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Specialized Services

Every child and family is unique.

A parent’s and child’s needs differ from family to family. You may need services that are culturally appropriate, offered in a particular language, treat a particular disease or condition, or provide some financial assistance or basic need. We’re here to help you find trusted resources that meet diverse and urgent needs.
 



 

On this page


Children and Youth with Special Needs

General Resources

Specialized Diagnosis Support

Autism Support

Learning Disabilities

Life Skills and Employment

Financial Hardship

Help Yourself Through Hard Times Resource

Employment Assistance

Financial Assistance

Clothing

Food

Housing

Francophone Families

Indigenous Families

Legal

LGBTQ2S

Mental Health and Wellness

General Support

Mental Health Topics

Addictions

Counselling

Military Families

Newcomer Families

Parent Support

Support and Events

Respite Care

Need More Help?

 

Children and Youth with Special Needs


General resources
 
Children and Youth with Disabilities - Children and youth with disabilities have physical, developmental, mental or emotional challenges, illnesses or injuries that prevent or interfere with their ability to perform intellectual or physical tasks, or which can significantly limit their mobility or level of activity. The programs listed in the link above provide supportive services for children and youth with disabilities.
 
Developmental Disabilities Rehabilitation - Services for people with neurological issues or developmental disabilities.
 
 
Specialized diagnosis support  
 
Deafness and Impaired Hearing - Hearing loss ranges from partial to total. Professionally trained sign language interpreters are available to those wishing to access services through the Ontario Interpreting Service of Canadian Hearing Services. The service is paid by the organization or business regardless of the request.
 
Blindness and Impaired Vision - The organizations listed in this link provide counselling for the blind and those with impaired vision. Services include individual and family counselling relating to vision loss, parent, peer and family support groups and referrals to other agencies. They may also provide information aids to support the independence of the individual.
 

Autism Support

Autism is a developmental disorder affecting the brain`s normal development of a person’s social and communication skills. Diagnosis of autism usually occurs in early childhood. Visit the Autism page to find Autism services and London and Middlesex County.


Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities affect the way in which a person takes in, remembers, understands, and communicates information. Living with a learning disability can have an ongoing impact on friendships, school, work, self-esteem, and daily life. Visit the Learning Disabilities page to find services for children with Learning Disabilities in London and Middlesex County.


Life Skills and Employment 
 
Life Skills for People with Disabilities - Life skills programs assist persons with a disability to learn the basic skills of daily living. Services may include training in the ability to travel about the community alone; to live independently in a private residence; to maintain health through self-care and use of medical services; to live within their personal income; to maintain grooming and appearance; and to cope with other requirements of successful independent living.
 
Employment Assistance for People with Disabilities - Unemployed or underemployed people with disabilities can get help through drop-in resource centres, job search assistance programs, and job-skills workshops. Employment counselling and career planning services provide information on the labour market, grants, funding, apprenticeships, and other opportunities for ongoing support.
 


Financial Hardship


The Help Yourself Through Hard Times resource is a guide to basic needs services for London and Middlesex County. It lists services that provide assistance to individuals and families on limited incomes during times of financial hardship. The booklet is updated once a year, and is available for download (see below), or in print form from the City of London or at many social service locations in London.
 
Download the booklet:
Standard single-page layout  (PDF)
Standard 2-page spread layout  (PDF) * with service profile links
Booklet layout  (PDF)
 

Employment Assistance
 
Employment Assistance - Unemployed or underemployed people can get help through drop-in resource centres, job search assistance programs, and job-skills workshops. Employment counselling and career planning services provide information on the labour market, grants, funding, apprenticeships, and other opportunities for ongoing support.

Employment Assistance for Youth - Unemployed or underemployed youth and young adults can get help through drop-in resource centres, job search assistance programs, and job-skills workshops. Employment counselling and career planning services provide information on the labour market, grants, funding, apprenticeships, and other opportunities for ongoing support.

Employment Assistance for People with Disabilities - Unemployed or underemployed people with disabilities can get help through drop-in resource centres, job search assistance programs, and job-skills workshops. Employment counselling and career planning services provide information on the labour market, grants, funding, apprenticeships, and other opportunities for ongoing support.

Summer Jobs for Students Resources from Ontario.ca - Information for students, starting from age 15, on how to find a job, government program job opportunities, and how to start your own business.


Financial Assistance
 
Financial Assistance - Programs that provide people in financial need with basic income support and temporary assistance for urgent and unexpected financial events.

