Community Health Centres

Community Health Centres (CHCs) are non-profit organizations that provide primary health and health promotion programs for individuals, families and communities. A health centre is established and governed by a community-elected board of directors.

CHCs work with individuals, families and communities to strengthen their capacity to take more responsibility for their health and wellbeing. They provide education and advice on helping families access the resources they need from other community agencies. CHCs work together with others on health promotion initiatives within schools, in housing developments, and in the workplace. They link families with support and self-help groups that offer peer education, support in coping, or are working to address conditions that affect health. As such, the Community Health Centre Program contributes to the development of healthy communities.

CHCs' health promotion programs that contribute to child and family health include :

  • domestic violence prevention/treatment including direct counseling, addictions counseling, conflict resolution, anger management, stress management, self-esteem enhancement;
  • parenting education, both individual and group, to improve healthy child development;
  • parent-child resource rooms and drop-ins;
  • anti-racist initiatives and other programs to promote tolerance, cultural diversity and acceptance of minority groups;
  • education, counseling and groups related to weight/body image issues, peer relationships, healthy sexuality;
  • programs for teen mothers.

Community Health Centre Programs for Youth

There are 101 Community Health Centres (CHCs) in Ontario. Each centre is an incorporated, non-profit agency, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. CHCs provide primary care services with an emphasis on health promotion, disease prevention. CHCs also work with local residents to build the capacity of the community to improve its general health. Typical CHC primary care teams include physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, health promoters, community health workers and often chiropodists, nutritionists or dieticians.

All CHCs offer primary care services for youth, ages 14-24. A wide range of programs based on local needs are offered to this age group. Examples of youth programs offered by CHCs include addressing risks associated with poverty and teen pregnancy through prenatal/postnatal support programs, sponsorship of community kitchens and food buying co-operatives, self help groups related to family violence, drop-ins for street youth, support to find employment and family counselling.

There are four community health centres that focus their services specifically on youth. They are The Barbara Black Centre for Youth in Pickering, The Shout Clinic in Toronto, Planned Parenthood of Toronto and the Teen Health Centre in Windsor.

For More Information

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