Support Guide

Metro Vancouver Crisis and Help Lines:

Non-emergency police services Tel: 604 717 3321
BC Drug and Poison Information Centre Tel: 604 682 5050 / 1 800 567 8911
HealthLink BC: Non-emergency medical questions Tel: 811
Vancouver Coastal Health: Emergency Mental Health Services – Car 87/Car 88 Service: Daily from 07:30-15:00
At: 520 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Tel: 604 874 7307
Fraser Health: Emergency         Mental Health Services Tel: 1 877 384 8062 (toll free)
Crisis Centre BC: Programmes 24/7 for all ages with concerns such as mental health, suicide, self-harm, violence, abuse. Calls are anonymous and confidential. Also offers community education and professional development courses Vancouver Tel: 604 872 3311
Howe Sound and Sunshine Coast Tel: 1 866 661 3311 (toll-free)
TTY/TDD: 1 866 872 0113
BC-wide Tel: 1 800 SUICIDE (784 2433)
Crisis Centre BC: Online anonymous and confidential youth service Website
Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter (women and children Tel: 604 872 8212 
: 604 877 0958Website
WAVAW: Women Against Violence Against Women Tel: 604 255 6344 / 1 877 392 7583 (24/7)
Kids Help Phone: Support by telephone, online or email, for problems, questions, or concerns about health, sexuality, bullying, suicide, and problems with parents, school, emotions. From age five to teenagers Tel: 1 800 668 6868

The Lower Mainland is divided into Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health. Each operates emergency health services.

Vancouver Coastal Health: Provides intervention to people with mental health emergencies. Answers calls from police, health care professionals, clients, family members and the general public. Services include mobile outreach assessments, accompaniment to local emergency departments and referrals to mental health teams, health care professionals or other agencies. Also offers evening and weekend intervention and support to mental health team clients. No fees, and no referrals needed to use the service.

Fraser Health – Emergency Mental Health Services: 24-hour emotional support for people suffering a mental health crisis, and referrals to community resources. Staffed by registered nurses, psychiatric nurses, social workers and counsellors.

  • Tel: 1 877 384 8062 (toll-free)

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA): Prevention, education, and information services, rehabilitation and community support to those recovering from mental illness. Recreation and employment programmes, peer support, and programmes for youth.

Crisis Centre BC: Programmes for all ages with concerns such as mental health, suicide, self-harm, violence, abuse. Telephone lines are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls are anonymous and confidential. Also offers community education and professional development courses.

Tel: 1 800 SUICIDE (784 2433)
For other distress contact numbers: Click here
For list of related help-lines from the Crisis Centre: Click here

The Kaleidoscope: Provides a safe, stigma-free environment for individuals living with mental illness in and around the UBC community. A place for people to participate in a growing support network where they are able to share their stories with others going through similar experiences, in confidence, without fear of discrimination.

Mood Disorders Association of British Columbia: Education, resources and support group for those with mood disorders and their friends and family.

Vancouver Coastal Health: The Vancouver Coastal Health website lists a wide range of of support programmes, hospital and medical services, education and information, community and peer groups, for both mental health concerns and neurological disorders, including chronic illnesses (for example arthritis, dementia, diabetes, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease).

  • To find programmes or support: Click here, and then search in the drop down menu “By Health Topics”

British Columbia Schizophrenia Society: Provides information, live online chat and forums; a list of services and support groups for individuals and families, information on how to support someone with mental illness, and support and advice for caregivers.

The Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group provides information, meetings and peer support for adults affected by attention deficit disorder.

CHADD Vancouver, a chapter of CHADD Canada, is a support group and information resource for families affected by attention deficit disorder.

St. Paul’s Hospital 
: 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC
Tel: 604 682 2344
Vancouver General Hospital (VGH)
(Jim Pattison Pavilion – Emergency Department)
At: 920 West 10th Avenue, BC, Vancouver
Tel: 604 875 4111
  BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre 
: 4500 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC
  Tel: 604 875 2424
BC Children’s Hospital
: 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC
Tel: 604 875 2000
  • To search for hospitals and emergency departments in Metro Vancouver: Click here

Safeway, Costco, London Drugs, and Shoppers Drug Mart are well-known international chain stores that offer pharmacies on-site.

