It is estimated that at least 20% of the general population live with a debilitating mental illness. A great many more struggle with mild to severe depression, anxiety and stress. Many suffer to the point that their ability to work, parent, learn, engage in their community or even entertain the thought of living a life with some contentment is beyond their grasp.
We help to relieve this suffering.
Way back, in 1969, a few caring, passionate people sat around a kitchen table and said what if…
The vision they shared was a community that had the capacity to provide quality emotional support to each other when life’s challenges presented themselves. The vision was, and still is, a resilient, supportive and inclusive community.
Every year we provide counselling to over 1,200 people in Greater Victoria. Almost one third of our clients are young adults (18-29), and a growing number are seniors. Over 70% of our clients are at or below the poverty line.
Over 85% of our clients say that their lives are better because of the services that we have provided.
The Centre provides two services to our community.
First and foremost, we offer quality, affordable counselling. We offer individual, couples, and group counselling to youth and adult residents of Greater Victoria. Counselling is available days, evenings and weekends in a safe and comfortable environment. All of our direct service is provided by volunteers, trained and supervised by professionals.
The other service we offer to the community is counsellor training.
Each year the Centre offers a volunteer counselling training program. Volunteers receive over 200 hours of training with professional counsellor/educators in an intensive ten-month, evening and weekend training program.
In return, they commit to offering the Centre 250 sessions of counselling once they graduate. The training involves both personal growth work and the development of counselling skills in a variety of counselling approaches.
We also provide practicum placements for students enrolled in Master’s level counselling programs, and connect professional counsellors with volunteer opportunities in their community.
All volunteer counsellors receive regular, ongoing supervision of their counselling through the Centre.
We exist because we believe that our community is a happier, healthier place when quality counselling is available – for everyone. We also believe that these experiences add to the client’s and the counsellor’s ability to actively engage with their community.
What you can do
Citizens’ Counselling is funded mainly by our fees from clients, the United Way of Greater Victoria, the Province of BC Gaming Commission, grants from the Provincial Employees Community Services Fund, and the Victoria Foundation, and by the generosity of the community through individual monthly and one-time donations and our fundraising events.
Increasingly, we depend on the support of people like you.
Please consider becoming a Friend of the Centre by signing up for our monthly donor program, or by making a generous one-time donation.
We depend on the wisdom of individuals to understand the value to the greater community in having counselling services available and affordable when our friends, neighbours, sons, daughters, and parents need them most.
Your help can ensure that Citizens’ is able to continue to provide both accessible counselling and volunteer counsellor training to our community in a clean, safe and suitable environment.
Citizens’ Counselling Centre has been the recipient of the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors President’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Discipline of Counselling Through Teaching and Advocacy.