Community Counselling Grants

Applications to this grant fund are closed. Stay informed on grant openings by signing up for our newsletter.


Community Action Initiative, in partnership with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and the Ministry of Health, is pleased to have awarded 29 Community Counselling Grants to organizations across British Columbia.

This funding opportunity focuses on community counselling for adults in relation to mental health and substance use, with the goal of reaching underserved or hard to reach populations that do not have access to counselling opportunities. Priority was given to proposals that demonstrated the ability to reach these populations through the application of an equity lens. Health equity, inclusive of mental health, exists when all people can reach their full health potential and are not disadvantaged from attaining it because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, social class, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation or other socially determined circumstance. Non-government, not-for-profit, community-based organizations or First Nations, Metis or Urban Aboriginal organizations in British Columbia were invited to apply for up to $120,000 in annual funding, distributed over 3 years.

Grant Funding Priorities

Grantees will use funds to:

  • increase access to community-based counselling for improved mental health and substance use outcomes; and
  • increase the quality of community-based counselling through the provision of necessary infrastructure to support non-profit, grassroots and/or volunteer-run programs.

Proposals that focused on reaching individuals or families who are not likely to engage in mainstream services, or who would not typically have access to counselling opportunities were prioritized.

Community Counselling Grant Recipients

(Click the links below to visit their websites, and to learn more about their programs.)

  1. Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC
  2. Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre Society
  3. Carrier Sekani Family Services
  4. Central Interior Native Health Society
  5. Circle of Indigenous Nations Society
  6. Cythera Transition House Society
  7. DIVERSECity Community Resources Society
  8. Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society
  9. Fraser House Society
  10. Hiiye’yu Lelum (House of Friendship) Society
  11. Independent Living Vernon Society
  12. Jewish Family Services
  13. Kamloops Family Resources Society (Family Tree Family Centre)
  14. Kinghaven Peardonville House Society
  15. Kwakiutl Band Council – Health Centre
  16. Lillooet Friendship Centre Society
  17. Métis Community Services Society of BC
  18. Moving Forward Family Services Society
  19. Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia
  20. PACE Society
  21. Peers Victoria Resources Society
  22. Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre
  23. RainCity Housing and Support Society
  24. Salt Spring and Southern Gulf Islands Community Services Society
  25. Turning Point Recovery Society
  26. Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture
  27. Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees (VICCIR)
  28. Watari Counselling and Support Services
  29. Yale First Nation

‣ Click here to view Community Profiles by Health Region

We are pleased to share our Community Counselling Fund year 1 Report and Executive Summary

Click the titles below to open the documents:

‣ Community Counselling Fund – Executive Summary

‣ Community Counselling Fund – Year 1 Report

Public Statement on Community Counselling Quality Enhancement Funds

BACKGROUND: In 2019, CAI the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions awarded CAI a $10,000,000 to support community-based counselling programs as part of the provincial Pathway to Hope strategy. Of these funds, CAI allocated $9,000,000 to fund existing community-based counselling programs. Applicants were invited to apply for up to $120,000 per year for three years. The remaining $1,000,000 was earmarked for quality enhancement initiatives in years two and three of the program. The dedicated quality enhancement funds will: 1) support grantees to make one-time investments in quality enhancements that will have an impact on their counselling program, staff, and clients beyond the life of the grant; and 2) ensure funds are available to support sector-wide quality enhancement initiatives.

CURRENT STATUS: During the funding adjudication process, $135K was awarded to grantees for accessibility-related needs. In Year 1 of the grant, $145,000 was awarded at $5000 per grantee to assist in technological upgrades to support virtual services in light of COVID-19. A further $75,000 was awarded for technology supports in collaboration with the Metis Nation of British Columbia and the Canadian Mental Health Association. A webinar series with the Federation of Community Social Services of BC drew $17,000 from the fund. As such, CAI is entering Year 2 of the grant period with $628,000 dedicated to quality enhancement initiatives. This funding will be split among the following three key areas.


  1. Micro-Grants

Existing Community Counselling Fund grantees will be invited to apply for up to $5000 in quality enhancement funds in years 2 and 3 of their program. These funds are to be used to broaden the scope or deepen existing aspects of their programs such as:

  • Specific training for counselling staff and/or managers
  • Improving a specific piece of infrastructure to enhance quality and consistency
  • A stigma audit of gaps in care
  • Investing in a partnership strategy to improve referral practices and integration with primary care
  • Piloting a new service enhancement such as an Elder in Residence or community cultural events that complement the counselling programs
  1. Sector-wide Initiatives

Through CAI’s engagement with the community-based counselling sector before, during, and after the application process, our review of 190 applications, conversations during the adjudication process, and analysis of both the applicant and the grantee pool, we have identified two areas of focus for quality enhancement funds:

  1. Clinical supervision and/or support to practice training for counsellors in community-based organizations, and;
  2. Training for clinicians, managers and staff to examine their role as agents to decolonize the therapeutic space they work within.

We are excited to be partnering with two local leaders in each of these spaces to offer a workshop series over the next two years of the initiative. More details will be forthcoming; please check back in fall 2020 for the event schedule.

  1. Grantee Network

Over the next two years, CAI will focus on creating connections among members of the current grantee cohort,  with the goal of fostering knowledge exchange and resource sharing among grantees. This network, including a sub-network of Indigenous-serving organizations, will offer opportunities for grantees to discuss emerging issues such as population-specific support to practice, best practices in responding to COVID-related challenges, credentialing biases that marginalize the work of Elders and/or traditional wellness workers, opportunities to collaborate across agencies, and breaking down barriers to health funding for traditional wellness practices and community healing work.

COVID-19 Surge Funding

To ensure British Columbians have increased access to vital mental health and substance use supports during the COVID-19 pandemic, CAI awarded 20 one-time only $50,000 grants to organizations across the province to expand online and virtual mental health and substance use programming. This funding was not an open call, but rather, prioritized previously submitted applications to the Community Counselling Grant initiative at Community Action Initiative. Projects were supported to extend to March 31st, 2020 for a total of $120,000 per grantee in Year 1 (May 15, 2020 – March 31, 2021). Funding was renewed again for another $120,000 per grantee for Year 2 (April 1, 2021 – May 31, 2022).

COVID-19 Surge Fund Recipients

(Click the links below to visit their websites, and to learn more about their programs.)

  1. Esquimalt Neighbourhood House (Greater Victoria)
  2. Pacific Centre Family Services Association (Colwood / Greater Victoria)
  3. Snuneymuxw First Nation (Nanaimo)
  4. Canadian Mental Health Association, North and West Vancouver
  5. Canadian Mental Health Association, Vancouver-Fraser
  6. Family Services of the North Shore
  7. REACH Community Health Centre (Vancouver)
  8. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. (Vancouver)
  9. Sunshine Coast Community Services Society
  10. Archway Community Services (Abbotsford)
  11. Deltassist Family and Community Services (Delta)
  12. Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Community Services
  13. Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver
  14. SHARE Family and Community Services (Coquitlam/Port Moody)
  15. OneSky Community Resources (Penticton)
  16. Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna
  17. Canadian Mental Health Association – Cariboo Chilcotin
  18. Yellowhead Community Services (Thompson Valley)
  19. Prince George Native Friendship Centre
  20. Canadian Mental Health Association – Prince George

‣ Click here to view Community Profiles by Health Region


Adrienne Yeung, Community Grants Manager
[email protected]