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B.C. expands mental-health services for refugees, immigrants on Vancouver Island

June 27, 2023

By BC Gov News |

Refugees and immigrants, including children and youth, will have access to more free and affordable mental-health supports, such as counselling services.

The Province is providing $375,000 over three years to support child and youth counselling services at the Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees, which provides low-cost counselling services to immigrants and refugees of all ages on Vancouver Island.

“There is an urgent need to support people, including children and young immigrants and refugees struggling with mental-health challenges across the province,” said Grace Lore, Minister of State for Child Care, and MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “Funding for the Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees will ensure children and young people get the supports they need to not only survive, but thrive in B.C.”

The centre’s counselling sessions are offered in a client’s first language, when possible. The cost for services is based on client’s income or can be free if they are unable to afford it.

“The number of refugee and immigrant families that have settled on Vancouver Island is rapidly increasing. Most of these families do not speak English and are not able to access mental-health resources that are culturally and linguistically appropriate,” said Adrienne Carter, director of services with the Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees. “This grant will allow our centre to continue to provide holistic mental-health services to the entire family.”

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