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  • Writer's pictureMoss & Fern Counselling

Free & Low-Cost Counselling: New Westminster and the Lower Mainland

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

There are two main websites that you can check in for free and low-cost

counselling in the Lower-Mainland. Willow Tree Counselling has been offering and maintaining a wonderful list of resources for as long as I can remember and do a magnificent job! Get Set Connect is a list that is maintained through the Canadian Mental Health Association - BC Division.

Here are some New West and near resources listed below but also review the links above for more options! If there is nothing near you might look to see which on the list offer virtual if you are able to access stable internet.

Do keep in mind that free and low-cost counselling options often have larger wait-lists due to the limited amount of resources for those surviving on low and fixed income. Due to this there is a list of crisis services below that you can access anytime.

Addictions Services, Vancouver Coastal Health - 604-675-3710 Substance use assessment, counselling and treatment planning for individuals, couples and families. Group counselling also available. Free.

BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse - 604-682-6482 Registered clinical counsellors (RCCs) provide individual and group counselling for male survivors of sexual abuse. RCC fee: $100 for individual counselling. Group counselling: $40 per week. Reduced cost counselling provided by practicum students at $45/hr. Victim services workers on staff to help apply for funding for those who qualify

Bridge The Gap Program - Looking Glass Foundation - 604-314-0548 Counselling for BC residents experiencing a clinical or self-diagnosed eating disorder. Counsellors are supervised master’s-level students. $35/hr. Limited bursaries available

Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre - 604-442-4352 Counselling currently limited to hormone, surgery readiness and ADHD assessments for trans and gender-diverse people.

Chuck Jung Associates Psychological & Counselling Services* - 604-874-6574 No-cost counselling for individuals with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and their family members, delivered at Port Coquitlam and Burnaby offices by supervised psychology doctoral students. *While not a non-profit organization, availability of counselling services in the community for people affected by TBIs is extremely limited, hence inclusion on this list

Dan’s Legacy - Therapeutic Counselling Program Counselling for youth ages 15-25 who have experienced abuse or are affected by substance use. Family counselling also available. Bursaries available for those unable to afford therapy.

Drop-In Counselling Program - The Foundry -1-833-308-6379 or Single-session virtual counselling for youth ages 12-24 and their caregivers. Counselling by voice, video or chat.

Family Services of Greater Vancouver, Student Internship Counselling Program 604-874-2938 Counselling provided by supervised counselling interns, September to April only. No fee. Offices in Vancouver, Richmond and New West.

First Nations Health Authority - 1-800-317-7878 (Toll Free)​ Mental health provider list Provides coverage to access mental health providers, including counsellors, social workers, and psychologists. FNHB covers three mental health programs: Short-Term Crisis Intervention, Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Program, and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls - Health Support Services.

Heath Initiative for Men (HIM) -604-488-1001 ext. 230 Brief professional counselling (8 sessions) is available to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men either by donation equivalent to hourly wage. Vancouver, New Westminster, Surrey, Abbotsford

inform’Elles - Ending the Violence Against Women Program - 604-563-8213 Conseil en Français. French-language only, 1:1 counselling (in-person, phone or email) for women. Free

Inspire Health - 604-734-7125 Short-term, cancer-focused counselling support for those with a cancer diagnosis or their loved ones. Counselling provided by master’s level therapists. Free. No referral required

Living Through Loss Counselling Society of BC - 604-873-5013 Professional grief counselling related to life change or loss. Group therapy also available. Small fund available for limited, subsidized counselling. Call to inquire

Metro Vancouver Indigenous Counselling Free professional counselling for Indigenous individuals across BC, registered with the First Nations Health Authority. Waitlist form

Mosaic - I Belong Program - 236-991-0107 Support groups for LGBTQIA+ refugees and immigrants. Groups available online during Covid

Moving Forward Family Services - 778-321-3054 Counselling for individuals and families. Counselling primarily offered in Surrey, with limited availability in Vancouver, Port Moody and Abbotsford. Graduate-level counsellors ($50-$65) and counselling interns ($20). Limited free counselling available in exceptional circumstances.

Contact main counselling to see if still offering New West services – 604.822.3005

The New Westminster UBC Counselling Centre provides free counselling for adults, children, and youth from September to June. Day and evening appointments are available. All counselling is provided by students in the UBC Master's and Doctoral programs in Counselling Psychology.

PEACE Trauma Counselling - Family Services of Greater Vancouver - 604-731-4951 Trauma counselling and therapy for children (age 3-18) affected by family violence. Master’s counsellors and supervised interns. Free

Qmunity - Counselling Program - 604-684-5307 ext.107 Counselling for members of the LGBTQ+ communities provided by Registered Social Workers and Clinical Counsellors. $60-$120 a session. Daytime only. 10-session limit

Simon Fraser University - Counselling Clinic Burnaby Clinical Psychology Centre- 778-782-4720 Counselling for adults, children and youth provided by supervised graduate students in counselling psychology. Services at the Surrey clinic are free and at the Burnaby clinic are offered on a sliding scale.

