Established in 1975 to fill a gap in mental health services for youth in North York and was initially funded by the Ministry of Health. Funding responsibility was transferred in 1977 to the Ministry of Community & Social Services. The Centre was then incorporated as "The North York Centre for Youth Services”.
From the beginning, the Centre lacked resources within its catchment area and was forced to utilize a wide variety of services for its clients. Since there were few service providers to refer to, direct service was an integral part of the Centre's work from its inception. Outreach, Individual and family treatment, youth and parent groups soon became the core services of the Agency.
In the late 70's, the Ministry asked the Centre to provide a program funded under the Developmental Services Act for youth with the dual diagnosis of mild developmental disability and mental health challenges.
By 1981, the Centre assumed on-going responsibility for youth with a dual diagnosis for all of Toronto. Late in that same year, the Centre opened an intensive residential treatment program for these youth, the first of its kind in Canada.
The Centre grew rapidly and steadily. In 1983, it was officially re named the "J. D. Griffin Adolescent Centre,” in honour of Dr. Jack D. Griffin, one of the Canada's most distinguished leaders in the field of community mental health.
The 1990’s brought an expansion into adult services resulting in a number of partnerships with other agencies, both in the Mental Health and Developmental Services Sectors to provide services to dually diagnosed adults.
Today, we are known as Griffin Centre. We employ more than 180 staff and offer over 30 essential programs and services in Toronto for vulnerable youth and adults with mental health challenges and/or developmental disabilities and their families.