It’s no secret that a worldwide pandemic can have massive effects on your mental health.

In fact, over 50% of Canadians say their mental health has deteriorated during COVID-19, which is not surprising considering the strenuous circumstances that we’ve been under.

For those of us who were already struggling with mental health issues, the pandemic has compounded matters.

Even before COVID-19 was a thing, it was reported that 1 in 4 people living on Vancouver Island struggle with mental health issues – and this could very well be a family member, friend, colleague or neighbour.

Now, more than ever, the world’s focus is on staying connected; today, January 28th also marks Bell Let’s Talk Day, which looks to remove the stigma around mental health and start conversations we all need to have.

Thankfully, there are many free (or low cost) resources in the Greater Victoria area to take advantage of – take a look at the list below:

Free 24 hour crisis counselling and emergency support:

Vancouver Island Crisis Line

  • Call: 1-888-494-3888
  • Text: 250-800-3806
  • Chat: Online

Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre crisis and information line

  • Call: 250-383-3232

Victoria Women’s Transition House 24hr crisis line

  • Call: 250-385-6611

Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Team (Emergency Mental Health)

Vancouver Island Health Authority (Island Health)

Victoria Mental Health Centre

  • Call: 250-370-8175
  • Visit online

Emergency shelters and counseling for women:

Victoria Women’s Transition House community office

  • Call: 250-592-2927
  • Visit online

Bridges (Victoria and area)

  • Call: 250-385-7410
  • Visit online

Sooke Transition House (Westshore)

  • Call: 250-642-2543

First Nations Resources:

Surrounded By Cedar Child and Family Services (Victoria)

  • Call: 250-383-2990
  • Visit online

Victoria Native Friendship Centre (Victoria)

  • Call: 250-384-3211
  • Visit online

Counselling agencies with free or low cost programs:

Citizen’s Counseling Centre (Victoria)

  • Call: 250-384-9934
  • Visit online

Mary Manning Centre/Child Abuse Prevention and Counselling Society (Victoria)

  • Call: 250-385-6111
  • Visit online

Pacific Centre Family Services (Westshore)

  • Call: 250-478-8357
  • Visit online

Addictions-related counselling and groups

Alcoholics Anonymous (Victoria and area)

Al-Anon (Victoria and area)

  • Call: 250-383-4020
  • Visit online

Narcotics Anonymous (Victoria and area)

  • Call: 1-855-562-2262
  • Visit online

Umbrella Society (Victoria and area)

  • Call: 250-380-0595
  • Visit online

Free Employment Assistance and Counselling

GT Hiring Solutions (Victoria)

  • Call: 250-388-0858
  • Visit online

Worklink BC (Westshore)

  • Call: 250-478-9525
  • Visit online

Other helpful mental health organizations

Eating Disorders Clinic (Victoria)

Call: 250-387-0000
Visit online

Men’s Trauma Centre (Victoria)

  • Call: 250-381-6367
  • Visit online

The Victoria Youth Clinic

  • Call: 250-383-3552
  • Visit online

Big Brothers Big Sisters (Victoria)

  • Call: 250-475-1117
  • Visit online

 

If you or someone you know needs help, call the B.C. Crisis Centre Distress Line number at 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433.

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