If you or someone you know is in crisis and in need of immediate help, call 911 or go to the closest emergency room.

Supports for People with Borderline Personality Disorder

If you or someone you know is in crisis and in need of immediate help, call 911 or go to the closest emergency room.


SashBear Foundation

Website: www.sashbear.org 


To lead a mental health reform by promoting awareness for the need of early prevention, recognition, timely intervention and access to affordable treatment of individuals with emotional dysregulation. Through our efforts, we will bring positive changes to create a more validating environment for everyone by:

  • Eliminating the stigma around Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Promoting access to affordable treatment services leading to improved quality of life
  • Disseminating effective life coping and interrelationship skills
  • Informing and mobilizing family and friends to seek the skills training needed to support loved ones when they struggle

Programs and Activities

  • Provision of a 12-week Families skills educational program for family members with loved ones living with emotion dysregulation called Family Connections, an evidence-based program. Program is offered across Canada by volunteer facilitators.
  • Provision of informational/educational Presentation sessions to students, school staff, mental health providers on borderline personality disorders and emotional dysregulation.
  • Organization of a borderline walk to raise awareness on mental health and to remove the stigma surrounding it.
  • Hosting mental health professional speaker presentations to raise awareness and disseminate information/education in the community.
  • Promoting access to affordable treatment services leading to improved quality of life by funding state of the art training for mental health professionals.

Family Connections Groups

The Family Connections groups aim to help the people who live with or who are connected to people suffering with diagnosed (or undiagnosed) Borderline Personality Disorder. Initially the groups give family members and friends information about the disorder, exploring the participants’ experiences with it and introducing some of the strategies people in close contact with sufferers can use to improve their situations.

The facilitators are also people with family members or friends with Borderline Personality Disorder. They start by making it clear they are not experts and that they cannot provide solutions. The groups are designed to help family and friends understand their own limits in coping with loved ones, learn effective ways to de-escalate situations and to reach out to and better communicate with their “person” by validating his or her feelings and experiences.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills in School’s Pilot Program

In 2017, The Sashbear Foundation implemented Sashbear’s Skills in Schools Pilot, a pilot aimed at introducing life coping skills into schools as part of the school curriculum.

The curriculum is a social emotional learning curriculum designed for the range between grades 7 and 12, called Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents. The pilot included implementation of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy based curriculum, general training of staff and specific training of teachers delivering the curriculum to students. Training was delivered by world recognized authorities in Dialectical Behavior Therapy for adolescents on June 8-10 2017 with a fall 2017 implementation.

Greater Toronto Area

CAMH - Toronto

Borderline Personality Disorder Clinic

CAMH's Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Clinic offers group treatment in dialectical behaviour therapy to help people who have BPD make positive changes in their lives. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioural therapy. It is used to treat a range of behaviour problems.

It teaches clients how to:

  • Become more aware of their thoughts and actions
  • Tolerate distress
  • Manage their emotions
  • Improve their relationships with other people

Referrals are accepted by self-referral and/or physician/hospital/community agency/school referral. Services are offered on an out-patient basis.

The clinic is currently offering 24-week skills groups (two hours, once weekly). To be eligible for this treatment, the individual must have a therapist in the community whom they are seeing at a minimum every few weeks, who agrees to provide support to the during the group treatment. Individuals first attend an assessment meeting to confirm the group treatment will be helpful for their individual needs.

DBT Skills Group

Four main skill modules are taught:

  • Mindfulness: how to focus your attention on the present moment;
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: how to get what you want from people in a way that makes them want to give it to you;
  • Distress Tolerance: how to survive crises and get through really painful moments, without making them worse; and
  • Emotion Regulation: how to get more control over your emotions, and how to get more positive and less negative emotions in your life.

Central Toronto Youth Services

This agency is an accredited Children’s Mental Health Centre which serves youth up to age 24 and their families, providing various mental health services. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is offered for persons with borderline personality traits.

Community Counselling

Community Counselling Programs offer support to youth primarily ages 12-17 and their families through outreach, individual counselling, family counselling and group work. Given that many of the clients face challenges or barriers to service, the agency offers programs that are creative, flexible and are based on individual/family need.

Office based counselling may include individual, group and family counseling. In the community, workers meet with youth and often family members in their homes, neighbourhoods and schools. This outreach relationship-based model supports youth when traditional in-office counselling methods have not been helpful.

In school settings, our counselling groups respond to emerging client needs and concerns. In all our programs, we help youth find their own solutions by forging consistent and supportive relationships.

Referrals are accepted from professionals, parents/caregivers, and other agencies, as well as self-referrals from youth. An intake worker will assist callers in accessing the appropriate program.

