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Free phone counselling coming for some B.C. parents

Last Updated Mar 29, 2019 at 3:59 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Some parents of young children who struggle with anxiety will soon be able to call counsellors for free in B.C.

The province has brought in the service as part of an existing program called Confident Parents: Thriving Kids.

Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, says this initiative prioritizes youth’s mental health by taking it out of the shadows.

“We’ve listened and learned from youth, from families, from Indigenous people and people on the front line. One of the things we’ve heard loud and clear is that we need to have quality support available both in the community and in our schools so young people cannot just survive, but thrive,” Darcy said.

The program is funded through federal and provincial dollars. The counselling services will become available to all parents of kids aged three to 12 in B.C., starting April 29.

Tiffany Sampson, a Surrey mom of two, has called the service before. She’s found it helpful to talk to someone when she needed advice on how to support her child.

“We were walked through practical, easy-to-use strategies that helped us have success with our daughters. The convenience of having the telephone coaching was key,” she said.

She was able to take advantage of the counselling services during its trial period and was happy to get researched advice from experts.

Confident Parents: Thriving Kids will also be providing “culturally appropriate” services for Indigenous parents and children which will be developed and available this fall.

Darcy says this is an outcome of the province realizing mental health is “crucial to understand the impacts of inter-generational trauma that it has on Indigenous children.”