Additional Counselling Services in Nanaimo

Vancouver Island 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1.888.494.3888 offers short-term nonjudgmental support, crisis intervention, information, and resources

Crisis Chat and Crisis Text (250.800.3806) from 6-10pm

Island Health Mental Health and Substance Use Services: Point of entry for all adult Mental Health and Substance Use Services in the Nanaimo area. They offer groups as well as individual counselling.

  • Walk-In Counselling Clinic:
    • 203-2000 Island Highway North (Brooks Landing Mall)
    • 10am to 6:15pm, Monday to Friday
  • Substance Use Walk-In Clinic
    • 3151 Barons Rd
    • First session drop-in hours: Mon 8:30-11am and Wed 1-3:30pm

Nanaimo Family Life Association Counselling Program: One-on-one accessible and affordable counselling for individuals, couples, and youth by volunteers. Client-centered, solution-focused, based on a family systems perspective. Based on a sliding scale and no one is turned away because of an inability to pay.

  • Workshop Series: You can take workshops that interest you OR the whole series at a cost of $15 per workshop. Pre-registration is required.

Canadian Mental Health Association offers programs such as Living Life to the Full, an 8 session course based on cognitive-behavioural principles to do at home. The course provides tools to reduce stress and boost your mood, improve your motivation and problem solving skills, and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy groups by Nanaimo’s Division of Family Practice: Eight-week Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) ​Skills Group for adult patients (17.5-75 years old) who want to learn practical tools to improve their mental health. Discuss with a Physician or Nurse Practitioner as referrals are required, and patients need to be able to commit to an 8-week program that meets 1.5 hours weekly.

Haven Society Nanaimo offers a number of programs to end violence against women, and to create and support a safe community for all. Individual and group counselling for women (19 years and older) whose lives are affected by childhood abuse, sexual assault, as well as abuse and violence in relationships, intimate and other. Also offering Men Choose Respect program for men who want to stop their use of abuse in their personal relationships and choose respect and equality with their partners.

Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre: provides service to Aboriginal people through a holistic approach to programming and services. They offer many programs, groups and healing circles.

Island Community Counselling offers low-cost counselling with practicum counsellors, as well as support and learning groups (eg. DBT, anxiety, trauma). 

Insurance Coverage for Private Practitioners: VIU students enrolled in Guard Me (International Student Services) and Greenshield (VIUSU) are eligible for counselling coverage. Please confirm details and coverage through your insurance provider. Counsellor in private practice charge ~$100-115/hr and may offer a sliding scale. See websites and bios. Most offer a phone consult first, to see if it is a fit. Ask about payment. Check your most current benefits booklet for more information or contact your VIUSU for details 250.754.8866.

  • Greenshield Student Benefits Plan covers $75 per visit up to $525 per benefit year combined to see a Psychologist, Social Worker/Counsellor, or Master of Social Work.” That’s up to 7 counselling sessions per year partially covered! See pages 1 and 2 of the booklet for a summary of coverage.
  • Guard Me: “100% of eligible charges for a) psychiatrist inpatient fees following an emergency up to $10,000 in addition to Exceptional Hospitalization benefit and b) Up to $1,000 for outpatient psychiatric and psychological counselling by any licenced therapist, counsellor, physician, psychologist or psychiatrist."
  • Information for international students on medical insurance

More services: VIU Community Resource Database