How can we help you? Listed below are frequently asked questions about Sexual Health, Mental Health and Social Programming at HQ Toronto.
FAQ: Sexual Health
How can we help you? Listed below are frequently asked questions about Sexual health services at HQ Toronto.
At your first visit you’ll register in our electronic medical record system and fill out some basic information on our tablets about your health, sexual practices and medical history. You’ll meet with one of our sexual health team to review your history as well as confirm all of your demographics. Then you’ll be able to complete either testing or treatment at the same visit as needed. While first visits may take a little longer (20 minutes or so) this allows us to set you up with HQ so your next visits can be done through our kiosk and self-testing systems.
We operate on a walk-in basis. Just come to the clinic and we will be happy to see you. You may be given follow-up appointments to return to the clinic for some of your care (like HIV care, PrEP and PEP follow-up).
There are multiple places in Toronto to get anonymous HIV testing. At HQ we do not offer anonymous testing or treatment.
Yes! We are happy to see you at HQ. All of our sexual health testing and treatment is available free of charge. For individuals with no OHIP who want to access PEP or PrEP there may be some small charges from the outpatient labs that process your liver and kidney function tests.
Yes! Our team has extensive experience in HIV-related care and will be able to help with your HIV treatment. We will also be able to help get you into either HIV primary care or to see an HIV specialist for your ongoing care.
Testing at HQ takes 3-4 hours, and they will be reviewed by the sexual health team and sent out to you. Most of your results for the most common STBBI’s will be available within 24 hours after dropping your tests off at the lab (including HIV testing, chlamydia and gonorrhea as well as syphilis screening). For those who come to clinic in the later afternoon and evening your results will be sent to you on the next business day.
For positive syphilis results, these will be sent to public health for confirmation and staging. If you have had syphilis in the past, we do not do your screen in our lab at HQ as we know it will be positive, it is sent directly to public health for the confirmatory testing, this usually takes 2-3 days.
At HQ we do a HIV screening test, any positive results need to be confirmed at public health. While the testing we do for screening is highly accurate, there is always the possibility of a false positive. We will let you know your HIV test is pending while we wait for the confirmation from public health, usually this takes 3-5 days. If you have questions or want to talk about your results please come back to clinic.
Yes, we are happy to see you and do an assessment or testing as is clinically indicated. Please let the front desk know when you are coming that you are worried you have monkeypox so we can make sure to take the proper precautions in the clinic.
We have vaccine supply from public health and should have vaccine available If you would like a vaccine for Mpox please call us to ensure we have supply in today before you come. Please note that if you have never been to HQ before you will need to register in our clinic before you receive your vaccine, your visit will likely take 20-30 minutes.
FAQ: Mental Health
How can we help you? Listed below are frequently asked questions about Mental health services at HQ Toronto
We offer a stepped-care approach to matching cis guys into guys and all trans and non-binary people. Stepped-care aims to provide the right care at the right time for each individual, with the goal of getting the effective intensity of care faster. This model includes the following mental health supports, determined on an individual basis:
- Service navigation support (see Care Coordination)
- Self-Help Resources (see Mental Health Resource List)
- Mental Health Treatment Groups (see Group Services)
- Psychiatric Consultation (see Mental Health Assessment Services)
No referral is required to access most mental health programming.
For those who have primary care providers, we appreciate referrals for our services. This allows for better communication between our services and your existing team.
For psychiatric consultation (diagnosis and medication questions), we do require a referral from a primary care provider. Our consultative services are time limited and therefore we rely on community providers to support your care in the long term. For those without primary care, we are happy to support your efforts to find an informed provider.
We offer 2 forms of consultative services:
- Referrals to our Clinical Assessment Program (CAP) to assist in treatment planning and matching at HQ
- Referrals for consultative services for clarification of diagnosis and medication advice
HQ Toronto uses a combination of self-assessment and clinician assessment to determine the most appropriate level of care.
HQ Toronto will support our clients in connecting with other services if we do not offer the recommended treatment.
Outside of participation of our psychotherapy programs, we may arrange for time-limited follow-up, however we are not able to provide ongoing psychiatric care.
We offer limited intensive individual therapy as part of our Stage 3 treatments including for those in our full Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) program and Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) for Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (individual sessions + weekly skills group). For those who complete group programming and who may benefit from additional individual support we rely on referrals to community partners. There is no direct referral to Stage 3 treatment groups.
Please complete and fax the following referral form.
We are unable to provide ongoing care for all clients who access our programming. Outside of participation of our psychotherapy programs, we may arrange for time-limited follow-up, however we are not able to provide ongoing psychiatric care.
When you visit us for the first time, you will meet with one of our Mental Health team members for a tour of our facility and have an opportunity to discuss your goals and begin self-assessment. This is with the goal to connect you to the appropriate level of care within our programming. We do not offer individual walk-in counselling.
We recognize that our mental health journeys are not static and that some days are harder than others. If at any point during your participation with our programming we meet on a day of crisis we are glad to offer 1:1 support in determining the next best step for your recovery.
If you are ever immediate crisis, we recommend that you make it to your nearest emergency room or call 911. You may also find it helpful to look at our crisis support resource list here *** link***
We do not offer support with housing. For those with concerns about housing, we provide recommendations to community partners who specialize in housing support.
Our team is committed to support our clients with support with service navigation. This can include single session discussions and/or a mental health planning group. We do not offer intensive case management.
There are no costs associated with accessing our mental health services. This is true even for those without Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage.
For those seen in psychiatric consultation who are recommended a medication treatment or services provided by partner agencies, we do not have funds to pay for this through our organization and rely on existing programs (The Ontario Drug Benefit program (ODB), The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), workplace insurance, etc.).
