Counselling, Treatment & Recovery

Short Term Assessment and Treatment programs provide specific therapy to deal with acute mental health issues. Clients are assessed by a clinician and may receive brief problem focused one-to-one or group therapy and/or psychiatric consultation. If appropriate, individuals may be referred on to other services.

Urgent Short Term Assessment and Treatment (USTAT) Victoria

Urgent Short Term Assessment and Treatment (USTAT) provides short-term individual psychotherapy for patients in crisis, at risk, or in severe distress.  With this service, clients are assigned to a primary therapist who does an initial assessment and establishes treatment goals.  A team of psychiatrists is available as needed for consultation and follow up.   

1250 Quadra St.
Victoria, B.C.  
V8W 2K7

Fax:  250-519-3545

Access to USTAT Victoria is via a primary care provider referral faxed to Intake.

Adult Short Term Assessment and Treatment (ASTAT)

The Adult Short Term Assessment and Treatment (ASTAT) team provides short term services to adults with serious mental health conditions. Staff members are educated in both mental health and substance use issues.  Attendance is voluntary. A clinician works with individuals to help them achieve their mental health goals.

Services Provided:

Individual therapy Group psycho-education Community resource information Connecting individuals to other appropriate services

    Counselling Services – Community Based 

    In partnership with community-based service providers, Island Health is expanding access to counselling services for people experiencing moderate severity mental health and/or substance use concerns.

    A range of counselling services are available depending on the contracted service provider. Services include in-person and/or virtual counselling. Counselling sessions are time limited: Up to 12 sessions are available. These services are in addition to counseling services provided through MHSU programs.

    Referrals to these counselling services is required. This occurs through the local Island Health intake office. 

    Mental Health Counselling Services

    • For youth and adults aged nineteen (19) and older who require mental health counselling and support services to manage issues of moderate severe mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety and situational crisis.
    • Clients with mild mental health concern may be referred for services in order to address the concern before it escalates in severity; these are assessed on a case-by-case basis as capacity for services permits. 

    Substance Use Counselling Services

    • Services to youth and adults aged nineteen (19) and older who require substance use counselling and support services to treat or manage substance use issues of moderate severity. This is defined based on the DSM 5 as individuals with three to five (3-5) symptoms, indicating moderate substance use disorder. 
    • Clients must be interested and able to engage in addictions counselling in regards to their substance (example: able to attend sessions not in withdrawal or intoxicated). 


    Campbell River

    207-1040 Shoppers Row
    Campbell River, B.C.
    V9W 2C6

    Fax: 250-850-2464 


    941C England Avenue
    Courtenay, B.C.
    V9N 2N7

    Fax: 250-331-8525 


    3088 Gibbins Road
    Duncan, B.C.
    V9L 1E8

    Fax: 250-709-3045


    3151 Barons Road
    Nanaimo, B.C.

    Fax: 250-739-5879

    Port Alberni

    4780 Roger Street
    Port Alberni, B.C.
    V9Y 3Z2

    Fax: 250-731-1312

    Port Hardy

    Port Hardy Mental Health and Substance Use Services
    7070 Shorncliffe Avenue
    Box 1290
    Port Hardy, B.C.   
    V0N 2P0

    Fax: 250-902-6052

    Port McNeill

    Port McNeill Mental Health and Substance Use Services
    2750 Kingcome Place
    Box 548
    Port McNeill, B.C.   
    V0N 2R0

    Fax:  250-956-6813

    Salt Spring Island

    102 – 321 Lower Ganges Road (Also the 3rd floor)
    Ganges B.C.
    V8K 2V4

    Fax: 250-538-4816


    272 Main Street, PO Box 277
    Ucluelet, B.C.
    V0R 3A0

    Fax: 250-726-2681

    Mental Wellness Day Program

    The Mental Wellness Day Program is a group-based, recovery-oriented psychosocial rehabilitation program. We serve adults with diagnosed mental health issues such as schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder and major depression. Our team works with you and your primary health clinician towards reaching individual treatment needs. 

    Mental Wellness Day Program Victoria Brochure

    What We Do

    We provide a comprehensive, individually tailored group treatment program in three broad categories: 

    1. Stabilization
      • Develop healthy lifestyles
      • Integrate into community
    2. Education and skill development 
      • Education and illness management
      • Daily living and coping strategies
    3. Recovery and health promotion
      • Develop healthy lifestyles
      • Integrate into community
    Referral Criteria
    • Primary Axis I diagnosis
    • 17-75 years old
    • Currently receiving psychiatric care

    Individuals with developmental disabilities or head injuries are better served by other resources in the community.

    Souper Meals

    Souper Meals provides healthy, low-cost, made-from-scratch meals to existing clients of Victoria Mental Health & Substance Use (MHSU) services. Individuals can register in person and purchase meals during sales hours. All frozen meals are prepared by MHSU clients enrolled in the Souper Meals psychosocial rehabilitation skill-building kitchen experience program. See our featured story on the Souper Meals program

    General Information on Counselling, Treatment & Recovery

    Referral Required?
    How to get a Referral

    Contact your local Mental Health & Substance Use (MHSU) intake team or primary care physician to get a referral.

    Souper Meals is available for existing clients of mental health and substance use services. If you are already an existing client, contact your service provider for a referral.

    Contact Us

    Please see above for location details.

    News & Events

    “The most important call I’ve made in my life”: Service Link phone line makes an impact in first year

    “The most important call I’ve made in my life”: Service Link phone line makes an impact in first year

    “The most important call I’ve made in my life,” is exactly the feedback Island Health’s Mental Health and Substance Use program was hoping to hear following the launch of the Service Link phone line one year ago. 

    Read more

    New Intensive Day Program Opens for Youth with Mental Health Concerns

    New Intensive Day Program Opens for Youth with Mental Health Concerns

    Youth living with complex mental health needs and behavioral challenges now have access to an intensive day program. This new program provides therapeutic and educational services to support recovery while maintaining close, ongoing connection with youths’ home communities.

    Read more

    Fourier-Transform InfraRed Spectrometer

    Enhanced drug-checking service expands to Port Hardy

    People who use unregulated substances in the Port Hardy area now have access to free local drug-checking services to help reduce unregulated drug overdoses and save lives.

    Read more