24-hour pharmacies in Vancouver:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart
    : 2302 W. 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC
    Tel: 604 738 3138
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
    : 885 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC
    Tel: 604 708 1135
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
    : 1125 Davie St., Vancouver, BC
    Tel: 604 669 2424
  • For a map with addresses, phone numbers and websites for all pharmacies in Metro Vancouver, including independent pharmacies: Click here

There are a number of organisations that run support programmes for mental health, addictions, physical disabilities, and immigrant settlement. Most of them offer information, educational resources, counselling by trained professionals and peers, and links to additional community services and support. This page lists information in three ways:

  1. Organisations with a single focus (such as Alcoholics Anonymous).
  2. Organisations that offer a range of programmes (such as the Canadian Mental Health Association).
  3. Organisations that provide information and links to additional programmes (such as the Disability Resource Network of BC).

If a specific programme is not listed here, look under the more general organizations that list links to individual programmes.

Support is available for:

Alcohol addiction Drug addiction Gambling addiction Cancer support Mental health issues Alzheimer’s disease Schizophrenia Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) HIV/AIDS Children and Families Women Sexual health Victim support Eating disorders Bereavement Disability support Immigrant and newcomers’ support

For a wide-ranging list of alcohol and drug rehabilitation programmes, including support groups, medical services, de-tox, and residential programmes, see:


The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse: Academic and practical information on substance abuse and government policy.

From Grief to Action: Education, support groups, resources, information and support for parents and families of children who are or may be using drugs. Includes links and descriptions of community resources and support groups.

  • For a list of services and support groups: Click here

How to Help a Drug Addict: Overview of substance abuse treatment from identification to recovery.

National Anti-Drug Strategy: Government information on risks, assessment, and recovery.  Features guides for parents and details of government initiatives.

  • Gamblers Anonymous
    Vancouver Hotline Tel: 1 855 222 5542
    To search for meetings: Click here
  • Gam-Anon: Provides support for family and close friends of compulsive gamblers
    To find a meeting in British Columbia: Click here
  • British Columbia Partnership for Responsible Gambling
  • Gambling Help Line: A province-wide information and referral service for anyone who is worried about their own, or another’s gambling habits. Free counselling by phone and in person. Anonymous and confidential
    Tel: 1 888 795 6111 (24/7)
    Deaf and hard of hearing callers call collect Tel: 604 875 0885

The BC Cancer Agency operates regional cancer centres with links to local hospitals. They offer a number of services including patient and family counselling and a cancer information library:

Canadian AIDS Society: Charity with over 120 community-based organisations throughout the country. Their website includes links to other organisations, information, and resources.

AIDS Vancouver: Provides a range of services for those living with HIV/AIDS, including case management, peer support programmes, a grocery delivery programme, resource centre, and prevention and education programmes.

BC Persons With AIDS Society (affiliated with AIDS Vancouver) provides counselling support groups for individuals and families.

Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation: Runs a day programme and a 24-hour nursing care residence. Offers assessment, counselling, assistance with recreational outings, art and music therapy, short-term stabilisation and long-term care.

Gang Prevention: Support workers, resources, videos, events, links to community services and counselling.

Youth in BC (Part of Crisis Centre BC): Online service for youth. In addition to helplines, YouthInBC offers online opportunities to chat live, one-on-one with a crisis volunteer, receive email support from professional staff, quickly locate accurate information on different issues, and connect to referral services in their own community. Calls and online contact are anonymous and confidential.

CARE Program (Comprehensive Abortion and Reproductive Education): Part of BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, supporting women’s emotional, social, and physical needs. Confidential care offering options for birth control and pregnancy choices.

WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women); One-to-one counselling for women who have experienced sexual assault or other forms of violence, for example, violence in relationships, childhood abuse or mental and emotional abuse.

