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Foundry's provincial virtual services


Young people aged 12-24 and their caregivers can access same day virtual services or schedule a virtual counselling appointment, find peer support, access primary care, get support with employment, access groups & workshops, or browse our library of tools and resources.



Doctors can play an important role in supporting you when you are feeling like something is just not right. 

Your doctor can help rule out other medical conditions that can sometimes cause certain behaviours or symptoms. They can also prescribe medication if they think that would be helpful for you.

Your doctor may refer you to other specialized services, such as a pediatrician, psychiatrist or other specialized mental health services, such as community mental health clinics, hospital clinics, or hospital inpatient programs.

Note: Only medical doctors (including psychiatrists) can make a diagnosis of a mental illness and prescribe medication.

Don’t have a family doctor? You can visit any Walk in Clinic, no appointment is necessary. You can also find a family doctor in your community by visiting the physician directory on the College of Physicians and Surgeons website or calling them at 1-800-461-3008.

Except for a few specialized services, visits to a doctor are free of charge if you have a BC CareCard or have coverage from another provincial medical services plan.

Psychiatrists and Psychologists


While family doctors have generalized experience in mental health care, psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialized in mental health. They can make a diagnosis and prescribe medication to help people manage their mental illness. The BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) pays for visits to a psychiatrist and so there is no charge to patients, but you will need a referral from your doctor or mental health program to see one.

Many psychiatrists also do psychotherapy. The amount and type of counselling psychiatrists provide often depends on the psychiatrist and on the mental illness being treated. 

Registered Psychologists have advanced training and have their graduate degrees in Psychology. They study how we think, feel and behave, and use this knowledge to help people understand and change their thoughts, feelings, or behaviour. They can assess and treat mental health conditions and can provide a diagnosis.They may have training in the uses of medication to treat mental illness, but they cannot prescribe medication.

Psychiatrists and psychologists often work together. A psychiatrist might make an initial assessment and diagnosis, then refer you to a psychologist for ongoing psychological treatment (talking therapy).

Your doctor would often provide a referral to a specific psychologist, or you can visit the Psychologists BC website. Registered Psychologists are not usually covered by MSP, but may be covered through extended health benefits,



Pharmacists can consult on and dispense prescriptions, and they can also prescribe medications for contraception and some minor ailments. These conditions include mild acne, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, fungal infections, headaches, hemorrhoids, nicotine dependence, urinary tract infections, and more.



Clinical Counsellors can have a range of backgrounds, from a diploma, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral level degree. People can say they are “counsellors” or “therapists,” but they may or may not have training in the assessment or treatment of mental health challenges. Counsellors may be very knowledgeable, but they are not able to diagnose mental illness.

It’s important to find someone who is registered with a professional regulatory body (BC Psychological Association, BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, BC College of Social Workers). This means they have met specific educational and training criteria and are held accountable by professional standards.

To help put your mind at ease when looking for a counsellor, be sure to look for a ‘RCC’ (Registered Clinical Counsellor) designation in BC. Or, counsellors can be registered with the Canada-wide association and have a ‘CCC’ (Canadian Certified Counsellor) designation. Social Workers can provide counselling too and have a ‘MSW’ (Master of Social Work) designation.

Counsellors in your community can be found by visiting the following sites:

Not all services are covered by the BC MSP. Extended health benefits may cover some costs for private counselling and psychologists. Some counsellors/psychologists may offer a sliding scale which means the amount you are charged is based on your income.

Other places that may offer low-cost or free counselling in your community may include:

  • Foundry Centres
  • Clinics at universities or colleges
  • Youth clinics or family services agencies 

Urgent Care Centres


Urgent and Primary Care Centres (UPCCs) provide access to same-day, urgent, non-life-threatening health care. UPCCs are often open evening, weekends and statutory holidays (actual hours vary by clinic). UPCCs provide an alternative to visiting an emergency department for non-life-threatening issues and may also connect you to the right community services, including walk-in clinics and family doctors that are accepting patients.

UPCCs have care teams that can include:

  • Doctors/nurse practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Clinical Pharmacists
  • Social Workers
  • Clinical Counsellors

(Note: Some UPCCs require that you call ahead to confirm hours and availability.)

If you or someone you know has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, this may be a life-threatening issue. Call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room right away, not Urgent Care.

Child and Youth Advocacy Centres


Child and Youth Advocacy Centres (CACs/CYACs) provide a co-ordinated, multidisciplinary approach in a safe, comfortable environment to address the needs of children, youth and their families.