Professional counselling for women, children, survivors of incest/trauma/sexual abuse, pregnant women with a trauma history and those experiencing family violence. No fee, however may require a referral from a social worker.

Vancouver Black Therapy and Advocacy Foundation Non-profit organization linking Black community members with accredited Black local counsellors in Metro Vancouver. Priority for Black, disabled and LGBTQIA+ folks.

VAST - 604-255-1881 or Toll Free: 1-866-393-3133 Trauma-focused psychological counselling for refugees in one-on-one and group settings. Services provided in over a dozen languages

Vital Connections Program Family Services of Greater Vancouver / Century House - 604-519-1064 ext. 2. Free, professional counselling (online or in-person) for adults 50+ living in New Westminster

Wellness Together Canada (Phone Counselling) - 1-866-585-0445 Register with this service and speak with a professional counsellor 24/7. Counsellors rotate. Free. Text support also available by texting WELLNESS to 741741

Extended Health Benefits

Willow Tree Counselling adds about extended health:

“If you have extended health through your employer, check with HR or your insurance plan to see whether your employer has paid for counselling benefits. Sometimes this is a separate, contracted service (Employee Assistance Program), other times you are covered for a particular counselling professional such as a Registered Social Worker (RSW or RCSW), Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) or a Registered Psychologist (R.Psych), whom you would hire privately. Be clear on who you’re covered for if reimbursement is important to you! Typically, you would pay the therapist first and they give you a receipt for reimbursement through your extended health. I have written extensively counselling options, including third-party, employee assistance programs, private and subsidized, in the following article: Tree Counselling also offers an additional list of sliding scale private practice counsellors in BC that you can find here!”

Crisis Services and Hotlines

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911.

Willow Tree Counselling offers a more complete list of Crisis Services here or Get Set Connect here (at bottom of web page). —————————————————————————————————————-- 1-800-SUICIDE, BC-wide, 24/7

Access and Assessment Centre (AAC) - 604-675-3700 Non-life-threatening mental health or addictions concerns - 7:30am-11pm, 7 days a week. Phone, drop-in and outreach support available for Vancouver residents. - Segal Centre, VGH - 803 W. 12th Ave. Vancouver

Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline - 1-833-900-1010(24/7) or chat

Chinese/Korean Help Lines -10am-10pm. Cantonese: 604-270-8233

Mandarin: 604-270-8222 Korean: 1-888-721-0596, ext 3

Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC - 24/7: Phone 604-872-3311(Vancouver) or 1-866-661-3311 (toll free); Chat (noon-1am) or youth chat (noon-1am)

Critical Incident Response - WorkSafe BC - 1-888-922-3700 (9am-11pm, 7 days wk) For workers who have witnessed a traumatic incident in the workplace. Free.

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line and On-line Counselling Toll Free: 1-855-242-3310 Chat Line Immediate counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous people across the country.

Gambling Support Line (24/7) – 1-888-795-6111

Health Link BC - Nurse Line - 24/7 - Phone: 8-1-1 or 7-1-1 (hearing impaired)

Kids Help Phone- 24/7 -1-800-668-6868 or Text CONNECT to 686868

KUU-US Indigenous Crisis Line (24/7) Toll Free: 1- 800-588-8717 Adult/Elder: 250-723-4050 Child/Youth: 250-723-2040

Mental Health Support Line- Connect to a crisis line with no busy signal, 24/7 - 310-6789 (no area code)

National Residential School Crisis Line (former residential school students) 24/7 – 1-866-952-4419

Seniors Abuse and Information Line -604-437-1940/ Toll-Free: 1-866-437-1940 Weekdays 8am-8pm; Weekends 10am to 5:30pm, excluding statutory holidays

Trans Lifeline - Toll Free in Canada: 1-877-330-6366 - Peer support hotline run by and for trans people. 7am-1am Pacific Time.

Vancouver General Hospital Sexual Assault Service (24/7) - 604-875-4995 or drop in

WAVAW 24-7 Rape Crisis Line -604-255-6344 or Toll-Free:1-877-392-7583

Wellness Together Canada-1-866-585-0445- Phone counselling: 24/7 access to a professional counsellor. Or text WELLNESS to 741741

Youth Against Violence Line- 24/7:1-800-680-4264orText: 604-836-6381

TTY: 604-875-0885. Help for youth in danger, being threatened or concerned about others.

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