youth mental health support
Students play the Game of Life. Photo courtesy of the Sooke School District
West Shore

A guide to youth mental health support on the West Shore

Here are some resources for immediate and longer term help.
Shalu Mehta February 5, 2021

West Shore communities are calling for better support for youth struggling with their mental health. The Discourse spoke with West Shore organizations supporting youth about what support is available, what’s needed and what can be done while waiting for support. 

Read: Youth mental health on the West Shore: what supports are available and what’s to come?

This companion article compiles existing support and resources, including who to call for immediate help.

If you need immediate help:

    • Suicide crisis: 1 800 SUICIDE (1 800 784-­2433)
    • Mental health issue: 310-­6789 (24 hours)
    • Kids Help Phone: (Text CONNECT to 686868)
  • Contact the Vancouver Island Crisis Society:

    • Visit vicrisis.ca. Crisis services on the phone, chat and text are available.
    • Call the 24-hour crisis line: 1‑888‑494‑3888
    • Text between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.: 250-800-3806
  • Indigenous B.C.-wide crisis line:

    • The KUU-US Crisis Line Society operates a 24-hour Indigenous B.C.-wide crisis line for:
      • Adults/Elders (250-723-4050)
      • Child/Youth (250-723-2040)
      • Toll free (1-800-588-8717)
      • Métis Line (1-833-MétisBC)

More resources:

Pacific Centre Family Services Association

  • The Pacific Centre Family Services Association, located in Colwood, offers various programs for children and youth, adults, seniors and the community as a whole. Visit pacificcentrefamilyservices.org for more information.
  • You can check out their child- and youth-specific programs here. Some programs include individual counselling, family mediation and family counselling, crisis intervention, outreach and community development, group work and support for youth transitioning to independent living. 
  • Other youth-oriented programs include YouthTalk email counselling, the crime reduction and exploitation diversion program, the sexual abuse intervention program and the community outreach, prevention and education program (COPE).
  • You can also give the association a call at 250 478 8357 to speak with someone who can direct you towards resources that may be suited to you.

West Shore CARES Clinic:

  • Provides screening, assessment, treatment recommendations, single session counselling and referrals to Island Health Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) and external community programs in the Victoria and West Shore area.
  • More details about the clinic’s services can be found here

Westshore Urgent Primary Care Centre

  • Has mental health substance use consultants as part of its team.
  • Access is same-day for assessments, single-session therapeutic interaction, crisis management and referrals as well as short-term follow-up while someone waits for another service.
  • The clinic also has access to the Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Team that operates seven-days-a-week and has a youth worker for crisis support.

Ministry of Children and Family Development Child and Youth Mental Health:

Services Include:

  • Referral and intake, time-limited early interventions, assessments, therapy and intervention and consultation
  • Click here to learn more and find resources near you

First Nations Health Authority

Canadian Mental Health Association BounceBack Program:

  • Work with a trained coach that teaches skills to improve mental health in up to six phone sessions.
  • Use the BounceBack online program to learn at your own pace with access to booklets, interactive worksheets and short videos.
  • Get tips on managing your mood, sleeping better, building confidence, increasing activity and problem solving through the BounceBack video series. Video is available in English, Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi, French, Mandarin and Punjabi.

Foundry Victoria: The Victoria Youth Clinic Society

  • Health and social services are brought together in a single place at the Foundry Victoria centre and the Victoria Youth Clinic is the lead agency for Foundry Victoria.
  • The Victoria Youth Clinic Society provides integrated and comprehensive primary health care services, including mental health and addiction care for youth aged 12 to 24. It is a drop-in clinic that is open Monday to Friday with doctors, a nurse, counsellors, peer support and outreach on site every day. Walk-in counselling is available.
  • You do not need a Care Card to access services at the youth clinic.
  • Call 250-383-3552 to learn more about what supports are available and find a time to go to the clinic.
  • Learn more about Foundry Victoria and access information and tools here.
  • Learn more about the Victoria Youth Clinic and access information and resources here.

A list of resources for children and youth mental health from Island Health can be found here.

A list of community resources from the Sooke School District can be found here.


Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional services available to youth on the West Shore.