SUDBURY -- A Sudbury-based organization dedicated to supporting youth mental health is temporarily switching to online meetings as a way to remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compass, formerly known as the Child and Family Centre, is offering both telephone and virtual meetings as a way to continue to offer what it sees as much needed support to youth during this unprecedented time.

"Mental health is probably more important than it ever was," says Mark Fraser, director of clinical and client services for Compass. "For us, it was important for us to ensure that we contributed to the community’s response to providing the help that parents and caregivers, youth and children need to continue supporting those who need mental health services the most."

Charline Sabourin’s family have been involved with Compass for the last four years. When she found out about the new online options, she was thrilled.

"Isolation, as we understand, mentally isn’t actually healthy. So, being able to reach out and be virtually able to communicate with people, it kind of brings you to that not-so- isolated feeling and you have the opportunity to speak to somebody and help you through your rough day."

Fraser says the process is simple. Existing clients will be contacted by their clinician, while new clients are encouraged to reach out to the organization, leave a message with their information and a clinician will call them back.

"These are uncertain times, not only for adults but for children and youth. Our decision was to remain open to ensure that people continue to have access to our services through our 1-800-815-7126 number."

For Sabourin, the support was a relief.

"I think it’s super important, to still be able to reach out if you want to go virtually. It’s best that we don’t go out in public right now. So, being able to connect with someone, you’re not alone."