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I am writing in response to the article in The Toronto Star on April 9. In the attached article, several mayors from Ontario express their concerns regarding the availability of mental health and addictions services to help save the lives of people who are dealing with these issues.

What imperils Ontarians’ lives is the lack of awareness that Family Service agencies currently provide structured psychotherapy—the name of the treatment for these issues—from over 120 storefronts when and where people need them most—in their own communities. These services are affordable and accessible to everyone without a diagnosis or referral or, in some cases, an appointment.

Highly qualified Masters level psychotherapists provide evidence-based services to more than 250,000 Ontarians a year in over 20 languages on a no-fee or income-tied sliding-payment scale basis. Everyone seeking help with mental health, trauma and addictions issues receives services regardless of their ability to pay. Many Family Service agencies offer evening hours, and some are open on Saturday.

As well, Family Service agencies treat children, youth, adults, seniors, couples, and families and are LGBTQ12S friendly and accessible to those with physical disabilities. We also use local outreach to connect with diverse and priority populations like francophone, Indigenous, racialized, northern urban, rural young people, women, newcomers, refugees and impoverished people.

Ontarians and members of our community need to know that Family Service agencies have structured psychotherapy services in place and are helping those who need it most. I encourage you to visit Members Directory/ to see the agencies spanning the province to support Ontarians seeking help right now.

Additionally, I welcome the opportunity to speak with you directly to answer any questions you may have about how Family Service Ontario and Name of your agency can work with you to make sure Ontario mayors and community members know where they can get help with mental health, trauma and addictions issues.