins: No, but a referral is not needed. Call 867-983-4500 to book an appointment for non-urgent care. If it’s urgent, go to emergency at the Cambridge Bay Health Centre (13D Omingmak St.).
For emergencies, call the Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line at 867-979-3333.
Access and Assessment Centre
Find it: Joseph & Rosalie Segal & Family Health Centre, 803 W 12th Ave., Vancouver, vch.ca
The services: For Vancouver residents over 17 years old in need of non-emergency mental health care. The team of psychiatrists and social workers offer assessment, treatment and crisis management either over-the-phone or in-person.
Walk-ins: Yes, 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m
Aboriginal Wellness Program
Find it: 2750 E Hastings St. #288, Vancouver, vch.ca
The services: This holistic mental health service focuses on spiritual healing for Indigenous people through one-on-one counselling, group therapy, ceremony and elder support. The staff can address anything from residential school trauma to depression, anxiety and addiction.
Walk-ins: Yes (Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
Find it: 1170 Bute St., Vancouver, qmunity.ca
The services: Short-term counselling for all members of the LGBTQ/Two-Spirit community who are questioning their gender and sexuality
Cost: Free or low-cost depending on annual income and ability to pay
Walk-ins: No. Call 604-684-5307 ext. 107 and speak with Jennie MacPhee-Woodburn or email email@example.com to book an appointment.
For emergencies, call the BC Mental Health Support Line at 310-6789.
Find it: Suite 500, 999 8th Street SW, Calgary, distresscentre.com
The services: The centre offers one to six general counselling sessions for individuals, couples or families in crisis.
Walk-ins: Suspended during COVID-19 outbreak, but call 403-266-4357 for 24/7 support by phone
Calgary Counselling Centre
Find it: 105 12 Ave. SE Suite 1000, Calgary, calgarycounselling.com
The services: Individual and group counselling workshops covering issues like intimate partner violence, eating disorders, self-esteem, anxiety and panic, and more
Cost: Fees are on a sliding scale according to annual income and ability to pay
Walk-ins: No, but there is no waitlist, so you will have an appointment within three to five business days
Momentum Walk-In Counselling
Find it: 5241 Calgary Trail NW, Suite 706, Edmonton, momentumcounselling.org
The services: One-on-one therapy sessions that focus on your personal strengths and success to help solve problems. The centre also has drop-in group workshops, like LGBTQ education and support, living with bipolar and more.
Cost: $10–$200 per session, according to annual income and ability to pay
Walk-ins: Yes (Monday to Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
For emergencies, call the Alberta Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.
Community Adult Mental Health Services
Find it: 715 Queen St., 4th Floor, Saskatoon, saskatoonhealthregion.ca
The services: Individuals and family members 18 years or older who are experiencing significant distress can get help tackling anxiety, depression, grief, relationship issues, oppression and more.
Walk-ins: A referral is needed, and you can call 306-655-7777 to book an appointment.
Find it: 200-506 25 St. E, Saskatoon, cfssaskatoon.sk.ca
The services: Aside from individual, couple and family counselling services, CFS Saskatoon also offers group programs relating to parenting (Understanding Your Child’s Anxiety) and professional development (Pacifying Pain and Panic), too.
Cost: $25 per session for those with annual income of $80,000 or less; Free for walk-in service
Walk-ins: Yes (at the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre, 202 Ave. C S) from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
For emergencies, call the Saskatchewan HealthLine at 8-1-1.
Klinic Community Health
Find it: 870 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, klinic.mb.ca
The services: Walk-in one-on-one counselling is offered to help with any issues in your life. Group counselling sessions relating to anything from sexual and domestic violence, suicide bereavement or trauma are also available.
Walk-ins: Yes (Monday, Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
Women’s Health Clinic
Find it: 419 Graham Ave., 3rd floor, Winnipeg, womenshealthclinic.org
The services: This inclusive clinic offers feminist counselling for girls, women and woman-identifying people ages 13 and up. They also have a monthly group workshop called “The Circle,” which is a space for all women to connect over various topics of wellness and mental health.
Walk-ins: No. Call 204-947-2422 ext. 204 to speak to the intake counsellor and book an appointment.
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre
Find it: 445 King St., 363 McGregor St., 318 Anderson Ave., 443 Spence St., Winnipeg, mamawi.com
The services: Dedicated to supporting Winnipeg’s Indigenous community, this inclusive centre offers a range of programs, like the Spirit of Peace, which helps families heal from violence, and other personal and parental development workshops.
Walk-ins: Yes (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for singles and 7:30 p.m. for families, Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for families and seniors)
For emergencies, call the Manitoba Suicide Prevention & Support Line at 1-877-435-7170 or the Klinic Crisis Line at 204-786-8686.
Ontario recently announced a free mental health program for those struggling with depression or anxiety as part of the Roadmap to Wellness plan. You’ll be able to sign up on the phone, via text or online and will receive a tailored program after your initial assessment. The service is set to launch in the spring of 2020, but not official date has been announced yet.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Find it: 250 College St., 1001 Queen St. W, 33 Russell St., Toronto, camh.ca
The services: As one of the largest mental health hospitals in Canada, each location offers a diverse roster of programs—assessment, inpatient, outpatient, same-day services and more—for those looking to get help.
Cost: Varies depending on your treatment program (most are covered by OHIP or private insurance plans), but emergency services are free.
Walk-ins: Yes (24 hour emergency service at 250 College St.)
Women’s College Hospital
Find it: 76 Grenville St., Toronto, womenscollegehospital.ca
The services: Their Women’s Mental Health Program is truly one of its kind in Canada with services dedicated to women’s struggles and needs. From depression and anxiety due to menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause to childhood abuse and neglect, the services are comprehensive and wide-ranging.
Walk-ins: A referral is needed. Call 416-323-6230 to book an appointment.
Umbrella Mental Health Network
Find it: 691 Bloor St. W, Toronto, umhn.ca
The services: This LGBTQ counselling service takes a queer approach to mental health by framing therapy around topics like sexual and gender identity, HIV/AIDS care, self-esteem and more.
Cost: Varies depending on the therapist, but most of the cost is covered by OHIP or private insurance; they also offer a select number of free services, too.
Walk-ins: No. Call 647-687-6543 to book an appointment.
The Walk-In Counselling Clinic
Find it: Somerset West Community Health Centre, 55 Eccles St.; South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre, 1355 Bank St.; Family Services Ottawa, 312 Parkdale Ave.; Jewish Family Services of Ottawa, 300-2255 Carling Ave.; Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), 959 Wellington St. W; CFS Ottawa, 310 Olmstead Rd., Ottawa, walkincounselling.com
The services: This accessible clinic offers walk-in services for those looking for immediate help on a first come, first served basis. There is no need for a referral, and support is offered in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Somali, Cantonese and Mandarin.
Walk-ins: Yes (times vary depending on the location)
The Royal Ottawa
Find it: 1145 Carling Ave., Ottawa, theroyal.ca
The services: As one of the largest mental health facilities in Canada, The Royal Ottawa has a vast number of programs relating to women’s mental health, suicide prevention, PTSD, schizophrenia and more. These inpatient services are intended for those whose mental health issues are more serious and complex.
Cost: Varies depending on the program, but most of the cost is covered by OHIP or private insurance.
Walk-ins: A referral is needed. Call 613-722-6521 to book an appointment.
The Sexual Assault Support Centre
Find it: Call 613-234-2266 for the address, Ottawa, sascottawa.com
The services: This women-only support centre is dedicated to helping those who have suffered from sexual violence. They offer both individual and group support, plus services specifically for marginalized women, with a more inclusive, intersectional approach to sexual assault support.
Walk-ins: No. Call 613-234-2266 to book an appointment.
Addiction and Mental Health Services
Find it: 552 Princess St., Kingston, amhs-kfla.ca
The services: Depending on your individual needs, there are four types of therapy offered at this clinic: case management, group treatment and support, individual counselling and therapy or assertive community treatment. The staff are trained in many types of therapy from emotional-based treatment to psychotherapy and eye movement desensitization.
Walk-ins: Yes (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 385 Princess St.)
For emergencies, call the Ontario Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600.
Find it: 5800 Decarie Blvd., Montreal, amiquebec.org
The services: This established mental health clinic has workshops, support groups, one-on-one counselling, online learning and events to help you heal. Plus, they have wonderful resources online and in the clinic to help answer any questions about mental health.
Walk-ins: All in-person interactions cancelled during the COVID-19 outbreak. Normally, theyre is no one-on-one therapy (call 514-486-1448 to book an appointment), but they do have drop-in support groups on a variety of issues every Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 4333 Côte Ste Catherine Rd.
Montreal Therapy Center
Find it: Queen Elizabeth Health Complex, 2100 Marlowe Ave., 2nd Floor, #216, Montreal, montrealtherapy.com
The services: Offered in 17 languages, the Montreal Therapy Center tackles a range of issues—from personal growth to parenting to managing anxiety—for individuals, couples and families. Plus, they have creative art therapy for those looking for a less traditional yet effective approach to recovery.
Cost: Fees are determined on a sliding scale, according to annual income and ability to pay ($60 to $125 per session for individual therapy, $60 to $135 for couple or family therapy).
