Please spread the word

This tends to be a particularly difficult time of year for desperate families, with the school year ending and many support services on summer schedules.  We often hear from parents that they wish they had found us sooner.  I ask that you please help us in our effort to spread the word that help and hope is available, close to home.  With the stigma of mental illness and addiction, families in crisis are not always willing to reach out in their communities for help.  A friend, a neighbour, a relative, a colleague - we all know someone who is struggling with the nightmare of a teen in crisis, and this information may very well reach a family in need of help at just the right time.

Please consider forwarding this information to your network.


Who do we help?
Pine River is designed for 36 students, ages 13 – 19. Most of them will have a history of:

• serious drug and alcohol problems
• family conflict
• defiance
• lack of motivation
• depression
• thoughts of suicide  
• school failure & truancy
• street involvement
• excessive anger
• low self-esteem
• anxiety
• running away

How do we do it?
Pine River offers a unique, holistic treatment and educational model, based on the developmental needs of adolescents, and grounded in best practices for substance abuse treatment for youth.  Our residential program is family-centered, individualized, and offers a flexible length of stay with the average being 6 months.  We offer a full, individualized academic program.  We offer comprehensive service, all in one place.  Students and families move seamlessly through the four phases of our program: Outdoor Leadership Experience, Residence, Transition, and Aftercare.

We have a professional and experienced multi-disciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, educators, addictions specialists, music, art, dance, and adventure therapists, and outdoor education specialists. With a 1:4 staff to student ratio, our staff have the opportunity to build strong relationships with our students and families as they experience all aspects of the program together.

Through careful documentation, reflection and review, we continuously monitor our work; compare our outcomes; seek new knowledge; and contribute to expanding the understanding of how to work effectively with young people and their families as they transition to adulthood. We are committed to making a meaningful contribution to best practices knowledge regarding helping Canadian adolescents and families deal effectively with substance abuse.  Our research will be shared so that it can best impact the relevant education and health policies and program in Canada.

Does Pine River work?

Research shows that Pine River works.  After Pine River, our students show a significant decrease in substance use, a near absence of crisis indictors such as hospitalization, police involvement and running away, and over 90% of students are attending school regularly, graduating, and attending college or university.  The students’ physical and emotional health are significantly improved, as is family health and functioning.  Our complete research findings are available on our website.

How much does it cost?
Pine River is a not for profit, fee for service program.  29 of our 36 beds are now funded by the Ontario government, for Ontario families.  Tuition for private pay beds is $448/day. A limited number of bursaries are also available from Pine River, and are based on financial need.

How to get help
By phone: 519 925 9225 ext.102
By email: