Mental Health Services

Trouble navigating the disability system?


Our Disability Benefits Navigator allows you to quickly find what you might be missing:





IEPs… What do I need to know?


*updated 2012*

The IEP (Individual Education Plan)is an important way to get input into your child’s education. The important thing to know is that as a parent have a right to participate in the IEP process.

An IEP has three stages:

  1. developing and writing the plan
  2. implementing and evaluating the plan
  3. reporting on student progress toward the goals in the plan

This is an evolving process: as the student’s needs change, the IEP should change.  

Your school district will most likely have a "template" for the IEP that they would prefer to use.  Remember, these are just guides to make the process easier.  Ask for a change if you do not like the template that is offerred.


Learn about Student Support Services in your district:
Student support services could include: learning assistance, counseling, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language services. However, these may or may not be applicable to your child.

Different school districts may name or deliver their support services in slightly different ways. For information on school district services start by looking at your district website:


The Basics of the IEP:

The British Columbia Ministry of Education provides some basic information about IEPs that you can reference to get started.  There is also a Ministy resource page that has some disability specific suggestions and guidelines. Make sure you understand the difference between adaptations and modifications.

Some good basic guides:

BC Association for Community Living Parent’s Handbook on Inclusive Education.

BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils: Individual
Education Plans A Guide for Parents

BC Ministry of Education: A Resource Guide for Teachers

Making the IEP work:

The core of the IEP is the goals. Once there is an IEP in place, you also need to think about what your child needs to support the outcomes in the IEP in terms of support: Education Assistant (EA), speech therapy, augmentative communication resources or behaviour and communication support.

Go to the IEP meeting prepared by knowing what you want and be prepared to ask for it. You may have to request a formal meeting to resolve differences.


Have an opinion about BC Children’s Hospital? Get involved!

Volunteer in Your Pajamas!  Become a Part of Our Virtual Focus Group!
  • Email communication only.
  • Projects take no longer than 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Contribute at your leisure – day or night.
  • Only choose projects you want to participate in.
  • All comments and identity will be anonymous (unless you give permission to use your information) when we share the results of our surveys with various departments / administration.
  • Withdraw from the group at any time.
  • Be confident that your child’s care will not be affected by your participation in or withdrawal from our group.
Why Should I Join?
  • Help the Partners in Care Family Advisory to give a broad family perspective of hospital issues and initiatives.
  • Help the Partners in Care Family Advisory effect change with regard to hospital programs and decisions made by hospital administration.
  • Gain satisfaction in knowing by your family voice you can make a difference in the services that BCCH provides.
  • Have the joy of "giving back".
  • Know that you’re helping make the hospital a better place for other families.
  • Please join us as a Virtual Focus Group Member and use your experience to benefit all patients and families who use BC Children’s Hospital!
For more information about Partners in Care and about your role as a Virtual Focus Group Family Member please contact the Partners in Care Family Liaison:
Susan Greig 
BC Children’s Hospital
Room 3D19, 4480 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC  V6H 3V4
Phone:  604-875-2345  Ext. 5391 
See also the Partners in Care (PiC) blogsite at:

Tips on Quitting Drinking


Check out this list of tips for quitting drinking. It is a good start for a New Year!

More Info on Alcohol Addiction


The University of Victoria Centre for Addictions Research has plenty of information on Alcohol abuse for aducts and teens. Check it out!

Have a Problem with Alcohol? Take this Test!


Do you think that you might have a problem with alcohol? You probably know already if you are honest with yourself but if you are unsure take this test it might help.

Beat Your Addiction with Rational Recovery


Another way to get around waitlists for treatment centers is to try Rational Recovery. It is an alternative to AA that believes recovery can be achieved by becoming aware and listening to our self-talk (the Beast).

Rational Recovery does not depend on other people, instead you are encouraged to cure yourself without the help of other people like a sponsor. All you have to do is visit the website and take the crash course on the Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT). The founder of Rational Recovery claims that you can quit now and forever. Give it a try if substances are negatively affecting your life.

Overcome Your Addiction Go to AA/NA/MA


In the New Year people often think about erradicating the nasty habits that they have picked up over the years. One way to deal with these issues is to go to a treatment centre but often there are waitlists.

So if you have a problem with alcohol and need to get started right away try going to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Follow the link to their website to get information and find out where and when the meetings are. People who attend AA depend on the support of others and is perhaps the cheapest form of group therapy. AA follows a twelve step program to recovery and starts with admitting you are powerless over your addiction.Check out all the Twelve Steps by reading the online Big Book.

If your problem is with drugs you can go to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Marijuana Anonymous (MA). Good luck and keep coming back…

Need Information? Check out the Red Book Online


The Red Book online is a compendium of human services available in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Check it out, it is chock full of information.

Where to find counseling services that are subsidized


Family Services of Greater Vancouver provides individual and family counseling services based on a sliding scale. That means that they will ask you for your household yearly income and then decide how much you have to pay for each session.

It usually takes about 3-4 weeks from intake to your first counseling session. Offices are located in Vancouver, New Westminster and Richmond. Call 604-874-2938 to speak to an intake worker Monday- Friday 9-4pm.

As a member of the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion ($5 per year), families and self-advocates can access 6 free and fully confidential counseling sessions through Interlock Counseling Services (BACI’s Employee Assistance Program)