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Business No: 130586522RR0001



Our Purpose and Mission

To be an accessible source of support and recovery for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, work collaboratively to improve timely and equitable access to services, be guided by the voices of people with Lived Experience, and promote wellness, recovery, and psychiatric survivor/service user community initiatives and networks.

Our Vision

People are connected to communities where they feel included and valued and have the resources they need and want to live safe, secure, and self-defined lives that are free of stigma and discrimination.

Our Values

Respect, autonomy, dignity, diversity, social justice, equity, collaboration, and accountability are at the core of all we do. We value the whole person and acknowledge and respect their needs and wishes for recovery.

Our Approach

We provide a community-based, non-medical, trauma informed, harm reduction approach to crisis that respects individuals’ abilities to define their own identities, experiences, and goals.


Gerstein Crisis Centre, established in 1989, provides a range of non-police, 24/7 community crisis response and intervention services to people 16+ in the City of Toronto who are living with mental health and substance use needs. Our services include a telephone crisis line, mobile team visits in the community, short term residential crisis beds, crisis management and follow-up, and referrals to needed health and social services.

We centre the voices of people with lived or living experience of mental health and substance use in all we do, from governance to service delivery, providing services that are consent based, equity focused and respect the dignity, autonomy, and expertise of the individual.

Listening is at the core of all we do. We have skilled and experienced Community Crisis Workers who are trauma informed, work from a harm reduction perspective and bring expertise to issues related to mental health and substance use. The teams are knowledgeable about community resources and work hard to connect people to the health and social supports they need post crisis.

Gerstein Crisis Centre offers training in Suicide Intervention, Crisis Intervention and Prevention, Mental Health Awareness, Recovery, and other related topics to the community. Our wellness and recovery services provide training and mentoring to those with lived experience using evidenced based models to support individual recovery and overall well-being. Our Finding Recovery through Exercise, Skills, and Hope (FRESH) Project employs people who have used movement and connection in their own recovery to share with others and build natural networks of support.

We have partnered with the city and other anchor organizations in the development of the Toronto Community Crisis Service (TCCS) to provide mobile crisis response to callers reaching out through municipal access points including 911 and 211/Find Help. Additionally, we have a partnership with the Toronto Police Service 911 Communications where we co-locate a crisis worker to assist in diverting 911 callers away from a police response to a crisis worker when mental health is involved.

In partnership with the Toronto Public Library, we are providing crisis supports to library customers that are experiencing the often-intersecting vulnerabilities of mental health needs, substance use, low income, and homelessness or precarious housing. This pilot is located at four Toronto Public Library branches, primarily at Toronto Reference Library and Lillian H. Smith, with additional resources and programming available at Sanderson and Fort York.

Gerstein Crisis Centre is a proud partner with the 9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention Line. As a 9-8-8 partner, we are part of a network of local, provincial, and territorial, and national crisis lines across the country. 9-8-8 is available 24/7 to prevent suicide by making it as simple as possible for people to get the support they need, when they need it, no matter who they are or where they are located in Canada.

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