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S.U.C.C.E.S.S. extends free, affordable community counselling services

Posted date: January 28, 2022

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. has extended its community counselling services, thanks to new BC government funding, and will continue to provide low- and no-cost and virtual mental health supports for people impacted by the pandemic.

The pandemic, toxic drug crisis, extreme weather events, rising reports of racism and grim residential schools discoveries have led to an increase in mental-health and substance-use issues for many people in B.C. We are one of 49 community agencies that have ramped up our mental health care and services to help clients cope with the uncertainty and challenges of the last two years.

To meet this growing demand for mental-health care and services, the Province is investing $4.2 million to support the these community agencies to provide low- and no-cost counselling services, particularly for people in rural, remote and Indigenous communities. Since 2019, nearly 25,000 people have had access to counselling services as a result of this funding.

“I am very thankful that with this provincial funding, our trained counsellors can continue to answer the call and help our community members in crisis during the pandemic,” said Queenie Choo, CEO of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. “The past two years have been incredibly challenging and isolating for many of our clients. Being able to provide virtual counselling allows us to help people right from their own homes, while our expanded capacity ensures people who are struggling won’t fall through the cracks.”

Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, made the announcement on the extension of community counselling services in B.C. on Jan. 27.

“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,” Minister Malcolmson said. “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 provides flexibility for counsellors to meet clients through outreach, in-person counselling or through virtual supports. In some community agencies, counsellors connect people to other services and supports, such as housing, employment insurance, addictions treatment or even attending appointments with them.

“This extension of the Community Counselling Fund will support thousands of British Columbians with access to low-cost and free counselling services during a time when so many people are struggling with social isolation, anxiety, grief and loss,” said Emily Wagner, Acting Executive Director of the Community Action Initiative. “In addition to the pandemic and extreme weather events, every community in B.C. has been touched by the toxic drug crisis, and the need for accessible, high-quality mental-health and wellness supports is vast.”

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Counselling Services include individual, couple and family therapy. We work on issues related to loss and grief, trauma, abuse, identity, adjustment, marital conflicts, parent and child relationships. We provide counselling in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Farsi virtually and from two offices located in Vancouver and Coquitlam. Counsellors are registered clinical counsellors or social workers with extensive experiences working with children, youth and adults. Art therapy and play therapy are offered upon request. All funded services are free and unfunded services are charged on a sliding scale depending on income.

If you are experiencing difficulty in the pandemic and are interested in a counselling referral, you can speak to a S.U.C.C.E.S.S. intake worker M-F 9 a.m.-5 p.m. by calling:

  • 604-408-7266 (for Chinese & English)
  • 604-468-6005 ext. 2 (for Korean)
  • 604-468-6100 ext. 1 (for Farsi)
Quick facts:
  • In 2019, the Province invested $10 million in Community Counselling Grants administered by the Community Action Initiative (CAI), to 29 community agencies over three years. This funding expanded low- and no-cost mental-health and substance-use counselling to October 2022.
  • Early in the pandemic, the Province invested a separate $2.4 million to support the expansion of community counselling programs, including virtual services delivered by an additional 20 community organizations throughout the province. In July 2021, these 20 organizations received an additional $2.4 million in grants to extend the delivery of ongoing low- and no-cost mental-health and substance-use counselling services to May 2022.
  • The Jan. 27, 2022, funding announcement extends support for all 49 organizations to provide ongoing services until March 31, 2023.
  • Since 2019, the Province has invested $19 million to support community counselling agencies.
  • Between Nov. 1, 2019, and Oct. 31, 2021, approximately 125,000 individual, family and group counselling sessions were delivered through this program.

For a complete list of all funded community counselling agencies, visit: https://caibc.ca/ccfprofiles/
For access to virtual mental health services for British Columbians, visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/mentalhealthsupports
To read more on this work, visit: Province extends free, affordable community counselling services | BC Gov News

About S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
Founded in 1973, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is one of the largest social service agencies in Canada. Our multicultural, non-profit charitable organization offers a wide range of programs and services that promote the belonging, wellness, and independence of people at all stages of their Canadian journey. Programs and services are offered in the areas of newcomer settlement, English language training, employment and entrepreneurship, family, youth and seniors programming, health education, community development, seniors care and affordable housing. Learn more at: successbc.ca.

For more information
Elaine O’Connor
Director, Strategic Communications and Partnerships
S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
236-880-1392
[email protected]

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