    : 604 255 6344

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter (women and children): Offers safe temporary shelter, information and a free legal clinic. Staff can accompany women to hospital, to the police, through court proceedings, appointments with lawyers and social workers as well as provide emotional support and advocacy.

Pacific Post Partum Support Society: Telephone support, weekly support meetings, books and guides for women who are suffering from depression following the birth of a child.

Sexualityandu: Provides links, information and resources provided by medical doctors, researchers, nurses, midwives and other health care providers, for teens, adults, teachers and healthcare professionals. It also includes articles, online videos and links for support organisations.

The Child and Family Services of Greater Vancouver provides services to victims of trauma and sexual abuse and to their non-offending family members. Support is available for sexually abused children, their families, and adult survivors of childhood sexual trauma.

  • Vancouver Incest and Sexual Abuse Centre (VISAC)
    At: 202-1193 Kingsway, Vancouver
    Tel: 604 874 2938
  • Trauma and Sexual Abuse Program – Richmond (TASA)
    At: 250 – 7000 Minoru Blvd, Richmond
    Tel: 604 279 7100

Vancouver Police Department Victim Services: Information and support for victims of crime. Services range from assistance at the time of the crime, to support in court, information about the court processes, to follow-up assistance for counselling and links to community programs.

There are a number of support groups and programmes available for anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or other problem behaviours centred around food and health.

  • For a list of treatments in BC for eating disorders, including doctors, counsellors, and treatment centres: Click here

Vancouver Anti-Anorexia/Anti-Bulimia League: 24 hour helpline for people with eating disorders.

  • Vancouver Anti-Anorexia/Anti-Bulimia League
    : 303-1212 West Broadway, Vancouver BC
    Tel: 604 731 7304

Be Real Eating Disorders Clinic (Vancouver Coastal Health): For children and teenagers from 11 to 19 years of age, the clinic offers access to medical support, dietician consultation and counselling for youth suffering from eating disorders. (North and West Vancouver only).

BC Children’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program: Provincial programme for children and adolescents with eating disorders.

  • Information from BC Children’s Hospital: Click here

BC Bereavement Helpline: Information on bereavement support groups, agencies, and peer-based support, connections to local support groups, articles and publications on grief, grieving, and recovery. Some publications offered in languages other than English.

BC Children’s Hospital program: List of resources (books, videos) available from their library, pamphlets, suggested activities for children, teens, adults to help deal with grief, links to other support groups and counselling.

  • Information from BC Children’s Hospital: Click here

The Compassionate Friends of Canada: Self-help organisation for parents who have experienced the death of a child.

Disability Resource Network: Resource to quickly locate basic information as well as links for more detailed information, including web links to relevant community support organisations. The Network lists a wide range of disabilities – physical, developmental, learning, neurological, and psychiatric.

  • For specific information: Click here and choose from the drop down menu “Info by Disability”

Immigrant Services Society of BC: Relocation advice, settlement information, newcomer’s guides on housing, healthcare, public school system and employment.

  • Immigrant Services Society of BC Head Office
    At: 501 – 333 Terminal Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6A 2L7
    Tel: 604 684 2561
    Fax: 604 684 2266
  • Vancouver – Welcome House and Settlement Services
    : 530 Drake Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 2H3
    Tel: 604 684 7498
    Fax: 604 684 5683

Pacific Immigrant Resources Society: Programmes and information for immigrant women and their pre-school children.

MOSAIC: Multilingual services for men and women, children and youth. Language skills, education and work workshops, justice and settlement information, refugee support.

    : 1720 Grant St., 2nd floor, Vancouver, BC, V5L 2Y7
    Tel: 604 254 9626


What to expect from the system if you are planning a family or find yourself pregnant in Canada…

The Canadian College of Family Physicians recommends that women see their family doctor before getting pregnant to discuss diet, habits and to undergo a physical check-up. It is advisable that a woman sees her family doctor as soon as she finds out she is pregnant so diet, family history, health and allergies can be discussed early on in the pregnancy.

  • For general information provided by the Federal Government about maintaining a healthy pregnancy, nutrition and other information: Having a baby
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada have produced a Sensible Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy which can be downloaded online

Great links:

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