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Changing the face of mental health

Dorset Pier Mental Health is bridging the gaps in mental health availability.
Dorset Pier

Dorset Pier Mental Health understands the limitations and frustrations when caring for and obtaining mental health. With waitlist averages anywhere from three months to two years in Ontario, they saw this barrier and thought of way around it with Dorset Pier Community Care.

As a not for profit, Dorset Pier Community Care is making mental health more accessible by offering five paid-for sessions to 10 people, equating to 50 funded sessions.

“The response was overwhelming – we filled the 10 spots in less than 24 hours and people are still calling,” says owner and counselor Danielle Rider.

“One individual called within the first four minutes of the sessions being announced, another called almost in tears stating that she has been on a waitlist for months, and another is self-employed with no benefits and her business has been hit hard by COVID; the examples are endless.”

Rider says the responses were a combination of both adults and youth, speaking volumes about the need for mental health accessibility.

Coping tools and strategies

Research has shown that engaging in counselling services is incredibly effective in helping people manage and cope with daily stressors and mental health conditions, and after spending the last year being forced to stay at home, these services are in high demand.

“We are in the process of applying for charitable status and will be running mental health awareness campaigns and fundraisers in the meantime to continue offering funded sessions,” Rider says about future paid-for sessions for the community.

“Our goal is to run these campaigns as often as we can if we can successfully raise enough funds to do so.”

With these paid-for sessions, clients can expect to spend their time in a comfortable space with a trained counselor, supporting them in working through the identified stressors in life.

“We spent a significant amount of time ensuring that our environment is unique to the space; our goal was to make our offices feel warm, inviting and comfortable. We understand that the impact of one’s physical environment is often overlooked when it comes to addressing mental health concerns”,  Rider says.

Accessible mental healthcare

With this new availability of not-for-profit mental health care services, Dorset Pier Mental Health is setting the standard for mental health practices going forward.

“We are exceptionally thankful for the support and donations that we have already received but we will need to continue to fundraise,” Rider says about the future of Dorset Pier Community Care.

With 50 paid-for sessions already in motion, Dorset Pier Mental Health is excited and optimistic about the future of mental health care in Thunder Bay.

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