Currently, all first stage/introductory groups are offered in the evening. Stage 2 and 3 groups will be offered at different times and days based on provider availability. We recognize that some groups may only be offered at a date and time which can make it difficult to schedule. We are happy write a letter for an employer to support accessing treatment. Over time, the clinic will eventually have Saturday hours. Please check our website for updates to our operating hours.
There is no waitlist to come in-person to visit our facility and begin self-assessment. We endeavor to keep the wait for stage 1/introduction groups to no longer than 2 weeks. If the wait is longer, we will inform you after self-assessment. Waitlists exist for all other programming and fluctuate. For those recommended to these programs we will inform regarding current waitlist duration.
We encourage open communication between our team and your primary care provider, as well as any other providers supporting your mental health (ex. other therapists). When accessing care at HQ we consider your primary care provider part of your circle of care unless otherwise specified. For those requesting psychiatric consultation, we have an obligation to send our recommendations to the referral source.
FAQ: Social Programming- General
How can we help you? Listed below are frequently asked questions General questions at HQ Toronto.
HQ Toronto is centrally located in downtown Toronto, steps from Bay, College, and Queen’s Park stations. Occupying 10,000 sq. ft. on the 8th floor of 790 Bay with capacity for future growth, HQ will be a welcoming, sex-positive, shame-free, stigma-free, and bully-free space where cis guys into guys and all trans and non-binary people will receive integrated, person-centred services regardless of HIV status.
Underground paid parking is available for visitors at 790 Bay Street. College Park also has underground public parking available.
As of June 11, 2022, provincial mask requirements have been lifted in most public settings, including:
- social gatherings and organized public events
- retail settings
- personal care services
- restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments
- places of worship
- public transit
You should continue to wear a mask if you feel it is right for you
masks will be optional for all staff, members, and visitors of HQ Toronto in accordance with recommendations given by the Ontario Ministry of Health.
Please note there are some instances where masks will still be required:
- Everyone will be required to wear masks at HQ Toronto when the COVID-19 Community Level is high.
HQ Toronto recognizes that some staff and visitors may prefer to continue wearing a mask indoors, and we support this decision, and we will continue to have masks available for staff and visitors who may need them or who may prefer to wear them.
- Physical Distancing:
HQ Toronto is currently limiting the number of attendees at in-person programs so that attendees can physically distance at tables.
- Food and Drink:
You are welcome to bring water with you to programs but we ask that you do not bring other food or beverages into meeting rooms unless it is medically necessary for you to do so.
All HQ staff and in-person facilitators have received the COVID-19 vaccination.
Hand sanitizer will be provided at all HQ Toronto events and tables are wiped down with a disinfectant before and after programs.
- The 790 Bay Street building has elevators on both the left- and right-hand sides of the building to access programming, Express HIV/STBBI testing and Mental health services taking place on the eighth-floor suite 820.
- There is a gender-neutral restroom located on the to the eighth floor.
- There are changing tables in all restrooms.
- For additional accommodations, please reach out to us at email@example.com
HQ Toronto is committed to doing our part to reduce the amount of paper waste at events and programs and as such we are aiming to eliminate paper handouts.
- In instances that handouts are needed during a session, we encourage you to bring a mobile device to access electronic copies, to print and bring your own, or to let program staff know ahead of time that you request a printed copy be made for you.
- Any paper HQ Toronto uses is tree free/recyclable.
- We encourage you to bring your own printed name tags for events.
Browse through our Social Programming page and find the program you would like to register for then click the ‘REGISTER ‘button. If there is no ‘REGISTER’ button, this means the program is a drop-in and registration is not required.
All virtual programs will be conducted using Zoom.
You can sign up to our newsletter by visiting our website at hqtoeonto.ca and scrolling to the bottom of the page in the section called ‘Get updates”. When you sign up you will automatically start receiving our online newsletter to your mailbox every month.
FAQ: Social Programming- Room Booking
How can we help you? Listed below are frequently asked questions about booking a room at HQ Toronto.
Please contact the Operations Lead for the access code once you arrive.
You may cancel your request and submit a new one by contacting the operations lead at firstname.lastname@example.org
HQ Toronto requires advanced notice for cancellations; charges may apply.
- All booking requests will receive email confirmation – your booking is not complete without this.
We will also email you if more information is needed, so make sure you’re checking!
- If your plans change, please reply to your approval email no later than 8:30 Am business day before a table booking, or five business days before a room booking.Not cancelling a booking in advance of these deadlines or not arriving for your booking without notice (no-shows) can result in suspension of booking privileges and, in some cases, a fine.
Check in at the HQ Toronto Reception desk within 30 minutes of the start time of your booking – sanctions apply to groups who do not arrive on time or exceed cancellation limits.
Please note any food or beverage you would like to have at your event must be indicated in booking document.
Groups are allowed to play music during their booking but be aware that there is a noise limit in effect at all hours. Not adhering to the noise limits can result in cancellation of current and / or future bookings, as well as a fine.
Confirmations for room booking requests may take up to two weeks to complete this process depending on the number of requests. After that, requests are reviewed as they come in and are usually approved in 1-2 business days.
We provide access to high-speed Wi-Fi to both service users and events participants.
HQ Toronto offers three distinctive rental venues and books the full spectrum of public and private events. Pricing depends on the venue, date, time, and requirements of an event.
Please contact us for a quote at email@example.com
HQ Toronto has a dedicated service kitchen areas for catering use. This kitchen does not contain an oven or microwave for use.
To use alcohol in the space we ask that you provide us a SOP before bringing alcohol into the space and ensure that all necessary safety procedures are enforced in regard to AGCO protocols.
Yes! A few of HQ event spaces are installed with a ventilation system where ceremonial smoke use is permitted.