New Outlook Program

New Outlook Programs are transitional age mental health programs that provide support, case management and counselling for youth and young adults experiencing significant challenges with their mental health posed by social, emotional and psychiatric challenges as well as those imposed by societal oppressions. Using a recovery model, staff strives to instill a sense of hope, support improved life-skills and foster independence. A range of family focused interventions are available to support family members or caregivers of youth and young adults receiving services within New Outlook.

Referrals are accepted from professionals, parents/caregivers, and other agencies, as well as self-referrals from youth and young adults. The New Outlook intake worker will assist callers in accessing the appropriate program.

The Community Support and Intervention Program

The Community Support and Intervention Program (CSI) is a relationship based mental health outreach program for young adults (16-24) involved with the justice system. The program provides assessment, intense short-term case management, support and informal counselling to young adults experiencing significant challenges with their mental health. Using a recovery approach, the program aims to connect young adults to community resources, to improve their overall functioning and bridge services for clients facing the additional challenges of navigating mental health issues and the justice system.

Eligibility criteria is for youth and young adults 16-24 years of age, must reside in the city of Toronto, and experiencing mental health issues that impact their daily functioning. Referrals for this program are generally made through the courts. Referrals are also accepted from professionals, parents/caregivers, and other agencies, as well as self-referrals from youth and young adults.

CMHA - Peel/Dufferin

This organization provides a variety of mental health and addictions services, and is committed to community development, mental health awareness and addressing the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. Services are provided that assist individuals experiencing borderline personality disorder.

Access to Recovery Supports offers intensive community-based supportive counselling and advocacy to assist individuals in reaching their mental health recovery goal.

The Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) also offers a broad range of intensive community supports to individuals experiencing serious mental health concerns and their families, in order to reach their recovery goals.

There is also a Case Management service that promotes support independence and improve quality of life, helping the person on a path to their personal recovery.

Further, a wide range of community groups supports are offered including Mindful Awareness Stabilization Training (MAST) group. MAST groups teach emotion regulation skills through education and mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is present moment awareness – paying attention to our thoughts, emotions, and feelings in the body as they are happening. The practice of mindful awareness helps one to feel better, especially if a person is struggling with difficult emotions, mood fluctuations, or physical pain. Participants will learn what is mindfulness, how the brain and body process stress and emotions, and develop resources for self-care. This is a closed, four-week group offered at various locations throughout the year.

East Metro Youth Services - Scarborough

East Metro Youth Services is a community-based children’s mental health and addictions centre, accredited by the Canadian Centre of Accreditation.

Their Mission is to continuously strive to engage youth and young adults in reaching their personal best through: enhancing their mental health; investing in their future potential; and innovative collaboration with diverse families, communities and service partners.

The agency provides individualized programming to meet the unique needs and circumstances of youth and their families.

The agency offers a variety of mental health and support services to meet the needs of children, youth and families whether it’s through counselling, outreach work, or drop-in programs.

Services include:

  • Prevention;
  • Assessment and Diagnostic services;
  • Counselling;
  • Day Treatment;
  • Transitional Support; and
  • Residential Services.

Some of the programs that are offered are: community-based counselling either through the walk-in clinic or longer term with a certified therapist; youth and family programming such as The Zone Youth Space, Newcomer Program, or Youth Outreach Worker Program.

In situations where there are complex or significant mental health issues, participation in more intensive programs, such as Residential or Day Treatment Programs is needed. Autism-based programming for youth and families is also provided. It is noted that the Borderline Personal Disorder Population is served.

Griffin Centre Mental Health Services - Toronto

Griffin Centre is an accredited, charitable, multi-service, mental health agency providing flexible and accessible services to children, youth, transitional-aged youth, adults and their families.

This agency serves vulnerable youth and adults with mental health challenges and/or developmental disabilities and their families, including those with Borderline Personality Disorder.

The organization offers a range of professional services including; assessment, service coordination and planning, individual, family and group counselling, specialized day/residential services and respite services.

Programs address a broad spectrum of issues including:

  • Conflict with family, peers or others;
  • Problems at school and/or in the community;
  • Depression or other mental health concerns;
  • Drug and/or alcohol use
  • Sexual abuse;
  • Discrimination and/or harassment counselling;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Conflict with the law;
  • Developmental Disabilities; and
  • Autism

At the core of Griffin Centre’s philosophy of service is a commitment to building and supporting the communities we serve. We respect the rights of people and we aim to foster environments where individuals, families and communities connect, strengthen and grow. Key service components include: client-centred; strength-focused; flexibility; collaboration and learning-approach.

We help clients, their families, and communities to find solutions to their concerns. Helping them to build on their strengths and develop new skills. Being sensitive to the cultural and ethnic heritage and traditions of clients and their families. We work closely with communities to develop new services for clients and their families, involving them in planning and decision-making and helping clients and their families to help themselves.

Griffin Centre uses a multi-disciplinary approach in its provision of services (e.g. child and youth workers, social workers, psychologists, art therapist etc.) and values the collaboration, which takes place between all disciplines in developing plans with and for clients and their families. With this diversity in mind, we also aim to provide multi-lingual service, cultural interpretation and hire culturally diverse staff teams who are better able to serve clients, families and communities.

We recognize the uniqueness of our clients, employees strive to provide a safe, nurturing, equitable and affirmative environment where clients can see themselves reflected in all aspects of their treatment and incorporate elements of each client’s traditions, beliefs and needs into their treatment and care within the programs.

The Hospital for Sick Children

Hospital Services

The Department of Psychiatry at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) provides interdisciplinary, family-centred care for children and adolescents with mental illness. As part of an academic health sciences centre, the hospital integrates research, teaching, patient care and advocacy to advance knowledge about mental illness and promote evidence-based practice in supporting children's mental health.

Community Mental Health

The Sick Kids Centre for Community Mental Health now operates in partnership with the Sick Children Hospital. This children’s mental health facility provides various mental health services, including prevention, early intervention, treatment, education, and research. Treatment for the individual experiencing borderline personality disorder is available.

The Children’s Community Mental Health program promotes the social, emotional, behavioural and physical well-being of infants, children, youth, and families, through a variety of prevention and early intervention programs, outpatient, day, and in-home treatment services, as well as residential treatment programs.

Treatment is tailored to each child’s needs and may involve medical health experts, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, child and youth workers, and early childhood educators. Prevention and early intervention programs are offered in a number of different Toronto neighbourhoods.

Mount Sinai Hospital - Toronto

The Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital offers Mount Sinai Hospital offers Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) services, as a component of their psychiatric services.

The Day Treatment Programs at Sinai Health System (Mount Sinai Hospital site) offer a variety of groups for patients who need a more intensive, interdisciplinary, goal-oriented, time-limited program than is
traditionally available in outpatient services. This program is intended to supplement existing treatment such as individual therapy, case management, and on-going psychiatric follow-up. Programs are
strength based and encourage the individual to focus on recovery which is based on their personal goals.

  • Programs are group based and are for individuals who have functional limitations related to a psychiatric illness.
  • Individuals accepted into the day treatment program will be provided with a schedule of groups appropriate to their needs.
  • Program participants must be able to come to the hospital several days a week for up to 4 hours a day. Maximum length of program is 12 weeks.
  • These groups are designed to help program participants build new coping skills to improve their sense of well-being and their ability to function effectively in their daily lives.

Further, the hospital in conjunction with the Sashbear Foundation has also delivered an intensive twoday training workshop, led by DBT experts Drs. Michelle Leybman and Shelley McMain from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Eighty health-care providers from hospital and community health service settings were trained, and 30 were later selected for ongoing, small-group capacitybuilding. A third phase of training supported 10 providers as they took their DBT skills back into the community to train their peers and support clients.

Nexus Youth Services

Nexus Youth Services offers counselling services to teenagers and young adults, ages 14 to 24, who live in the Region of Peel in Ontario, Canada. This region includes the City of Mississauga, the City of Brampton and the Town of Caledon.

This organization is a fully accredited youth mental health agency. The agency creates opportunities for youth by providing high quality services that are inclusive and responsive to the needs and voices of youth.

The agency offers the following programs:

  • Community Counselling Program
  • Nexus Youth Centre Drop-In
  • Nexus Youth Centre
  • 24/7 Crisis Lines
  • Kids Help Phone

Service is provided specifically to individuals experiencing Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), including targeting suicide prevention. Cognitive-based therapy is available.

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences - Whitby

Borderline Personality Self-Regulation Clinic

The Borderline Personality Self-Regulation Clinic at Ontario Shores Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) provides services to individuals 18 years of age and older who are diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and are having difficulty managing their symptoms.

The goals of this therapy are to reduce symptomatology; maladaptive behaviors, and current psychological distress associated with BPD. Additional goals are to decrease admissions to in-patient units and emergency room visits. This is done through increasing coping skills while improving quality of life.

Services offered:

The Clinic offers clients Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) by an interdisciplinary team including nursing, social work, occupational, psychology and psychiatry staff.

Program Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18 years and over
  • Confirmed BPD diagnosis
  • Ability to attend the Clinic twice weekly
  • Ability to attend and participate in a group setting
  • Ability to read and write at a grade 8 level

Peel Children's Centre

Peel Children's Centre is one of the largest children and youth mental health organizations in Canada offering help and inspiring hope to some of the most vulnerable children and youth in our community.

This agency enriches the lives of children and youth who experience social, emotional and/or behavioural challenges by providing a continuum of high-quality mental health services. The organization serves young people from birth to age 17 and their families who live in Brampton, Caledon or Mississauga.

At Peel Children's Centre, the children and families that are served, are partners with the staff in their treatment. The focus is keeping the family together by working with their strengths and improving skills.

