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York Region – (August 3rd, 2021) Addiction Services for York Region (ASYR) is pleased to announce it has launched a free and confidential single-session counselling service that allows people to connect with a counsellor through video link or over the phone within one or two business days.

Rather than waiting for more intensive, multi-session addiction treatment programs, single-session counselling allows adults and youth aged 12 and up to get faster help for their questions and concerns about substance use and addiction.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a steady increase in requests for services. ASYR is piloting this program to enable more individuals to get initial help faster, and to provide support and information on available services at ASYR and in the community.

“Whether you have questions about yourself, or you are a concerned parent or friend, our counsellors can share information and strategies on a wide range of topics including substance use, addictions, video gaming, gambling or mental health,” says Susan McGrail, Clinical Director at ASYR. “We can provide details
about our more intensive services or make a referral, if needed. With a single counselling session, we can help more people and answer their questions right away.”

After answering a few short registration questions over the phone, anyone in Ontario can access a single-session appointment offered on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons.

A session lasts for up to one hour and can be accessed through a computer or smartphone using a secure and confidential video link sent by email, or over the phone if that is preferred.

During the session, a trained counsellor, such as a registered social worker or psychotherapist, will provide information and support using counselling techniques based on motivational interviewing and cognitive
behavioural therapy.

“As one of the largest providers of community addiction services in the province, ASYR is always looking for ways to better support people looking for help,” says Penny Marrett, Executive Director at ASYR. “A single counselling session can really benefit and motivate people when they have been given the right information, at the right time.”

Through evaluation and feedback from clients of this new service, ASYR will learn how best it can continue to support individuals affected by addictions using this model of care as one of its offerings.

“With COVID-19, we’ve seen one of our biggest surges in requests for help,” says Marrett. “We are pleased to be able to offer another option on the continuum of supports and services for people that are affected by
their own or someone else’s substance use, addiction or problem gambling.”
To book a single session appointment, go to ASYR’s booking platform or call:
905-841-7007 or 1-800-263-2288 ext. 322.


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