© Photo Courtesy of WES for Youth Online
It is often during difficult transitional periods that we need the most support. For young people, who are commonly faced with overwhelming stress and anxiety from school, relationships, and their families, this support can be the key to finding success and building the foundation for better mental health.
Wellness & Emotional Support for Youth Online (WFYO) provides free, professional virtual counselling to youth ages 13-24 in Ontario. In June of 2022, WFYO celebrated 10 years of service, a milestone event that looked back on how much help and support the organization has been able to provide for young people across the province. Since their inception in 2012, WFYO has provided counselling to over 3,000 youth in Ontario.
Over this next year, WFYO will feature stories of hope from youth, donors, and supporters of the organization to help inspire better youth mental health. In a culture still cautious about talking about mental health concerns and with long waitlists, youth seek out WFYO’s services to address a wide range of issues, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, gender identity, LGBTQ+ concerns, school stress, and more.
WFYO provides ongoing counselling, which is critical to allow youth the opportunity to develop a trusting relationship with their counsellor. WFYO understands that mental health is complicated, and the concerns of youth need time and trust to work through. The organization provides a safe and inclusive space for youth to receive ongoing support and develop coping skills for all they are facing.
In honour of WFYO’s 10th anniversary, the organization launched a redeveloped virtual service and brand new hybrid mobile app that not only makes counselling services more accessible to youth, but also provides opportunities for youth to connect with WFYO counsellors in new ways. Youth can connect with their counsellor through the asynchronous email-to-email option, the live chat function, or through video call, all within the safety of their secure platform.
Youth will be able to access WFYO’s service and app anywhere they feel comfortable and will also have the option to express themselves through creative means using their media submission centre. This redeveloped platform, along with WFYO’s vision for the next decade, is all about focusing forward: meeting youth where they are and ensuring they can receive the support they want, when they want it, and how they want it—to better their mental health, together.
WFYO is seeking donations for their Focus Forward campaign to fund the counselling costs of evidence-based care for youth mental health. Their goal is to raise $320,000 to fund 2,000 hours of therapy, removing barriers and assisting with reducing youth mental health waitlists and wait times across the province of Ontario.
Donate to their “Focus Forward” campaign at bit.ly/focusforward3
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WES for Youth Online provides an ongoing one-to-one connection with a professional counsellor. Our virtual counselling service allows youth to connect with a professional and qualified counsellor by self referral, to explore the issues being faced in a secure and virtual environment.