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Mental-health, substance-use supports available during holiday season

December 19, 2023 at 11:11 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

The holiday season is a time to enjoy and celebrate and it’s also a time to take special care of your mental health and the mental health of those close to you. If you need support during the holidays or any time of the year, please reach out. Help is available.

Guides to mental-health and substance-use services:

Crisis and suicide helplines:

Canada’s suicide-crisis helpline: 988 (call or text). A safe space to talk, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Crisis intervention and suicide-prevention centre: 

  • Confidential, non-judgmental, free emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including thoughts of suicide.
  • Call 1 800 SUICIDE (784-2433) or visit:

KUU-US crisis-response service: 

Overdose prevention:

LifeGuard app:

  • The app utilizes a 50-second timer activated by the person using drugs before taking their dose. If the user does not stop the timer alarm, a text-to-voice call will go to 911 alerting medical dispatchers of a potential overdose.
  • Download the app at:

Province of B.C. overdose prevention website: To learn about services and strategies to prevent overdoses, visit:

National overdose response service (NORS):

  • Offers access to harm reduction and social support through a telephone line. The line is operated by persons with lived and living experience of substance use to support individuals who are using alone.
  • Call 1 888 688-6677 or visit:

Mental-health and substance-use services, supports and referrals:

Urgent and primary care centres:

Alcohol and drug information and referral service:
Call toll-free 1 800 663-1441 or 604 660-9382 (Lower Mainland) to find resources, supports and referrals.

First Nations virtual doctor of the day:

  • Virtual doctors can provide referrals to the virtual substance-use and psychiatry service.
  • Call 1 855 344-3800 to book an appointment.

HealthLinkBC mental-health learning centre:
Call 811 (24/7) or visit:  

Counselling by community: 

  • Free or low-cost counselling is provided through community-based organizations in all parts of B.C.
  • To find an organization near you, visit:

Phone and virtual counselling and mental-health supports:

B.C. mental-health support phone line:

  • 24/7 confidential emotional support, information and referrals.
  • Call 310-6789 (no area code needed).


  • Free online, video and phone-based skills-building program for seniors, adults and youth (13 years and older) experiencing low moods, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry.
  • For more information, visit:

Province of B.C. online guide for virtual mental-health supports is available at:

Children and youth programs and services:


  • Confidential, free counselling and referral services by app, phone or online chat available for all registered post-secondary students, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Call 1 877 857-3397, or 1 604 642-5212 for students calling from outside of Canada (international calling charges may apply).
  • To know more, visit:


  • Immediate counselling, support, information and referrals available 24/7.
  • Youth can call 1 800 668-6868 or text TALK to 686868. Texting support for adults is available by texting TALK to 741741.
  • To know more, visit:


  • Foundry virtual services are available provincewide for people 12-24 and their caregivers.
  • Services include counselling, primary care, peer support and group sessions.
  • All services are free and confidential.
  • Call 1 833 FOUNDRY (308-6379) or visit:


  • Provides emotional support, information, resources and help in navigating services for parents and caregivers of a child, youth or young adult with a mental health and/or substance-use challenge.
  • To know more, visit:

Ministry of Children and Family Development: 

  • Supports all children, youth and families in British Columbia to live safe and healthy lives, and provides programs and services to support child and youth mental health.
  • To find a child and youth mental-health intake clinic near you, visit:

EASE (Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators) At Home:

Kelty mental-health resource centre: 

  • Free mental-health and substance-use information, resources and peer support for B.C. parents, caregivers and families of children and youth.
  • Call 1 800 665-1822 or visit:

Confident Parents: Thriving Kids:

  • Telephone-based skill-building programs offered through the Canadian Mental Health Association – B.C. Division to support parents with children aged 3-12 experiencing behavioural or anxiety challenges.
  • To know more, visit:

Big Worries, Strong Spirit:

  • The We are Indigenous support program is a free telephone-coaching program supporting First Nations, Metis and Inuit families in B.C., whose children aged 3-12 years are struggling with the experience of big worries or fears.
  • Building off the success of Confident Parents: Thriving Kids anxiety program, the program was guided, created and developed through Indigenous perspectives for Indigenous families.
  • To know more, visit:

Youth substance-use treatment services: For information on how to access youth-focused substance-use treatment beds, including information on referral and facility locations throughout the province, visit:

Y Mind and Mind Medicine:

  • A free seven-week early-intervention program for people 13-30 experiencing mild to moderate anxiety.
  • To know more, visit:

Supports for seniors:

BC211: Phone or text 211 – Seniors looking for help or people would like to volunteer to help seniors, including virtual or telephone visits, visit:

Supports for frontline workers:

Care to Speak:

Care for Caregivers:

  • Mental-health support for health-care providers, including trusted information, free workshops to support employees and quick daily-coping tips.
  • To know more, visit:

Mobile response team (MRT):

  • Mental-health support for health-care workers in long-term care facilities and those working on the frontlines of the overdose public health emergency.
  • Call 1 888 686-3022 or email [email protected]

Online mental-health hub:

Treatment and recovery services:

Province of B.C. guide to treatment and recovery services is available at:

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