Youth Counselling Clinic opens in the Sault with help of SSMEDC

Kelsey Dugas recently opened a youth counselling clinic.

Sault Ste. Marie, ON (October 2, 2018) – What talents and abilities make a successful entrepreneur? One trait is the capacity to see a shortage of services and figuring out how to fill that gap. Kelsey Dugas is a prime example. Growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, she didn’t think there were enough support systems in place for children in the LGBTQ community facing emotional and other challenges.

“There weren’t many people working in that area, and I wanted to help change that,” she said. “This has been my focus for as long back as I can remember.” After graduating with a Bachelor degree in Psychology, and later with a Master’s degree in Social Work, Kelsey returned to her hometown. She spent a few years working in youth-related positions with a number of local support agencies.

Wanting a more dedicated role, Kelsey opened her own counselling business in January 2018. The registered social worker specializes in supporting and assisting youth. Her focus is on people in the LGBTQ community, though she works with all youth throughout the Algoma District. “Childhood is a crucial time in a person’s life – it can make or break them,” said Kelsey. “If people open up and talk about their issues, they can work through them and a positive difference can be made.”

Kelsey Dugas Counselling is located at 602 Wellington Street East. Her business helps youth build tools and strategies for managing their mental health. She offers a number of services, including individual therapy, family consultations and emotion-focused therapy. To learn more, visit

To help get her firm off the ground, Kelsey first met with the small business support team at the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. She later enrolled in the organization’s Starter Company Plus program, which provides entrepreneurs with training, mentoring and access to grants. “This support had a huge influence on me,” said Kelsey. “I wouldn’t have been able to open my business without the help of the SSMEDC.”

Starter Company Plus is funded by the Province of Ontario. Since it was unveiled in April 2017, the program has supported 198 businesses in the Sault area. For more information, please contact Zoltan Virag from the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation at 705-251-3500 ext. 1002 or [email protected]. The organization delivers its small business programs at the Millworks – Centre for Entrepreneurship, which is located at the Machine Shop. To learn more, visit