British Columbia expands access to counseling in Greater Victoria


More people struggling with mental health and addiction issues in Greater Victoria will be able to access free local counseling services thanks to a new provincial investment.

The BC government is investing $115,000 in funding for the Esquimalt Neighborhood House Society to continue supporting community-based counseling and addictions services for adults struggling with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss. These support services are run by volunteer counselors and supervised by a clinical counsellor.

“I am grateful to the Esquimalt Neighborhood House Society for providing life-changing mental health support services to individuals and families in their community,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “With support from the province, Esquimalt residents who make the courageous decision to seek help are getting the support they need and deserve.

This funding is in addition to the $19 million the government has invested to support low-cost or no-cost community counseling programs across British Columbia, and will ensure that more people have access to services. mental health and adult support counselling.

“Since the onset of COVID-19, demand for our community counseling service has doubled,” said Mary Lynn McKenna, Executive Director, Esquimalt Neighborhood House. “Without the support of our amazing volunteer advisors, we wouldn’t have been able to meet the demand. We are grateful to the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions for continuing to support our adult mental health counseling service.”

Improving mental health supports is an integral part of A Pathway to Hope, BC’s roadmap to build the comprehensive mental health and addictions care system that British Columbians deserve.


Mitzi Dean, Minister of Child and Family Development, MP for Esquimalt-Metchosin –

“I am pleased that people in our community continue to have access to the essential counseling services provided by the Esquimalt Neighborhood House Society. With the pandemic, the toxic drug crisis and other stressors, counseling is in high demand and can make a significant difference in people’s lives.

Julia D., Volunteer Counsellor, Esquimalt Neighborhood House –

“Community members seek support for what they face every day, from housing and food shortages to employment, mental health and interpersonal issues. Counseling offers people a chance to share their experience and feel less alone, and to explore ways to cope.

A client of Esquimalt Neighborhood House –

“You have no idea how much you have helped me. Your encouragement has allowed me to go visit my dad and reconnect with my family and friends. It has helped me walk on the grass and to breathe the air. I’ll do my best. I’m so grateful for all your help. I can’t thank you enough.

Another Esquimalt Neighborhood House customer –

“I really appreciate the support Esquimalt Neighborhood House has given me over the past eight months. It was the most difficult period of my life. It’s not just a difficult experience. A bunch of trouble came at once. I had no idea what life should be like. I was in a state of severe trauma. After eight months, I reached a safe place.

Learn more:

Esquimalt Neighborhood House Corporation:

Discover A Pathway to Hope, our government’s vision for mental health and addictions care in British Columbia:

Low-cost and no-cost mental health supports:


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