Services are offered in many different places such as at their office, treatment homes, family home, school, and other places in the community.

Service addresses such issues as:

  • Behaviour and Conduct Problems
  • Need for Social Skills and Life Skills
  • Self-harm including Self-cutting
  • Suicide
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Service is provided through various cognitive and therapeutic approaches.

Stella's Place

Stella’s Place provides comprehensive mental health services for 16 to 29-year olds. The agency provides services in a positive, peer engaging, non-residential community setting.

The agency offers a full menu of choices including peer support, clinical, employment, wellness, studio and recovery programs to help young adults learn skills, find connection and be empowered to manage their own health.

The goal of this holistic approach is to help young adults learn skills, find connection and become empowered to manage their own health.

Walk-In Counselling

Participants are seen on a first come, first serve basis. Participants can attend Walk-In Counselling a maximum of 1 time per week and can continue to access the service as needed.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

Stella’s Place offers Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. Programs assist young adults to learn how to identify and cope with emotions, how to manage difficult situation, and how to build communication
skills with family and friends.

Skills for Safer Living Group

The Skills for Safer Living Group focuses on living life more safely. It offers skills to help participants learn to identify needs, regulate emotions, problem solve when distressed, and improve one’s effectiveness in relationships. This program invites the participant to consider engaging with life and consider thinking about the future differently. The participant will also learn to name their moments of control when they find themselves in a moment of emotional crisis. What makes the group unique is the understanding that every participant in the room identifies as a suicide attempt survivor and wants to live a safer, more meaningful life.

Finding my Place

Finding My Path aims to support young adults interested in developing skills toward obtaining meaningful employment through community, peer support, and employment counselling.


The navigator meets with participants individually for task-based support. The navigator can help with tasks like applying for financial assistance (e.g. ODSP/OW/OSAP), applying for employment or education programs, etc.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) is a peer-facilitated wellness program that helps you be in charge of your mental health recovery. WRAP discusses concepts like hope, education, peer support, selfdetermination and self advocacy. Along with a variety of activities and group discussions, participants will develop a wellness toolbox and action plans around triggers, identify signs of crisis and develop a
crisis plan.

Skills for Safer Living Group

The Skills for Safer Living group focuses on living life more safely. It offers skills to help participants learn to identify needs, regulate emotions, problem solve when distressed, and improve one’s effectiveness in relationships. This program invites the participant to consider engaging with life and consider thinking about the future differently. The participant will also learn to name their moments of control when they find themselves in a moment of emotional crisis. What makes the group unique is the understanding that every participant in the room identifies as a suicide attempt survivor and wants to live a safer, more meaningful life.

Consult a Doctor

Youth can talk with a doctor familiar with mental health. They can ask about general health, mental health, sexual health, chronic illnesses etc.

Sunnybrook Health Services Center

This is a teaching hospital that provides various services including mental health and psychiatry, providing treatment for mood/anxiety disorders for all ages, from adolescents to the elderly. This includes approaches that address the Borderline Personality Disorder.

The Department of Psychiatry – Youth Division serves youth with complex cases of mood and anxiety disorders.

The Inpatient Program focuses on assessment and short-term stabilization; admissions are typically one to two weeks in length.

The Outpatient Program focuses on complex cases of mood and anxiety — that is, mood- and/or anxiety-related difficulties beyond a pediatrician’s or family doctor’s ability to treat. The hospital accepts referrals for new outpatient assessments for youth between the ages of 14 and 18 years of age (inclusive).

The Day Treatment Program ("Fresh Start") is a school-based program focusing on transitioning students with mood, anxiety, or psychotic disorders back to school.

This intensive program is offered as a co-operative program by the division of youth psychiatry and the Toronto District School Board.
Students who participate:

  • Have a primary mood, anxiety, or psychotic disorder;
  • Are still in recovery;
  • Are ages 14 to 19 years;
  • Live in the City of Toronto; and
  • Are eligible for enrolment in a Toronto District School Board High School (Have completed Grade 8 and Have not yet graduated high school).

Youthlink - Scarborough

YOUTHLINK offers a unique set of services and programs for vulnerable youth between the ages of 12-24 and their families or caregivers. All of the services and programs are voluntary, confidential and free of charge.

The programs range from prevention and early intervention to clinical counseling, housing and treatment. Services are specified for persons with borderline personality disorder.

Programs include:

  • Individual and group therapeutic counselling, parent support groups;
  • Violence prevention and leadership development programs in high needs communities and schools in Scarborough;
  • Inner City drop-in/resource centre and outreach for street-involved and homeless youth;
  • Employment and Life Skills programs; and
  • Treatment Residence for girls 14-18 and supportive co-op housing throughout Toronto Family support program for youth with developmental disabilities.

© 2022 Ashley Boca Mindfulness Foundation
Charitable Registration Number: 752469536RR0001