ACT provides free and confidential mental health services open to all people living with or affected by HIV in Toronto.
People have been coming to ACT for mental health supports for over thirty years. Our doors have always been open to anyone living with HIV, those affected by HIV (like family, friends, or partners of people with HIV), or worried about their risk of HIV. Over the years we have expanded our range of mental health services as we have learned more about the specific needs of the communities we serve.
Living with HIV can be a challenging experience. Many people face stigma and discrimination because of their HIV status, and the impact HIV can have on our relationships is significant. Depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and other mental health challenges are common among people living with HIV. If you are going through these things, you are not alone. There are supports available at ACT, across Toronto, or wherever you live.
If you feel like you’re at high risk of HIV, or that your concerns about HIV are impacting your mental health then we’re here to talk. Our counselling team is available at ACT on a drop-in or appointment basis, and they can meet with you at ACT, in another location, or provide counselling over the phone.
Gay men often deal with mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety, because of the impacts of homophobia and childhood bullying, as examples. ACT provides a range of mental health supports open to all gay and bisexual men regardless of whether they are HIV-positive, HIV-negative or don’t know their HIV status. To learn more, visit Community Counselling on our Counselling page, as well as groups for gay and bisexual men that deal with depression, anxiety, body image and other issues through our Gay Men’s Group Counselling programs.
Substance use, mental health and HIV risk:
HIV disproportionately affects marginalized groups, and often impacts pre-existing mental health challenges, including problematic substance use, and can affect negotiating safer sex strategies. This includes regularly taking HIV medications as well as using condoms or taking PrEP as prescribed for people who are HIV-negative.
If you recognize that the way you use substances is impacting your sex and your safer sex strategies, we have proven ways to help manage your risk and to help you regain control. Here are two programs available for you: