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News and Events at NewToBC


Culturally Appropriate Counselling & Crisis Support Services in BC

Posted on: December 22, 2023

Mental Health Statistics for Newcomers

Newcomers report significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with those born in Canada. According to a new study they are much less likely to seek help for their mental-health challenges. The report, released by Mental Health Research Canada, found that up to 20 per cent of newcomers reported high levels of depression. Up to 27 per cent of newcomers reported high levels of anxiety.

The Role of Culturally Appropriate Support

Effective settlement and the prevention of long-term consequences hinge on connecting immigrants with appropriate, culturally sensitive support. Culturally appropriate counselling & crisis support services in BC greatly improves the experience for newcomers. In response to this, organizations like NewToBC have compiled a list of settlement agencies and support services to aid newcomers in addressing mental health challenges.

Available Support Services


S.U.C.C.E.S.S. offers individuals and families culturally appropriate counselling and crisis support services. These services are offered in confidential settings to support those who are experiencing personal, inter-personal, and family challenges. SUCCESS offers the following services:

  • Help Lines: led by trained volunteers, the help lines provide non-English-speaking individuals. They offer confidential emotional support and referrals to community resources that can address a range of issues. Support is offered in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Farsi-Dari, and Ukrainian.
  • Individual & Family Counselling: Multi-lingual counselling services support individuals and families to navigate life challenges as well as build their skills and resiliency for the future.
  • Support Groups: Culturally-appropriate support groups promote the mental health and wellness of individuals and families. The groups provide participants with knowledge, skills, and confidence to address various issues that impact their health and well-being.

Kids Help Phone

The Kids Help Phone offers free, confidential support for Canada’s young people. You can call Kids Help Phone in over 100 languages across Canada at any time. The Kids Help Phone offers the following services:

  • Mental health tips and info: With Kids Help Phone’s web resources, young people can get information about how their thoughts, feelings and behaviours are connected and what they can do to care for their well-being.
  • Crisis support: If young people need help right now, they can text a trained, volunteer crisis responder at Kids Help Phone about anything they’re going through. No issue is too big or too small.
  • Professional counselling: Young people can work with a professional counsellor at Kids Help Phone over the phone or through online chat to better understand what they’re going through.


DIVERSECity offers mental health or substance use support to help you and your whole family with free, compassionate, culturally informed and confidential counselling. Support services are offered in several languages, such as Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin, Farsi and English. You can access the following supports at DIVERSEcity:

  • Family Counselling: free counselling and support services to families who want to improve family relationships. They can help with family-relationship conflict, parent-teen challenges, parent education, cross-cultural issues, mental health support and more.
  • Child and Youth Mental Health Counselling: children and youth can learn skills to manage symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
  • Drop-in Individual Counselling for Migrant Workers: get support, empower yourself and belong to a community among migrant workers.
  • Substance Use Counselling: confidential counselling and education to those seeking help with alcohol and/or drug related issues.

Immigrant Services Society of BC

ISSofBC offers settlement support for newcomers. Their multilingual staff can help you and your family get settled, make new friends, and understand your new life in Canada. They have a number of services that can support you if you are a refugee or a refugee claimant. You can access the following settlement supports with ISSofBC:

  • Settlement Support: Learn about Canada, Canadian society and community services that can help you and your family settle into your new community.
  • Multicultural Youth: Designed for newcomer youth to connect with other youth and develop new skills.
  • Connecting Seniors: Join activities to help you make new friends, join in local events and learn about your community.

While the above organizations represent just a fraction of the available services in BC, numerous supports are accessible in various communities throughout the province. Newcomers are encouraged to visit the NewToBC website for tailored information. They can also reach out to their nearest settlement organization for assistance on their health journey.

The availability of culturally appropriate counselling and crisis support services is pivotal in fostering the mental well-being of newcomers in BC. Culturally appropriate counselling & crisis support services in BC greatly improves the experience for newcomers.By breaking down barriers, these services contribute significantly to the successful settlement of immigrants in their new home.