The Bracebridge branch of Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions is moving to another temporary location this June while their future office remains under construction.
Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions provides child and youth mental health services, child protection services, and more to families across the region. Its Bracebridge location is currently in a temporary space on Ecclestone Drive, and on June 6, the team will be moving out and setting up shop at 193 Manitoba Street, another temporary location that will open for services on June 12. Krista McDonald, senior lead for child and youth services, said they will continue to offer the same services and support throughout the move.
“COVID has shifted our services slightly to be more community-based, so we have therapists in each of the high schools, and we’re providing services within our communities,” McDonald said. “The office is going to be a home base for folks, and we’ll hopefully be able to house our walk-in clinic once we’re settled.”
Clients can get an appointment at the Bracebridge office the same week they call in, and the Family Connexions team is offering both in-person and virtual options.
The District of Muskoka purchased the agency’s previous Bracebridge location in 2020 for use as a youth housing facility. The facility, known as Alex’s Place, provides transitional housing to locals ages 16 to 24 that are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
“They’ve renovated and moved that program into our previous building on 49 Pine Street, and we had already owned some land up further on Pine, so in order to accommodate our services and the community, we are building a new building that’s taking longer than we anticipated,” McDonald said. “We’re looking at 193 Manitoba as a temporary location until we can get into our new building.”
The staff at Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions wants to make sure that locals know they are the go-to resource for any child and youth mental health needs in Muskoka, so they encourage anyone who needs information to reach out. Young people who have the capacity to consent can also access services on their own, so if they don’t want to involve their families yet or at all, they can get help independently.
COVID has had a major impact on the mental health of young people, McDonald said, and that’s been reflected through a significant rise in the need for their services. She encourages people to check on the well-being of their children and their peers and to remember that their services are there to provide strategies and support to struggling youth and their families.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in our crisis calls, and for many of those crisis calls that we’re seeing, they’re not previously known to our agency,” she said. “We’d like to be able to have children and youth and their families access service before the point of crisis, and so [we’re] just encouraging them to use our walk-in and give us a call to set up an appointment.”
For more information, visit the Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions website, or call the Bracebridge location at 705-645-4426.