Walk-ins: No. Call 514-244-1290 or go online to book an appointment.
The Montreal Center for Anxiety & Depression
Find it: Queen Elizabeth Health Center, 2111 Northcliffe, Suite 440, Montreal, Brunswick Medical Center, 955 Boul Saint-Jean, #305, Pointe-Claire, helpforanxietydepression.com
The services: With two locations in and around Montreal, this mental health centre has a roster of psychologists, so you can find the one that is best suited to your needs. They can help with eating disorders, OCD, body image issues, panic attacks, negative thinking and more.
Cost: Reduced fees offered on Fridays for $99 plus tax at the West Island clinic (Brunswick Medical Center)
Walk-ins: No, but you do not need a referral. Call 514-777-4530 or 514-796-4357 to book an appointment.
For emergencies, call the Centre de Prevention du Suicide de Quebec at 1-866-277-3553 and more.
Atlantic Wellness Community Centre
Find it: 225 Lutz St., Moncton, atlanticwellness.com
The services: This wellness centre focuses on all aspects of a client’s life, from familial support to education and community. Their services include parent coaching, mental health and awareness education, school-based group therapy and more.
Walk-ins: Yes (Mondays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
Coverdale Counselling & Consulting
Find it: 645 Pinewood Rd., Riverview, coverdalecounselling.com
The services: The Canadian Mental Health Association of New Brunswick collaborated with Moncton counsellor Kerri Gaskin of Coverdale Counselling & Consulting to offer free walk-in services for those in need on a first come, first served basis.
Fredericton Addiction & Mental Health Services
Find it: 65 Brunswick St., Fredericton, horizonnb.ca
The services: For individuals, youth and family members struggling with mental health and addiction, this clinic provides individual counselling, acupuncture, education programs, referrals to rehab facilities and more.
Walk-ins: No. Call 506-453-2132 to book an appointment. (Initial appointments are made within three days.)
For emergencies, call the Chimo Helpline at 1-800-667-5005.
Newfoundland and Labrador
DoorWays Mental Health Walk-In Clinic
Find it: Building 532 (back of building on Roosevelt Ave.), St. John’s, bridgethegapp.ca
The services: This single session, walk-in counselling service is perfect for those looking for immediate support and guidance on issues like alcohol or drug abuse, grief, stress, relationships, depression and anxiety and more.
Walk-ins: Yes (Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Channal Self Help Centre
Find it: 70 The Boulevard, St John’s, 878 Topsail Rd., Mount Pearl, channal.ca
The services: What makes this centre so unique is the entire staff are people with mental health and addictions issues, so the experience much more personal. Channal also has a 24 hour “pre-crisis” help line for those who need support but are not in an emergency. (You can reach the centre at 1-855-753-2560.)
For emergencies, call the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668.
Prince Edward Island
McGill Community Mental Health Centre
Find it: 55 McGill Ave., Charlottetown, princeedwardisland.ca
The services: Community mental health walk-in services are offered across the province on a first come, first served basis without the need of a referral. They are each 45 to 60 minutes with a registered therapist to help with anxiety, stress or any other mental health issue.
Walk-ins: Yes (Friday to Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for patients 16 and older)
Find it: 1 Rochford St., Charlottetown, princeedwardisland.ca
The services: If you can’t wait several months for a therapy appointment, you’re in luck. The Richmond Centre offers walk-in mental health services for anyone in the province.
Walk-ins: Yes (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
Prince County Hospital
Find it: 65 Roy Boates Ave., Summerside, princeedwardisland.ca
The services: This community hospital has emergency mental health services, plus a walk-in clinic for those looking for immediate care in a single hour-long session.
Walk-ins: Yes (Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
For emergencies, call the The Island Helpline at 1-800-218-2885.
Community Mental Health
Find it: Bayers Road Community Mental Health, 7071 Bayers Rd. & Bayers Road Centre, Halifax, Dartmouth Community Mental Health, 99 Wyse Rd., Suite 1420 & Suite 810, Dartmouth, 40 Freer Ln., Lower Sackville, Cobequid Community Health Centre and more, nshealth.ca
The services: This community-based mental health service is province-wide in a variety of locations (see above), covering issues like addiction, anxiety & depression, mood swings and more.
Walk-ins: A referral is preferred, but not required. Call 902-454-1400 to book an appointment.
Find it: 1225 Barrington, Halifax, lainghouse.org
The services: This non-profit organization helps support youth 16 to 29 who are struggling with mood disorder, psychosis or anxiety. They have a variety of programs from healing through creative arts to family and peer support and healthy living.
Walk-ins: Yes (Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)
For emergencies, call the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Telephone Line at 902-429-8167.