Individuals, couples and families who are refugees, refugee claimants and immigrants to Canada.
Community Counselling Fund
What This Grantee Is Doing for Community Counselling
Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees (VICCIR) removes the barriers preventing access to mental health support to refugees and immigrants of all ages and genders. Individuals, couples and whole families are eligible for service from experienced registered clinical counsellors who have received additional training in intercultural trauma treatment. VICCIR has trained clinical interpreters working with our counsellors offering service in many different languages. VICCIR also provides support, therapy and educational groups in a variety of languages.
VICCIR also offers training and consultation to settlement workers, community counsellors, teachers, interpreters, private sponsorship groups and others working with immigrants and refugees.
VICCIR's counselling services are grounded on the recognition that each individual is unique, and treatment plans are tailored accordingly. Cultural norms are respected as is the value of expressing oneself in one’s own language. VICCIR’s objectives for all clients are to:
- Reduce the debilitating symptoms of trauma
- Increase the personal resiliency and self-mastery required to improve quality of life
- Help clients to find within themselves an eagerness to participate in the communities that welcome each of them.
"The most significant impact of the Community Counselling funding for our organization and staff is the ability to pay our counsellors and supervisors who were previously offering their services pro bono. We have also widened our pool of clinical interpreters and provide them with more regular supervision and training. Because our counsellors are now compensated, we are able to access a wider pool of potential counsellors, not just those who can afford to volunteer. Our organization has in this way become more diverse in many ways, including the lived experience of our staff, the variety of counselling modalities offered and the variety of languages in which we can provide service to our clients. The quality of our work is higher thanks to increased supervision and more access to training. The quality of training and experience provided to VICCIR staff is of benefit to the wider community, as our counsellors, interpreters, supervisors and interns take what they have learned into different communities."