Road to Mental Health
Road to Mental Health
Quality Relationships Resiliency & Self-Efficacy
WHO’S IT FOR?
Youth aged 16-25 living in rural Middlesex County
Free Transportation to Mental Health Support for Youth To help individuals aged 16-25 living in rural Middlesex County access mental health and addiction support, the Road to Mental Health (RMH) program was established and offers free taxi services to and from the Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Centre in London for youth in crisis who reside in rural northwest Middlesex.
The Road to Mental Health intervention began at our 2019 Convening when a youth brought forward her concerns with youth’s access to transportation in crisis. As we explored the issues in the region, it became clear that this issue is even more prevalent for county youth, who in many cases had no good options.
Building on this research, MINDS connected with CMHA, who already had some mobile crisis services within London, but were often limited in which youth they could pick up and bring to services. After consultation, in 2021 we partnered with Star Taxi to offer free transportation to youth in Lucan, Parkhill, Strathroy, Exeter and neighbouring communities.
CMHA offered additional training to Star Taxi drivers, and with generous donations from the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, MINDS was able to cover the costs of these drives (which on average would have cost youth $140). In addition to crisis services, youth are able to book regular transportation to therapy, doctor’s appointments and other key services to support their mental health.
In 2022, due to the success of this model, MINDS partnered with Checker to expand services specifically to Indigenous youth on and off reserve. Over the summer, MINDS is working with youth and advocates from Chippewas of the Thames, Munsee-Delaware Nation and Oneida Nation of the Thames to support their needs and ensure access to services. This new partnership with Indigenous partners not only allows youth on reserve to access services in the city, but for youth who live within London to attend cultural events on reserve to aid in truth and reconciliation.
How to Access The Road to Mental Health
1. Call or text Reach Out via phone, text or webchat at 519-433-2023 or www.reachout247.ca
2. The Reach Out worker will assess the individual’s situation and connect them with a ride.
3. The taxi will come to the individual’s location, pick them and drive them to the appropriate service.
4. After the appointment is complete, Star Taxi will give the individual a free ride home.
Jasmine is an incoming medical student at McMaster University who is passionate about advocating for culturally-safe mental health systems. Her research with Indigenous mental health services has outlined this disparity within the current mental health system. Jasmine strives to work with marginalized communities to promotes equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization.
Melissa believes foremost in empathy and compassion for those in the world around us. Her work centralizes around power inequality and authentic communication. She strive to foster safe spaces where people can learn from and care for each other in a holistic way. Outside her work, she is a storyteller, archer, tea-lover, feminist, writer, and gamer.