Delisle Youth Services's (DYS) Day Treatment Programs, Merge and Visions, are designed for high school students who are experiencing significant challenges at school. They may be struggling with academic, mental-health, family or substance-use issues, and may be truant or at risk of dropping out.
Merge and Visions provide these students with alternative learning opportunities under the authority of Section 23 of the Education Act. In conjunction with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the Day Treatment Programs help students stay in school, achieve success, earn high school credits and explore options for their futures including re-entering mainstream schools or seeking employment. They vary by the intensity of therapeutic and life skills support offered.
About the Programs
Following an individual assessment, Delisle staff assign each student to either Visions or Merge based on the intensity and persistence of their treatment needs, and how significantly the student’s issues are impacting functioning at school, home and socially.
The Merge Day Treatment Program offers more intensive multidisciplinary therapeutic support and intervention for students experiencing significant and persistent mental health issues. Merge (previously operated by Thistletown Regional Centre) is also offered in French, and is available to Toronto, York, Peel and Halton referrals.
The Visions Day Treatment Program places a strong emphasis on teaching the academic and life skills needed to be successful at home, school and in the community.
Delisle's Day Treatment Programs are housed in two West End Toronto high schools. The students learn in small, focused classes that are capped at six to eight students per one TDSB teacher; Delisle Youth Workers are on hand in the classrooms to provide youth with support. Students enrolled in the program attend up to three academic classes each day, participate in a life skills group and meet with their primary worker to build on the strengths that will help them find success. The learning and treatment action plan is a collaborative effort that is devised by the student, teacher, Delisle worker(s) and - whenever possible - with the student’s caregiver.
The length of stay in the Programs varies from a few months to a couple of years.
Role of the Family/Caregiver
While we encourage family/caregiver participation in developing and implementing the learning and treatment action plan, as it has been found to have a positive impact on student accomplishments, all parties need to agree on the level of involvement. Delisle staff can work with the family and student to come to an agreement that works.
Delisle staff will determine if an application to the Day Treatment Programs seems appropriate based on information about the youth's treatment and academic needs.
The referral assessment process may include one or more meetings, a standardized youth and parent interview, and collecting relevant supporting documentation
Upon entry to one of the programs, teachers and Delisle staff work with the student to develop a learning and treatment plan.
** Please note that there may be a waiting list for access to the Day Treatment Programs.
My daughter has been in the Day Treatment Program for just over one year. The support provided by Delisle has been one of the most significant factors in helping her to attend school on a more consistent basis again and to feel comfortable in a classroom environment. The teachers and youth workers are a dedicated team of professionals who are invested in the success of each student. They also understand that each student will progress and succeed at his or her own rate and that there is not one ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to education. The program assures ongoing dialogue between the youth worker and parents who collaborate on support strategies. Although she was skeptical at first, my daughter has benefitted from peer support and interaction with the other students in the program. Overall, we have been very pleased with the quality of the program. - Anonymous Parent
Anxiety was controlling my every move. The Merge Program showed me how to fight back and helped me reclaim the upper hand over my mental state. - Merge Student
The TDSB partnership with Delisle is student success oriented. The teachers offer a wide selection of high school courses in small, supportive classrooms that are flexible to the academic and treatment needs of the student. With the support of Delisle staff, teachers plan an academic timetable that supports student success and the mental health goals of the individual. It is truly a collaborative approach with the students' physical, mental and emotional well-being at the forefront of our daily teaching. - TDSB Section 23 Teacher
The students who attend Delisle’s Merge Day Treatment Program have enhanced my passion, desire, motivation and growth as a youth worker each and every day. - Delisle Youth Worker
To blend together; to combine or unite. This is the dictionary definition of ‘merge’ and this is how the MERGE Day Treatment Program plays out in the classroom. Merge Day Treatment Program provides a blending, a combining, a uniting, a ‘Merge-ing’ of treatment and academics for students for whom mainstream schools and classrooms are difficult to navigate. It is a place of welcoming and laughter, a place of empathy and support, a place of 2nd, 3rd, 4th and umpteenth chances. It’s a place of clean slates and fresh chances every day. -Delisle Youth Worker
Working at ‘Visions Day Treatment Program’ as a Youth Worker is a fulfilling, fun, exciting and sometimes challenging career. I am inspired by the youth each and every day learning who they are as a person, achieving success and learning new skills despite their challenges with mental health. I am encouraged by the fun and unique ideas that youth bring to the program, which promotes a safe, diverse and accepting environment to learn and grow. - Delisle Youth Worker
Support our Day Treatment Programs
Your contributions allow us to ensure youth get help when they most need it. You can support the Day Treatment Programs online via CanadaHelps.org or by phone at (416) 482-0081 x280.
Check out this youth made video on Merge!
Delisle Youth Services | (416) 482-0081 | 40 Orchard View Blvd. Suite 255 | Toronto, ON M4R 1B9 | firstname.lastname@example.org