Mental Health & Substance Use Resources & Education

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If you are in crisis, the Vancouver Island Crisis Line is available 24/7: 1-888-494-3888.

The Vancouver Island Crisis Line provides a supportive listening ear for people in emotional distress and connection to emergency mental health services when needed.

Connect to Our Services

Please see Mental Health and Substance Use Services for services in your area that can help you.

We accept referrals from self, family physicians, and other health/social service professionals. Mental health and substance use services vary depending on location. Please note: for some services, you may require a doctor’s referral.

Campbell River: 250-850-2620 (#207 – 1040 Shoppers Row)

Comox Valley: 250-331-8524 (941C England Ave., Courtenay)

Cowichan Valley: 250-709-3040 (3088 Gibbins Rd., Duncan 

Nanaimo: 250-739-5710 (#203 – 2000 Island Hwy N.)

Port Alberni: 250-731-1311 (4780 Roger St.)

Port Hardy: 250-902-6051 (7070 Shorncliffe Ave.)

Port McNeill: 250-956-4461 (2750 Kingcome Pl.)

Victoria: 250-519-3485 (Daytime: 1119 Pembroke St. | After Hours: 1125 Pembroke St.)

Westcoast: 250-726-1282 (272 Main St., Ucluelet)

Alternative Services/Supports

Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP)

Many employers offer their employees extended benefits that may include an Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP).

Through EFAP, you can access counselling services (either in-person, by phone, or online), tools and resources. Ask your employer or human resources staff about your extended benefits package (Pacific Blue Cross, Green Shield, etc).

Remember, EFAP services that are provided to you are confidential and not reported to your employer. 

BC Association of Clinical Counselors (BCACC)

The BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) is the professional association that represents over 4,100 Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) in our province. If you receive counselling services from an RCC, you can have confidence in their experience and qualifications, and that they have met the highest standards of their profession. Visit the BCACC website to find a Registered Clinical Counselor in your area.

The BC Centre on Substance Use 

The BC Centre on Substance Use is a provincially networked organization with a mandate to develop, help implement, and evaluate evidence-based approaches to substance use and addiction. The Centre works with those directly impacted by substance use to provide their knowledge, experiences, and expertise to set priorities for treating substance use and addiction. 

The BC Centre on Substance Use works with those directly impacted by substance use to provide their knowledge, experiences, and expertise to set priorities for treating substance use and addiction.

Screening Self-Tests 

Screening self-tests are tools that help you look at your mental health or wellness. These tests look for signs or symptoms that can show up in some mental illnesses. They can also help you look at patterns of feelings or patterns of substance use.

Check out screening self-tests on the Here to Help webpage for the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Overall well-being
  • Alcohol use
  • Canabis use

Mobile apps, tools, resources to help improve mental health, and general well-being

The following online tools are free (unless stated otherwise) and offer information, resources, and support you can access anytime, anywhere. 

  • Anxiety Canada: Anxiety Canada provides information and tools, such as their free MindShift app (iOS/Android), to help youth and young adults manage anxiety using step-by-step strategies.
  • Anxiety Org: This website provides up-to-date, easy-to-understand mental health information by working directly with distinguished doctors, therapists, scientists, and specialists.
  • SAM: This iOS/Android app can help you understand what causes your anxiety, monitor your anxious thoughts and behaviour over time, and manage your anxiety through self-help exercises and private reflection
Depression and low mood
  • BounceBack® is a free skill-building program designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress, and/or worry. Delivered online or over the phone with a coach, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness.
  • Booster Buddy is a free app for young people to improve their mental health. Created by Island Health in collaboration with teens and young adults with lived experience, Booster Buddy allows you to manage your personal wellness journey and earn achievements as your sidekick guides you through a series of daily quests designed to establish and sustain positive habits. Follow self-care routines, learn coping skills, increase real-life socialization, and keep track of appointments and medications.
  • Mood Kit: This iOS app was developed by two clinical psychologists to help you apply effective strategies of professional psychology to your everyday life. They also developed the Moodnotes app to track your mood over time, avoid common thinking traps, and more.
  • Mood Mission: This iOS/Android app is used to track your mood. When you tell MoodMission how you’re feeling, it gives you a tailored list of 5 simple, effective, evidence-based Missions to improve your mood.
  • iFightDepression: The iFightDepression tool is an online guided self-management programme that aims to help individuals with mild to moderate depression to self-manage their symptoms.
  • Managing Anger is a resource that offers positive coping skills.
General mental health
  • eMental Health: This tool provides information about a variety of mental health conditions and links individuals to local resources.
  • 6 ACT Conversations: The Acceptance and Commitment Training audio modules aim to provide you with emotional intelligence skills to help complete tasks, start and sustain friendships, participate in  living a balanced life. Each session includes a conversational mini-lecture and several practical exercises.
  • HealthyMinds App: This problem-solving tool helps people deal with emotions and cope with the stresses they encounter on and off-campus. The goal: keeping your mind healthy. HealthyMinds was developed by The Royal (in Ottawa), which is one of Canada’s foremost mental health care and academic health science centres.
Mindfulness and meditation
  • Buddhify:  This iOS/Android app provides categorized meditations based on what you’re doing or how you’re feeling, such as walking, stress, difficult emotions, work break, going to sleep, or waking up.
  • Calm: Beginners and experienced meditators can use this web-based tool and iOS/Android app to access daily meditations for reducing stress and anxiety, better sleep, managing emotions, and more.
  • Headspace: Offering simple daily meditations, this web-based tool and iOS/Android app is designed for beginners who would like to incorporate meditation into their daily lives.
  • Mindfulness Daily: This iOS/Android app provides guided meditations, push notifications to remind you to pause for mindful breaths, and daily sessions to refine and tune your personal path to peace.
  • Smiling Mind: Tools to support healthy minds through mindfulness meditation that is accessible to all.
Substance use 
  • Addiction Chess: ACHESS is a web-based tool and iOS/Android app used to prevent and intervene when relapse may occur. This tool uses a series of mobile supports by promoting coping competence, social relatedness, and autonomous motivation. 
  • Here to Help: Information, self-help resources, and external resources for substance use and mental health.
  • Algonquin College substance use resources and self-assessments.

Additional tools

Living Well Booklet - this is an online magazine style version
Living Well Booklet - printable version. 
Living Well Booklet Video Slideshow
Mental Health Commission tool kit for people impacted by suicide

General resources 

Resources for specific disorders

Resources for Mental Health and Substance Use 


News & Events

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Digital memory wall honours those lost due to toxic drug poisoning this International Overdose Awareness Day

This International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) August 31, Island Health is hosting a digital memory wall to honour those lost to a toxic drug poisoning. IOAD is the world's largest annual campaign to end overdose, and this online memorial encourages everyone to remember, without stigma, those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of family, friends and caregivers left behind. 

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Drug and health alert text system expands

Anyone in the Island Health region can now contribute data to help inform potential drug poisoning overdose advisories. 

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Island Health bolsters youth outreach and support across Vancouver Island

Youth experiencing serious substance use challenges have benefited from enhanced outreach and support services in communities across Vancouver Island, thanks to Y-STAR teams established throughout 2022.

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