Here are some frequently asked questions:

What is Peterborough Youth Services?

Peterborough Youth Services (PYS for short) is a non-profit social service agency which has been providing counselling and support to young people 10-18 and their families in Peterborough and surrounding areas for over 40 years. The professional staff of PYS specialize in working with youth.

What Kind of Help is Available?

A range of services are available including individual and family counselling, and Community Response Team services as well as Youth Criminal Justice Act service programs. PYS is a child and youth focused agency. Family therapy is available in support of goals for the child or adolescent, however it is not a requirement for service.

What Can Counselling Do For Me?

Counselling provides help for youth dealing with many different situations and problems such as:

  • difficulties coping with life in general
  • pregnancy/teen parenthood
  • physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse
  • gender and identity
  • family violence and/or family breakdown
  • grief
  • poor self-image
  • conflict with the law
  • sexuality
  • bullying
  • sadness, depression, anger
  • difficulties at school

Individual counselling gives young people an opportunity to meet privately with a counsellor to talk about problems they may be having and explore possible solutions. Your counsellor will talk with you and gather some information from you and answer any questions you might have. Counselling often includes art or drama and games (e.g., pool, ping pong). You and your counsellor will decide what works best for you.

Family counselling is an opportunity for you and members of your family to meet with a counsellor to work out problems that you haven’t managed to solve on your own. This could mean we meet with one other person in your family or several members, whatever would be most helpful. We usually start by meeting with the young person on their own before moving to family counselling. This can help you to figure out what the problem is and decide on the best way to solve it.

Community Response Team services are available for youth of all ages. This may include helping young people and families in crisis, youth who are not able, for a variety of reasons, to get to PYS, youth who need help finding employment, assistance with life skills, housing, education and applying for financial assistance.

Youth Criminal Justice Act programs receives referrals from Probation Services for young persons who have been convicted of an offence while under the age of 18 and received a court ordered disposition to participate.

Why Should I Come to PYS?

Research has shown us that certain factors help youth cope with life’s stresses and among them are:

  • friendship/belonging
  • participating in activities
  • feeling good about yourself
  • feeling good about how others see you
  • having adults in your life whom you admire
  • having an adult with whom you can talk

How Do I Get Started or Referred to PYS?

You can call Peterborough Youth Services and talk with the receptionist and ask for an intake appointment. Though we encourage family involvement, in accordance with the Child and Family Services Act any child 12 and over may refer themselves with or without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

PYS also accepts referrals from community resources (with the support of the youth and family) such as schools, probation officers, children’s aid workers, the courts, doctors, public health nurses, and many other people who are involved with young people.

Since PYS is funded through provincial and municipal governments, the United Way, foundation grants and private donations, services are offered to you and your family at no cost.

Is It For Me?

If after having read this you’re still not sure whether PYS is right for you, why not call and arrange to meet with a counsellor to find out more about how PYS might be able to help you? Our staff will be more than happy to arrange a time for you to come in to meet with a counsellor. You can e-mail us at or you can phone 705-743-1681 and talk with the receptionist or leave a message and we will return your call.

What if I’m in Crisis?

From September to June Peterborough Youth services is open 9am to 7pm Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and 9am to 5pm on Thursdays and Fridays. During July and August PYS is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. PYS’ Crisis Response Team is able to respond to calls within 24-72 hours. If you require immediate assistance and PYS is not open then alternately you can speak to a counsellor over the phone by contacting Kids’ Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or Four County Crisis at 1-866-995-9933. In an emergency, visit Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s emergency room or call 911.