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Getting Help for Yourself

Where do I start if I'm experiencing mental health or substance use challenges?

Mental health and substance use challenges are very treatable. Recognizing the signs and asking for professional help as soon as possible is the best way to prevent your symptoms from getting worse and move you onto the path to recovery.

You can ask for help from many different professionals, including your family doctor, a counsellor, a social worker, or a member of an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team.

Find your Health Authority ACT Team:

If you do not have a family doctor, visit your nearest walk-in clinic. Use HealthLink BC's Guided Search Tool to find the nearest clinic. You may also call 8-1-1 to speak with a nurse anytime of the day or night.

How can I find out what mental health and substance use resources are available in my area?

Learn more about local mental health and substance use programs from your doctor or social worker, or by visiting your local health authority's website:

For mental health resources for children and youth, visit the BC Children's Hospital website.

What can I do while I'm waiting for help?

Visit our BC Mental Health and Substance Use Resources page for a list of resources that may help you.

How do I get treatment in a BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services program?

Our programs are designed for people with severe and complex substance use and mental health issues who have already received treatment in a community-based program. Most require a referral from a professional. Visit our services to learn more.

If you think one of our programs may be for you, speak to a health care professional about a referral.

What can I do if I don't seem to be getting anywhere?

Talk to your doctor, counsellor or social worker about your concerns and available options.

Here are some of the people who can help you if you're unsure of whom to talk to.

  • Your family doctor or a doctor at a walk-in clinic can help you with immediate concerns, prescribe medications, or refer you to a specialist.
  • A social worker can help you with coordinating services like in-home supports.
  • Counsellors and therapists can listen to you, help with coping tools and strategies, and provide other suggestions.
  • A nurse, available by calling 8-1-1, can point you to resources.

If you have a friend, family member or support person you trust, feel free to ask them for help or bring them with you when you visit a health care professional.

Emergency numbers

If you are in a crisis or emergency, or are worried that you or a loved one is at risk of harm, please follow the guidelines and use contact information on the "If you are in a crisis" page.

SOURCE: Getting Help for Yourself ( )
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