Stella’s Place opens new youth mental health facility

Nzinga Walker, Executive Director, Stella’s Place

Stella’s Place, an organization offering free mental health support to young adults aged 16 to 29 in Toronto, has opened the doors to a new and expanded facility amidst surging demand for mental health support in the city.

The opening comes at a crucial time as the need for young adult mental health services has skyrocketed through the pandemic. According to a recent survey of young adults aged 18-24, more than 30 percent feel they need professional mental health help, but cannot access services, while 27 percent have recently experienced suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Since its founding in 2013, Stella’s Place has built an impressive track record of providing effective mental health support to thousands of participants through a range of programs, all of which are designed, delivered and evaluated in collaboration with young adults. This approach contributes to above-industry standard program effectiveness and completion.

Programs that shifted online through the COVID-19 pandemic will resume in person in the new building this month, including registered individual and group counselling, drop-in counselling and peer support groups, as well as their signature drop-in café.

At nearly double the size of its previous location, this new building is the first of its kind in the city and provides a permanent home for the cause, while also increasing its potential to serve more young adults across the city.


Associate Minister Michael Tibollo

“The number of young adults seeking help for mental health and addiction at Stella’s Place has continued to increase in recent years, and we should all be very concerned,” says Executive Director Nzinga Walker.

“Our new permanent home in the city, designed with and for young people, will serve as a vital healing hub for so many. With the help of our community and partners, our space will allow us to more than double the number of participants we can serve with life-changing programs.”

Former participant and Youth Advisor Kat Romero says, “The former home of Stella’s Place played a significant role to me during a transitional time in my life. It was my safe place, a place I could go for a hot drink or a snack, and most importantly, a place where I could access support on my own terms. I became a part of a strong community of young adults like myself that still support each other to this day.”

“The new facility feels very comforting and welcoming, and I know it will provide space for hope and recovery to so many young people in our city.”

Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo says: “As we continue to build the continuum of care here in Ontario, community partners like Stella’s Place providing low-barrier services are critical. This new location welcoming young people ages 16 to 29 for in-person services in addition to their online offerings will continue to be a place where the community connects to the care they need, when they need it.”

With the building opening and young adults returning, Stella’s Place will continue to offer online services, ensuring participants can access diverse models of care to suit their needs. Virtual services that remain available are virtual drop-in counselling and peer support virtual cafes. Young adults can also access Bean Bag Chat, a quickly-accessible chat-based app that connects users to counsellors and resources to support their mental health needs.