Youth Program

Before it was like there was a ladder and everyone is climbing, but I was stuck at the bottom. Now I am starting to climb.

Our Youth Matters Campaign

Many of o Many of our pragmatic Youth program expenses do not qualify for core funding, which is why we launched our “Youth Matters” fundraising campaign.  ‘Youth Matters’  raises funds to ensure youth in our community, your community, continue to have access to high quality, client centered mental health supports.

Your donation is life saving:

Often the youth we serve exhibit complex mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and depression, among others. They frequently suffer the added burden of substance abuse, poverty, homelessness and family discord/estrangement.  When these problems are mixed with the typical turbulence of adolescence it is easy to predict poor outcomes.

Many transitional youth in our community are in desperate need of services and are at risk of ‘falling through the cracks’ upon exiting children’s services and entering into adolescence/young adulthood if they do not receive the necessary care during this transitional phase of their lives; hence the term ‘transitional’. When care is not accessible to this age group they will often not engage in adult mental health services until it is too late and permanent, life altering damage has been done; This ‘damage’ is often manifested in justice/criminal involvement, drug use, marginalization, lengthy hospitalizations and suicidal ideation.


Where it began

In 2008 our Youth Program was established in order to meet demands for specific mental health services and supports to youth aged 16-24.  In response to that demand, in 2009, we began internally supporting a Youth Pilot Program with 3 youth.

What It’s become

Today we have 2 full time youth mental health case managers and serve over 20 youth per year. The popularity of the Youth Pilot Program was evident and it became vital for both the youth we served and their families that we continue offering these services. Our commitment to our communities youth is extremely important to us – as today’s youth, are tomorrow’s adults.

Our Youth Program caters to youth aged 16-24 which addresses a critical window of treatment time for youth suffering from mental illness; care and support during this time is crucial to their future success as early intervention is key to preventing the poor outcomes typically associated with lack of treatment.

An external third party evaluation of our Youth Pilot Program was undertaken and we are proud of the results.  We welcome you to view and share the findings of our initial Youth Program Evaluation Report here.

We are also delighted to let you know that the first graduate of our Youth Pilot Program now lives independently and has graduated from Algonquin College after receiving a scholarship!


YouthRex: SPOTLIGHT on Upstream Ottawa


Our Youth Program has seen and accepted referrals from a number of well-known community organizations:

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario

The Royal Ottawa Hospital

Children’s Aid Society

The Canadian Mental Health Association

The Dave Smith Youth treatment Center

Eastern Ontario Youth Justice Agency

Youth Services Bureau


Like most teens, our son doesn’t listen to us. This program allows him to live his life and have privacy… while also getting support.

Parent of Upstream Client
Youth Program