Determining where to go for help

  • Where are you located? This will help determine your access to a support provider.
  • The first point of contact is your family doctor. This first step is crucial because your family doctors’ comprehensive assessment, diagnosis or report will be necessary to determine what treatment plan or referral you require.

General signs and symptoms that indicate you may need mental health support and should see a physician include:

  • Walk-in clinics/Urgent Care. Many people in Canada do not have a family doctor. Doctors at walk-in clinics can provide referrals.
  • Community services. Community mental health agencies provide services at no charge, though there may be waiting lists. Other community health and social service agencies may provide some mental health services and information about how to connect with a mental health provider. E.g., The Dawson City Hub in Yukon provides mental health support for the community of Dawson City. For more locations, visit our map.
  • Provincial and territorial government services. Some provinces and territories have their own public programs to support mental health and substance use health. You can find them on the provincial and territorial websites here.

Possible options when you visit your family doctor

The following options are possible when you visit your family doctor: (possible outcomes)

  • Your Family doctor will provide initial guidance, offer future mental health resources that best suit your symptoms, and provide a diagnosis.

OR

  • Refer you to a mental health specialist.

*Importance of Getting a Diagnosis: Getting a diagnosis is crucial for receiving ongoing support from your workplace, educational institution, or government assistance programs. It also helps with processing insurance claims and filling out necessary documentation to support you during this period.

* Diagnoses and medications need to be reviewed after long term use as one may develop other health concerns that need medication that may interact with medications being used for mental health care*

The outcomes from your visit to a family doctor are:

  • When a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan is discussed and begins.
  • A referral is made to a mental health professional based on your family doctors’ evaluation could be one of the following: Psychotherapist, clinical counselor, psychologist, Psychiatrist.

*You can ask your family doctor for a referral if you are aware of your needs.

(Depending on your diagnosis, your physician might refer you to a mental health specialist or you can choose to ask for a referral)

When you are experiencing long wait times and really need to access mental health help, you can go to the emergency services who will refer you to a psychiatrist. This method can often be faster than going through a referral process.

Comprehensive List of Diagnostic Tools

On This Page

Mental Health Journey