How can I see a counsellor?

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Author: Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division

 

Ask Us is for readers who want to take charge of their well-being, support a friend or loved one, find good help, or just learn more about mental health and substance use. Here, the information and resource experts at HeretoHelp will answer the questions that we’re asked most often. We`ll offer tips and information, and we`ll connect you with help in BC, Canada. If you have a question you’d like to ask, email us at askus@heretohelp.bc.ca, tweet @heretohelpbc, or log in to HeretoHelp and post a comment on this page.

You can find directories of counsellors through their professional organizations.

For more specialized counselling professionals, such as Marriage and Family Therapists, see the Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists in British Columbia.

You can make an appointment on your own. You don’t need a doctor’s referral to see a counsellor.

Counsellors are not usually covered by MSP, so you’ll have to pay for the cost of the appointment yourself. Workplace extended health benefits, Employee (Family) Assistance Programs, or private health insurance plans may help cover some costs. Some counsellors may offer a sliding scale based on your income. If you’re facing financial hardship, you can ask when you make the appointment.

If you want to learn more about lower-cost options to access counselling, email askus@heretohelp.bc.ca with your location and our information and referrals team can see what options there may be in your community.

If you see a counsellor through a public mental health centre like a mental health team or outpatient psychiatry program, it will still be covered by MSP. Talk to your care provider if you have questions or want to learn more.

Indigenous community members can access some counselling services locally or through the First Nations Health Authority. Contact your local Band or local Friendship Centre, or contact the First Nations Health Authority at www.fnha.ca/benefits.

 

 
About the author

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The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit www.cmha.bc.ca.

 
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