Charitable Choices: Griffin Centre Mental Health Services for Children

For our latest profile of a charitable organization in Toronto, we spoke with the people over at Griffin Centre Mental Health Services for Children. They have their annual fundraiser, EMBODY YOGA, coming up on October 21, 2018.

Griffin Centre

Describe your charity in a few sentences.

Griffin Centre Mental Health Services serves children, youth and adults with mental health challenges and/or developmental disabilities and their families, who need help in dealing with a range of mental health challenges and concerns at home, at school and in the community, and live in the City of Toronto.

What problem does it aim to solve?

Since 1975, Griffin Centre has been delivering services to people who thought their needs didn’t count. Griffin Centre supports individuals whose mental health and/or developmental disability needs exceed the capacity of any one service system. Often the system of service delivery is fragmented, and some families find it difficult to understand and navigate. In addition, access to service can mean long wait times as well as costly fees for service that most families cannot afford. Through our client case management practices and free supports and programs, we are committed to building the capacity of the service system and to working collaboratively with other agencies and service sectors to develop responsive and coordinated plans to meet the needs of those with mental health challenges and/or development disabilities.

When did it start?

Griffin Centre was established in 1975.

What made you/founder want to get involved?

Griffin Centre was established in 1975 by parents of children with mental health concerns and/or a developmental disability to fill a gap in mental health services for adolescents in the borough of North York in the City of Toronto.

What was the situation like when you started?

Families struggled to find adequate supports for their children with mental health challenges and/or a developmental disability in the city of Toronto.

How has it changed since?

Today, Griffin Centre has grown into a multiservice agency serving youth with mental health needs, youth with a dual diagnosis, adults with developmental disabilities, and providing LGBTQ outreach services. We continue to expand our programs and services to respond to the changing and emerging needs of diverse individuals in our community. Currently, we serve over 2,500 people; a dramatic increase since 1975. We help them to recognize their strengths, achieve their goals and improve their lives.
What more needs to be done?

Although there have been dramatic improvement in de-stigmatization of mental health, the number of those seeking mental health services continues to increase. Currently, more than 6.7 million people are living with a mental health condition in Canada. Yet, public services and supports needed, come at either a significant cost or with long wait-times of six months to one year for limited services available. The sad reality is that five out of six do not get the help they need. There is a need to invest in community-based mental health agencies that provide accessible, immediate, barrier-free service at no cost for individuals facing mental health challenges and/or developmental disabilities.

How can our readers help?

Over 2,500 people a year directly benefit from Griffin Centre’s programs and services. Griffin Centre’s annual fundraising events raise money to support individuals and families we serve. With your support, we can reach more people and create more opportunities for youth and adults with mental health challenges and/or developmental disabilities.

We run a number of fundraising events throughout the year, which enable us to raise much needed funds and awareness. If you are interested in attending or sponsoring an event, want to learn more about the Centre or would like to partner with us to run a third party event, we would like to hear from you.

Do you have any events coming up?

Our annual fundraiser, EMBODY YOGA is happening on October 21, 2018.
Come out and engage in exercise, practice positive mental health and help us reach our goal of raising $86,000 together for Griffin Centre Mental Health Services. Money raised through EMBODY YOGA will support our programs and services for youth and adults with complex mental health challenges and/or developmental disabilities. 

Register, create a team, start fundraising and donate at

Date/Time: October 21 from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: The Ontario Science Centre

Griffin Centre

Where can we follow you?

Our official website is:

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About Joel Levy 2575 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography