Mental Health Services
The counselling team at Friends of Ruby reflects the diversity of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Their personal and professional experience informs our comprehensive and collaborative approach to mental health and well-being.
Our mental health team works from an integrative, trauma-informed, anti-oppressive and collaborative framework. Our counsellors combine therapeutic techniques and modalities to address different parts of people’s lives, experiences, and identities. Our integrative approach meets youth where they are.
At Friends of Ruby, our counselling work always strives to take the political and structural context of 2SLGBTQIA+ people’s lives into account, bringing this context into the therapy room. By challenging the dominant discourses that shape people’s lives, we create space for each person’s unique story. Our counselling work is also deeply informed by research on trauma and attachment, and specific trauma therapy modalities.
Examples of things you might accessing counselling to discuss:
Challenges with relationships, emotional dysregulation, mental health diagnosis and their role on your life. the impacts of trauma, experiences of depression and anxiety, exploring gender identity and sexuality etc.)
“My Friends of Ruby counsellor has always been so welcoming and supportive of my journey. She has such brilliant questions and I have learned a lot about myself from them. The mindfulness group I am in has provided awesome resources and a space for practice… I love that Friends of Ruby provides counselling supports dedicated to 2SLGBTQIA+ youths. This means a lot to me because it allows me to feel so much safer in counselling sessions.”– Min, Participant
These sessions can happen in-person at the Youth Centre, over the phone, or through video calls, if preferred. Counselling sessions are collaborative and our counsellors work to meet participants where they are in their journey and, as their needs change, help to foster accountability and structure.
We host group counselling programs to foster connection, accountability, and community. These groups foster skill development (mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal skills etc) and, explore topics such as social isolation, harm reduction, identity, and feelings of wanting not to be alive through music therapy, group discussion, writing activities, and individual reflection.
While we are not a crisis service, we do offer same-day crisis counselling when possible. You can access crisis support through the “Get Help” button and we will do our best to address your concerns. Crisis support includes safety planning, de-escalation, resources, and connections or referrals to emergency medical assistance when necessary.
Other Main Services
Need support finding a job or inclusive housing? Having trouble navigating the healthcare system? Our case managers can help with that.
Along with the Friends of Ruby Home, one of the few transitional homes dedicated to LGBTQI2S youth, at our Youth Centre we always offer help finding inclusive shelter space and housing.
At our drop-in space LGBTQI2S youth aged 16-19 will find meals, activities, support groups and community. We offer barrier free one-on-one counselling, support with gender identity and sexual orientation, and help with finding housing, healthcare and jobs.