Mental Health Programs Update

UPDATE – July 5, 2021

HIM counselling is moving towards the Step 3 of the BC Restart plan. As part of this move, we are informing that in-person counselling for our counselling programs is no longer limited to community members who have accessibility issues. However, we still have some measures in place in order to safely implement these changes:

  • Symptom checking before sessions is still in place. This will be required prior to any in-person sessions.
  • Facemasks and PPE are still mandatory. However, if counsellors and clients are vaccinated (at least with one dose of two doses vaccines), facemasks might be removed in counselling rooms where there’s enough space for physical distancing; and ventilation.
  • Tele-counselling is still available and recommended.
  • Please note that in-person counseling may be possible, but it highly depends on the counsellor’s comfort and availability. If you want to see a counsellor in person, it may take longer than working with a counsellor remotely.

UPDATE – June 8, 2020 Resuming In-Person Counselling:

We are partially re-opening some of our spaces to allow in-person counselling again. To do this safely, we have new protocols in place as recommended by the health authorities. If you’re coming for in-person counselling, your counsellor will ask you to comply with these protocols, as well as to monitor any symptoms before your sessions. You will also receive a document explaining the protocols with your confirmation email prior to start counselling. Please do not come to an appointment if you feel sick or have any symptoms, just notify the counsellor and you will be able to reschedule or cancel without penalty.

Currently, we are prioritizing in-person counselling for folks who might have accessibility issues, including lack of internet / phone access; or lack of access to a private space. Please note that we will try to accomodate to preferences, but we might not always have the capacity to do so. If you have the means to do counselling remotely, we still strongly encourage that you work with your counsellor this way.

To ensure that we minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19, we are modifying the mechanism of providing counselling services. If for any reason, you are uncomfortable with the changes below, please contact [email protected] immediately:

  • Counselling programs will continue using secure video, phone, and internet resources. 
  • If you are in immediate need of assistance, and/or are experiencing severe thoughts of suicide, you may consider calling the Crisis Centre 1-800-784-2433
  • If you are a participant in the Volunteer Professional Counselling with HIM Program, your sessions will not be suspended and will continue until your sessions are complete. This is important because when we delay sessions, others who are waiting for the program will need to wait longer. 
  • Your counsellor will reach out to you to make arrangements for phone, or video counselling sessions. If you are unsure about what to do, please contact: [email protected]

    • Confidentiality: 
      • Your counsellor will maintain the utmost confidentiality when you have your counselling sessions over the phone, or by video call. 
      • We encourage you to find a private location for you to have your sessions. If you cannot find a private location, please contact [email protected] or your counsellor directly. 
      • Confidentiality can be different to navigate when you are not in the same room as your counsellor. Feel free to talk to your counsellor about this

For any questions about mental health programs, please contact [email protected]