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FIFSW Online Counselling Clinic

Among the cascading effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic is a dramatic increase in the number and severity of mental health challenges. Crisis hotlines are reporting a huge surge in calls for help related to mental distress, suicides, domestic violence, child abuse, unemployment and many other pressing concerns. In the wake of such exploding demands, many of these crisis hotlines are struggling to provide timely responses.

As we move into a recovery phase with daily decreases in new infections and deaths, the far-reaching social, economic and psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to loom and the demand for mental health services is skyrocketing.

FIFSW is responding to this growing need from communities. Our Faculty is planning to create a free Online counselling Clinic, accessible to all in the Greater Toronto Area and focused on populations who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 — including older adults, low-income populations and racialized youth and families.

Operated by clinical students who will undergo special training and receive ongoing supervision, the clinic will offer free online counselling services via a secure platform that supports video therapy, phone, and text messages. The student-operated clinic will provide easy access and a timely response to the drastically increased mental health needs evident across all sectors of our communities.

The Clinic will aid in the shift towards recovery in the Greater Toronto Area. It also aligns with our longstanding reputation for being an innovative leader in teaching, research and community engagement and service. Rigorous training and ongoing supervision will be provided to select second-year MSW students to offer quality mental health care online.

We invite you to become an ambassador for this important and time-sensitive opportunity, by bringing this venture to the attention of those who might be willing to support this critically needed initiative.

To date, we have received an extraordinary leading gift of $100,000 from Ms. Janis Rotman. We are grateful for her outstanding generosity and vision, and for her commitment to providing mental health support Black youth and families.

To establish and sustain a high-quality clinic, additional funds are needed. We hope you would partner with us on this important and high priority initiative.

Please donate here and check the FIFSW Online Clinic tab as your area of designation.