In a continued effort to support mental health initiatives across BC, the Provincial government has announced they will be investing $4.2 million into local community counselling options.
This funding builds on investments that the government has been making since 2019 to reduce barriers to mental-health supports for people throughout the province.
As a result, nearly 25,000 people have had access to counselling services.
Over the past few years, the pandemic, toxic drug crisis and extreme weather events have led to an increase in mental-health and substance-use issues for many people in B.C.
Now, this extension of government funding will allow British Columbians to access counselling services as well as benefit from low and no-cost options.
The $4.2 million investment will support the ongoing work of 49 community agencies, focusing particularly on those in rural, remote and Indigenous communities.
“When people make the brave decision to seek help for their mental health and well-being, we want them met with care, regardless of their location or pocketbook. In the early days of the pandemic, community counselling groups helped us transform mental-health care delivery and, with our funding, reached thousands of people,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“I am grateful to these community counselling agencies for the vital work they do to meet people in their time of need and to build trust and ongoing connections. With today’s funding announcement, that care continues and broadens.”
Community counselling allows counsellors to meet clients through outreach, in-person counselling and virtually assisting with services and supports such as housing, employment insurance, addictions treatment and more.
For some, having access to counsellors means they will even have the extra support of someone to accompany them to appointments.
“Everyone has the right to their best possible mental health, and for many people, access to quality, reliable and effective counselling is a vital part of their mental-health journey,” said Jonny Morris, chief executive officer, Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division.
“We’re grateful to the Province of B.C. for extending one of the most significant and profound ongoing investments in publicly funded psychotherapy and counselling in B.C. This investment will help ensure more people get the right support, where they’re at, at the right time.”
For a complete list of all funded community counselling agencies you can visit the Community Counselling Funds’ page.