Single-session therapy program extended to youth sees 72 per cent drop in waitlist

Did you know? Horizon offers one-at-a-time therapy or single-session therapy in all four regions we serve.

Single-session services are providing rapid access to needed care and reducing waitlists for mental health care, which is good news for New Brunswick’s children, youth and families. Between May and December of 2022, the number of youth under 18 on the wait list for licensed therapy dropped by 367. That’s a 72 per cent drop over the seven-month period.

This program gives access to mental health and/or addiction support on the same day or the next day, either virtually or in person. Launched in winter 2022 for adults, single-session therapy has now expanded to include child and youth services. At an hour-long appointment, a specific, client-focused, strength-based approach is used to deal with the issue the individual wants to address. Appointments can also help identify other services that could be helpful.

“One-at-time therapy has given us the ability to offer a different level of service to our clients and see them in their time of need, and also providing proactive services and allowing us to help families navigate the health system in the province,” said Isabelle Hétu, social worker and clinical lead for Moncton.

“As a clinician, I have personally noted that clients who are not yet ready to engage in long-term counselling seem to really appreciate this approach. Many of our clients have verbalized that they felt supported following just one meeting but appreciated the fact that they can call back at any time for another appointment, and they don’t have to be on a waitlist.”

Patients are thankful for the quick turnaround from when they request a session and when they are able to meet with someone.

“I feel excited for the client when they leave their session with a list of resources and the confidence that they can return for another session whenever they feel they need it,” said Michele Bushey-Joe, Addiction and Mental Health Child & Youth Services social worker and clinical lead in Miramichi.

“One-at-a-time sessions offer the client a lot of freedom and autonomy. It feels good to be able to provide that for them.”

Improving access to health care, specifically emergency care, surgical services, and addiction and mental health services, is a key priority of Horizon’s plan to ensure all New Brunswickers receive the safe, high-quality and timely care they need. This plan consists of three other priorities, including the retention and recruitment of physicians, nurses and staff; improving overall patient experience; and improving patient flow at our health care facilities. Further details about Horizon’s four priority areas are available at

This initiative also supports the Government of New Brunswick’s provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action.