Address 10 Quarry Ridge Road Barrie, Ontario L4M 7G1 Phone 705-726-5199 Fax 705-726-7101 E-Mail

Why Support Gilda’s Club?

For people learning to live with cancer, the feeling of emotional distress can be hard to bear. Maybe you have seen this with someone you care about.  Members of Gilda's Club Simcoe Muskoka what that feels like. Every member of Gilda's Club has felt the impact of cancer. They've also felt the power of the emotional and social support they find in the cancer support community at Gilda's Club. Here they find the information, companionship and emotional support they need to make it through their cancer journey, whatever the destination.


Members of Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka can receive free short-term counselling with a registered mental health professional. We provide counselling to Members who:

  • Have a cancer diagnosis
  • Have completed cancer treatment
  • Are caregiving for someone with a cancer diagnosis
  • Have had a family member or friend die from cancer (grief counselling)

Preference will be given to those who are not eligible for the Counselling and Support Services at the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre.


If you are not a Member of Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, learn about our FREE Membership HERE

Frequently Asked Questions about our Counselling Service

Are you still providing counselling services during COVID-19?

  • YES; both new Membership and counselling services are available during COVID-19. You will meet with your counsellor either over the phone, or through Zoom.


How do I qualify?

  • You may qualify to enroll in Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka’s FREE counselling service if you are all of the following:
    • You are an adult (18 years of age or older)
    • You have a cancer diagnosis; or are finished treatment for cancer; or are caregiving for someone with a cancer diagnosis; or are grieving the death of someone who died from cancer
    • Please note you must complete our free Membership process in order to enroll.


How do I enroll in the counselling service at Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka?

  • First, become a Member with us; to learn more about our FREE Membership, click HERE.  You can enquire about our counselling service during your Membership meeting if desired.
  • Once you are a Member, contact the Program Department for more information.


When I called Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka for counselling services, I was referred to the Social Workers through the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program (SMRCP), why?

  • As a registered not-for-profit charity, we receive no government funding and have limited resources. Due to high demand, and in order to provide timely support to our Members, we must prioritize Members who are not eligible for other cancer-specific community resources. If you found that you were ineligible to receive services through the SMRCP, we would encourage you to contact us again.


 Can children and youth get individual services at Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka?

  • Yes; to learn more about services for those ages 17 and under, click HERE.


How many sessions of counselling can I get?

  • Members can receive up to 6 individual counselling sessions for matters related to their cancer experience. You may qualify for an additional 6 free sessions, if it is deemed clinically necessary by both you and your counsellor.


How long is a counselling session at Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka?

  • Sessions are 50 minutes each.

How often can I see my counsellor at Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka?

  • While weekly sessions are typically recommended you may choose to meet with your counsellor less frequently. You and your counsellor will work together to discover what will work best for you.

What can I expect to get out of counselling with Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka?

  • Your time with your counsellor is tailored to your individual goals and needs. Some things that you and your counsellor can work on together include:
    • Building new skills to cope with how cancer has impacted you, such as stress reduction skills, communication tools, increasing the amount and/or quality of sleep, and more.
    • Body image and self-esteem matters, as it relates to your cancer journey
    • Coping with grief when someone has died from cancer
    • Managing other overwhelming emotions, as it relates to how cancer has impacted you.


Who will be my counsellor?

  • Counselling sessions are provided by registered Mental Health Professionals with a Master’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, or equivalent; or those who are enrolled in a Master’s level university program seeking clinical licensure and certification, supervised by a registered Mental Health Professional with a Master’s degree.


What if I need to reschedule or cancel my counselling appointment?

  • When you need to cancel a scheduled session, we request you provide your counsellor with at least 24 hours advance notice.


Is what I tell my counsellor kept private?

  • You have the right to privacy and confidentiality. There is a legal privilege which preserves the confidentiality of the information you share in counselling sessions. There are three situations, however, where the counsellor may disclose information without consent or authorization:
    • (a) if the counsellor knows or suspects the participant is at risk of harming self or another,
    • (b) if the counsellor knows or suspects the abuse or neglect of a child, dependent adult, or an elder, or
    • (c) if the counsellor is compelled to release information, with a requirement from a Court of Law.


This individualized support service is not defined as or intended as a substitute for psychotherapy. We are NOT a mental health provider associated with any insurance health plans, or social service agencies or businesses. We do not provide any medical advice or assistance other than information for referrals to services. If you are experiencing an emergency and need help, please call 911, go to the nearest emergency room, or contact the Crisis Services Line at 705-728-5044 (local) or 1-888-893-8333 (toll-free).

Your counsellor is required to maintain a confidential record of all counselling sessions. No diagnosis of mental illness or of psychological disorder will be included in these records. Counsellors also participate in regular clinical supervision meetings intended to support counsellor development and aid in the care provided to you. Disclosure of information from counselling sessions will be shared during these discussions; these discussions are, in turn, held confidential by all participants.

You have the right to understand the implications and techniques of counselling. There are significant risks and benefits associated with any therapeutic treatment or endeavor. Counselling may, among other things, uncomfortably elevate a participant’s emotions, facilitate the processing of painful events from the past, or disrupt current routines or practices. Conversely, counselling may also help you experience, among other things, a greater acceptance of self, the capacity for more meaningful relationships with others, and a deeper engagement in the opportunities life affords. Participants are encouraged to ask their counsellor any questions about what happens in session and are entitled to understand specific techniques or practices their counsellor employs. Part of what makes counselling successful is an open dialogue between you and your counsellor about the goals and direction of sessions.

You may also choose to end counselling at any point and for any reason, and you are entitled to be referred to another counsellor in the community at large or at Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, if available.