Financial Assistance for Rent and Utilities - Programs that provide financial assistance for low-income individuals and families to help pay rent so that people can stay in their homes, and to cover utility fees (such as electricity and heating).

Budget and Credit Counselling - Programs that help people with money management and budgetary problems, including financial literacy, budget planning, and credit counselling.

Financial Assistance for Children and Families - Programs that provide financial assistance for low-income families with young children.

Financial Assistance for People with Disabilities - Programs that provide financial assistance for people with physical and developmental disabilities.


Clothing
 
Clothing and Household Items - Programs and services that provide free or low-cost clothing and household items. Services can be provided on an ongoing, seasonal, and emergency basis.

Sharing Shops and Thrift Stores - Programs and services selling and exchanging used clothing, furniture, and household items. Proceeds from sales go toward funding services and programs for those in need.


Food
 
Food Banks and Community Food Programs - Provide free or low-cost food to individuals and families in need on an on-going, seasonal, and emergency basis. Services may include food banks, community gardens, Good Food Boxes, youth nutrition programs, and nutrition education programs. Identification for each family member and proof of income and/or residency may be required to access some programs.

Hospitality Meals - Programs providing a prepared meal to individuals and families in need. These meals, provided for free or at a low cost, may occur on an ongoing or seasonal basis.
 

Housing
 
Affordable Housing provides individuals and families housing that meet their needs and budget.


 

Francophone Families

Francophone Community - Organizations or programs which offer service primarily within a French language cultural context, or that otherwise support cultural unity and development within the Francophone community.

Find Services Available in French on southwesthealthline.ca [external link] - This regional directory links you to French services or programs available on a consistent basis.


Indigenous Families


Health and social services for Indigenous communities are often a combination of traditional healing, primary care, cultural programs, health promotion programs, resource centres, community development initiatives, and social support services. Indigenous peoples are the descendants of the original inhabitants of North America, who identify as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit.

The three First Nations communities closest in proximity to Middlesex County and the City of London are: Chippewa of the Thames First Nation (part of the Anishinaabe); Oneida Nation of the Thames (part of the Haudenosaunee); and, Munsee-Delaware Nation (part of the Leni-Lunaape). [1]
 
Health Centres and Programs for Indigenous Peoples – Community-led health programs and services for First Nations, Inuit, or Métis communities.

Indigenous Communities – southwesthealthline.ca [external link] – more services for Indigenous communities, including the adult population
 


Legal

Community Legal Clinics - Community legal clinics provide a variety of services including legal advice, legal representation, and public legal education.

Lawyer Referral - Whether you are seeking advice to prepare a will or need representation in court, a lawyer referral service can help you find a lawyer who can assist you.

Legal Aid - Legal aid is available to people on low income to assist with legal problems, including disability support and family benefits payments.
 


LGBTQ2S

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two Spirited, Queer (LGBTQ2S+) - Various organizations provide health and health-related information in a LGBTQ2S+ positive environment. They may house a list of health care resources of particular interest to the LGBTQ2S+ community, provide social and emotional support, or advocate supporting the passage and enforcement of laws and other social measures that protect and promote the rights and interests of LGBTQ2S+ individuals.
 
 

Mental Health and Wellness


For crisis mental health supports, please visit the Crisis Services page.


General Support
 
Mental Health for Children and Youth Mental health programs for children and youth provide preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services in a variety of community and hospital-based settings to help them achieve, maintain and enhance their state of well-being, personal empowerment and the skills to cope with the demands of everyday life.

Mental Health Peer and Family Programs Programs and services in this category focus on providing support to people who provide care and support to a family member or loved one with a mental illness. Support may include peer support groups, educational resources, case management assistance, and more.

Community Mental Health Programs Community mental health programs provide a variety of services to help support people who have serious and ongoing mental health issues living in the community. Services offered include information and referral, advocacy, case management, housing advocacy, rehabilitation, employment assistance, counselling, support groups and social and recreational opportunities, and peer support services for consumers and survivors.

Mental Health Hospital Programs Hospital programs provide support and treatment for individuals of all ages who have acute or chronic mental or emotional disturbances. Services may be provided on an inpatient or outpatient basis.


Mental Health Topics

Eating Disorders An eating disorder is characterized by a compulsive obsession with food or weight and an inability to accurately perceive one‘s physical appearance. Individuals may compulsively overeat, engage in eating binges which may be followed by purging, refuse to eat or otherwise use food or the process of eating or not eating in a self-destructive manner.

Bereavement Support Bereavement programs provide emotional support, problem-solving assistance, information, and guidance for people who have recently lost a loved one. Included are counselling programs and mutual support groups for widows and widowers, children who have lost a parent, parents who have lost a child, and other people who are grieving.

Mood and Anxiety Disorders Mood disorders or affective disorders are characterized by disturbances of mood or emotional tone to the point where excessive and inappropriate depression or elation occurs. Mood disorders include obsessive-compulsive, depression, bipolar disorders (manic depression), and states of anxiety and panic.

Self-Abuse Self abusive behaviour is the deliberate, repetitive, impulsive, non-lethal harming of one's self.

Suicide Programs listed here help people who have survived a suicide attempt, or have experienced the suicide of a loved one.


Addictions
 
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Assessment and Treatment Alcohol and drug programs provide therapy and mutual support for people affected by substance abuse or dependence. These services help them better understand their dependency and support their efforts to recover.

Addiction Support Groups People affected by substance abuse or dependence get together to share their experiences and get practical tips to prevent a relapse.

Addiction Education and Prevention Substance abuse and dependence awareness programs provide information, training, and resources to educate the public about addictions and addictive behaviour.

Community Withdrawal Management Adults who are medically stable, and who want to stop using alcohol or drugs, can get withdrawal management supports (prior to addiction treatment) at home, or in other supportive community environments.

Residential Treatment for People with Addictions Intensive addictions treatment at residential facilities can support stays that last weeks or months.


Counselling
 
Counselling – Family, Couple, Individual - Counselling aims at assisting people to understand and overcome or manage personal problems, such as difficulties in relationships, anger, conflict, trauma, and abuse.
For more counselling services, visit the Crisis Services page.
 
 

Military Families

Southwestern Military Family Resource Centre - Community-based, nonprofit organization providing information, resources and services to military members, civilian employees and their families. 

 

Newcomer Families

Immigrant, Newcomer, and Refugee Services - Non-profit or government programs and services that deal with the immigration, refugee, and citizenship processes. Includes courses for preparing for the citizenship test.

Ethnocultural Groups - Ethnocultural groups give people of a similar language and/or culture an opportunity to gather and work together to meet common needs. Many provide assistance to newcomers, supporting them to thrive in their new community.

Getting Settled in Ontario [external link] - Information about everything you need to know about getting settled in Ontario from the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
 

Parent Support


Support and Events
 
Parenting Groups bring together parents who wish to share common problems, concerns, or ideas about parenting and child-rearing.

Parenting Education programs provide classes, individual consultation, or other educational opportunities for parents or potential parents who want to acquire the knowledge and skills to be effective in their parenting role. You can also find lots of Parenting Education sessions through the Family Centre and EarlyON Program calendar.

Recreation Programs and Facilities Support your mental and physical health by participating in recreational activities and connecting with others.

Family Centres and EarlyON Programs offer opportunities for parents to connect and ask questions in a safe environment. Community Connectors are available at all Family Centre locations to support you with your information needs and connect you with the community.

London and Middlesex County Family Event Calendar is a place where you can find other parenting events in the community, through organizations such as the London Public Library, Middlesex County Library, and more.
 

Respite care

Respite Care for Children offers temporary, substitute living arrangements or special care in the home for children with disabilities in order to provide a brief period of relief or rest (usually more than twenty-four hours) for the family members, guardians or other people who are their regular caregivers.

For more parenting support information, visit our Parenting page.

 

Need More Help?


Community Connectors are fundamental to helping London families get connected to services and supports. In every Family Centre, families are greeted by a knowledgeable, friendly Community Connector who helps them connect seamlessly to more opportunities that help them be successful in all aspects of their lives.

Contact or visit a Family Centre to speak with a Community Connector.
 
MLHU Telephone Support for Families
Available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm, call 519-663-5317 to speak with a Public Health Nurse from the Middlesex-London Health Unit about questions or concerns about parenting, or caring for your infant or child.
 
Telehealth Ontario
Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In a medical emergency, call 911.

Toll-free: 1-866-797-0000

Toll-free TTY: 1-866-797-0007
 
[1] Middlesex-London Health Unit. (2019). Indigenous Reconciliation. Retrieved from https://www.healthunit.com/indigenous-reconciliation