Funding ending for Harriston and area mental health clinic

MINTO- A grant that funds lifesaving mental health services to residents here will run out on March 31.

A grant to Family Counselling and Support Services for Guelph-Wellington (FCSSGW) from United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin from an endowment through the charity’s Emergency Community Support Fund made 100% fully funded same-day support possible.

During the one-year term, a registered therapist offered brief therapy one day a week with follow-up sessions as required to individuals ranging from five to 75 years of age. Of the residents using the same-day clinic, the majority reported thoughts of suicide relating to depression, anxiety, and/or relationship issues, states a Feb. 16 press release from FCSSGW.

“The service was overdue in reaching rural communities as the statistics demonstrate,” said executive director Joanne Young Evans.

“Whether it’s a farmer dealing with financial stress and isolation, families coping with violence or abuse, youth managing changes to their school schedules and learning styles, or people just feeling lost and hopeless during the pandemic, this clinic helped them through tough times.”

Mental health issues can escalate quickly and having access to early intervention through same-day services meant that clients left the clinic with an action plan and hope.

After March 31, Minto residents will be able to access free same-day mental-health clinics that run Mondays in Mount Forest and Thursdays in Fergus.

A same-day clinic also runs Wednesdays in Guelph with fees based on a sliding scale. Additionally, FCSSGW operates a free, anonymous, and confidential Distress Line that is available to all Wellington County and area residents 24/7 (1-888-821-3760).

“Our agency is grateful for the grant the United Way made available to support the Harriston community and surrounding Town of Minto,” said Young Evans.

“I believe we helped chip away at the stigma of mental health to build a more resilient community that is better able to manage ongoing issues and will be more likely to seek help in the future.”

FCSSGW provides a range of individual and group services to children, youth, individuals, couples, families, and seniors and is LGBTQ+ friendly with safe, accessible storefront locations in Guelph, Fergus, and Mount Forest. Visit for more information.