Counselling FAQs

WES FOR YOUTH ONLINE COUNSELLING FAQS

Answers to your questions about the WES for Youth Online Counselling service.

How does the Online Counselling Service Work?

The WES for Youth Online Counselling service is similar to email in that you communicate in writing with your counsellor. Once you have registered and have a username and password, you can login to the online counselling site whenever you like and type a message to your counsellor. Your messages are private and confidential – your counsellor will not share the information you tell them with anyone except in a few very specific circumstances.

Your counsellor will read your messages and provide you with a written response at least once a week and sometimes more frequently.

Once registered, you will also have access to a number of resources that provide further detail on how the service works and information to support you in getting the most out of online counselling.

Please note, while your counsellor will always try to respond to urgent messages quickly, online counselling is not like instant messaging or online chat – responses are not ‘live’ or in real time. Online counselling is not a crisis intervention service. If you are in crisis, we encourage you to call the Mental Health Crisis Line 1-877-470-5200, Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 or 911.

How much does it cost to access WES for Youth Online Counselling?

It’s FREE!! Thanks to the support of our funding partners, donors and volunteers, we are able to provide the service to eligible users free of charge.

Is the information I share in Online Counselling private and confidential?

Yes. Your counsellor will not share any information you provide except if they are required by law to do so under the following circumstances:

• If you are under 16 years of age and tell your counsellor that you are being or have been abused (physically or sexually);

• If your counsellor believes that your or someone else’s life is in danger. This includes situations where you communicate to your counsellor that you are considering suicide and do not feel that you can be safe and are not able to agree to a ‘safety plan’ with your counsellor;

• If a court demands therapy records;

• If you have been abused by another helping professional who is a member of a profession regulated by Ontario’s Health Professions Act.

Similarly, we discourage you from sharing information from your counselling conversations on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site.

Will responses from my counsellor be visible in my email inbox?

No. When your counsellor sends you a message only a simple alert message is sent to your email inbox. When you receive this message, you can click on a link that takes you to the Online Counselling login page.

Why do I have to register to use the Online Counselling service?

The service provided by WES for Youth Online is accessed via a secure login utilising a username and password unique to you. In order to set this up, you need to register some personal details and create your own username and password. Registration information is confidential and is stored in accordance with our privacy policy and is only used so that we may provide the most helpful service to you.

Information provided at registration also helps us confirm that users trying to access the service are eligible to do so. If you are not sure whether you are eligible, please review our eligibility criteria or contact us.

All counselling service users must keep their username and password private. Users of the service must not set up accounts on behalf of others or communicate with a counsellor on behalf of, or while pretending to be, someone else.

What happens when I click the register now link/button?

You will be taken to the WES For Youth Online Counselling secure pages facilitated by Therapy Online. You will be asked to answer some brief survey questions (your answers to these are confidential) and then you will click through the pages to enter the personal information required to set up your account. The registration process will take about ten minutes. Once you have registered you will receive an automated welcome message and you can then begin sending messages to your counsellor. You can expect your first reply within 48 Hours.

What if I decide I don’t want to participate in online counselling anymore?

No problem, our counsellors understand that everyone has different needs at different times in their life. They will not judge you or be disappointed or angry. All we ask is that you let your counsellor know that you don’t want to continue so that they know you will no longer be in touch. You don’t need to write a long message or provide any explanation for your choice. Provided you are still eligible, you may reconnect with the service at any time so be sure to keep your username and password.