New mental health supports available for B.C. wildfire evacuees



The B.C. government has made more mental health support available for the thousands of wildfire evacuees around the province.

The province, in conjunction with health authorities and other agencies, is working to connect evacuees in need with vital mental health services.

Disaster psychological support team members are currently deployed through the Provincial Health Services Authority’s Health Emergency Management BC program to reception centres in the Interior.

Team members are providing psychosocial support in the form of psychological first aid, which is a holistic, community wellness approach to help reduce levels of emotional distress for individuals, families, responders and communities.

Click to play video: 'Supporting your mental health amid devastating wildfires'

Supporting your mental health amid devastating wildfires

“Additionally, First Nations Health Authority staff continue to attend evacuee reception centres to support First Nations evacuees in accessing mental wellness counselling services and traditional wellness resources and to provide a culturally safe contact for bridging to needed health-care resources,” Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness staff said in a release.

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In the Interior region, First Nations, Métis or Inuit people — including health-care and front-line care providers — are encouraged to contact a member of the Aboriginal Mental Wellness Team who can support local mental health priorities. Those needing support are asked to email

Anyone can call the BC Mental Health Support Line for free, around the clock, at 310-6789 for help with anxiety, depression, emotional support and resources specific to mental health and substance-use disorders. Access to substance-use services (harm reduction supplies, overdose prevention services, naloxone, treatment options, such as opioid agonist treatment, safe supply and counselling) is available and can be co-ordinated through this number as well.

More than 15,000 people remain under an evacuation order in the province, with thousands more on alert around the province, are causing “significant hardship and anxiety for many evacuees and emergency responders,” the province said.

Additional supports:

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