About Us

Stella's Place Blog

A Visit from the Premier

by | Jan 18, 2017

Stella’s Place is a registered charity and non-profit. That means that we will always have to work on getting funding to accomplish our goals (and help you accomplish yours), provide the services we have, and keep growing and making more of an impact.

As a relatively new organization that is especially hard for us. Most of our funding comes from private donations and grants, whereas the vast majority of mental health services get a stable yearly operating budget from their Local Health Integration Network which is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Monday, January 9th was a very exciting day for Stella’s Place. The Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne came to visit! It was an important step in the Government Relations work that we do.

Here’s how it went down:

A cafe space full of people waited to greet the Premier. This included participants of our programming, members of our Ambassador program, graduates of our Peer Support Training Program, Staff, and others that are a part of our community. When the Premier arrived she shook hands with people and took the time to ask them how they are involved and how that’s like for them.

After that, the peer facilitator for our Bean Bag Chat project lead her through a presentation about the application and members of the co design group for this project were able to talk about why they are involved. Many of them talked about how the internet is an important means of communication for young adults with mental health challenges and it’s essential to provide them with a way to seek help that is comfortable for them.

Next, Premier Wynne joined a group of young adults that are a part of our community, in one of the rooms where they were having a discussion about what they want to see at Stella’s Place in 2017. The young adults were unprompted, and yet many of them told the Premier what they liked about Stella’s Place and about the multitude of ways in which we’re different from traditional mental health services. As a bystander in that room, it was moving for me to hear participants taking the opportunity to share the reasons Stella’s Place has had an impact on them, with such a powerful person.

Following that, a small team from Stella’s Place met and discussed with the Premier why we think it’s important for the Ontario Government to support us. From the data we have collected since we have opened (until November 31st 2016), we know that

 1. We are growing quickly across various types of services and programs

  • Total visits = 822

  • Visitors more than doubled in 4 months                                                          

August 2016 

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016






  • Individual professional counselling reached capacity for two clinical staff in 4 months (we have now doubled our clinical staff with a total of 4 clinicians)

2. The numbers of participants who stated that they are unemployed (58{9cadc24d01bfe4b7558267a225af06f129ab991bc620b3fbbd3c2deb6c2dd6e3}), had no income (13{9cadc24d01bfe4b7558267a225af06f129ab991bc620b3fbbd3c2deb6c2dd6e3}), rely on family, or on ODSP/OW/unemployment benefits (51{9cadc24d01bfe4b7558267a225af06f129ab991bc620b3fbbd3c2deb6c2dd6e3}), and not finished or attending school (25{9cadc24d01bfe4b7558267a225af06f129ab991bc620b3fbbd3c2deb6c2dd6e3}) indicates that mental health challenges are keeping young adults out of the work place and getting in the way of educational opportunities. Improving these numbers will impact many lives and bring positive economic outcomes

3. The need for accessible, immediate mental health care for young people is urgent and undeniable. Filling this need will reduce the additional economic impacts of costly acute Emergency Department and Inpatient mental health services

A high percentage of young adults dropping in or seeking counseling at Stella’s Place self-identified as being a suicide risk and/or having a high distress level:

  • 28 out of 108 respondents (26{9cadc24d01bfe4b7558267a225af06f129ab991bc620b3fbbd3c2deb6c2dd6e3}) reported going to an ER in the past 6 months for mental health related distress

  • 56 out of 108 (52{9cadc24d01bfe4b7558267a225af06f129ab991bc620b3fbbd3c2deb6c2dd6e3}) young adults feel critically distressed and unable to function well in their daily lives at the time of intake (GAIN short screener, 6 or above in two categories)

  • 40 out of 76 young adults (53{9cadc24d01bfe4b7558267a225af06f129ab991bc620b3fbbd3c2deb6c2dd6e3}) screened positive as a suicide risk (ASQ) 

Finally, people had a chance to take selfies and pictures with the Premier, including a couple of group photos.

We are incredibly thankful of Premier Wynne for taking time out of her busy schedule to visit us! Meanwhile we’re happy to know that we’re on the map.

We want to stay in touch, but don’t worry, we don’t send too many emails and you can unsubscribe any time.