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Same-day service available for addiction and mental health in Greater Victoria

Island Health hired additional staff to provide same-day service
Jennifer Whiteside, minister of mental health and addictions, said that same-day service is critical for those who need it. (Black Press Media file photo)

Access to a same-day assessment appointment for mental health and addiction support just got a boost in Victoria.

Those who do not require a hospital visit for care can now visit Island Health's Central Access and Rapid Engagement Service (CARE) at 1119 Pembroke St. from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

"Our goal is to quickly and efficiently provide or connect with the support they need to improve their health and wellness, learn skills to manage their health conditions and better understand the support and resources available in the community," Tasha Mckelvey, Island Health director of mental health and substance use, said in a news release. 

Many people who seek care at hospitals around Greater Victoria can find better service at the new walk-in clinic, Mckelvey said. 

At the CARE office, clients are seen by skilled mental health and substance use clinicians who provide goal-oriented counselling coupled with therapeutic support. 

"When people reach out for help, they need to find support quickly and easily," said Jennifer Whiteside, minister of mental health and addictions. 

Island Health upgraded the CARE location and hired additional staff to provide same-day service. 

"Without timely access to care, many people struggling with mental health and addiction challenges can feel unsupported or decide they are against seeking treatment. This new service in Victoria eliminates wait times by providing same-day access to dedicated mental health professionals. This ensures compassionate care is available right when it's needed most."

The same-day service is not a substitute for emergency services, and 911 should be called in an emergency. 

Crisis services available:

  • Call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888 to access 24-hour crisis support
  • Text the Vancouver Island Crisis line at 250-800-3806 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm nightly
  • Call or text the Community-Led Crisis Response Team at 250-818-2454 M-F 7 a.m.- 11 p.m.
  • Online chat crisis service from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm nightly via
  • Call BC211 at 2-1-1 to reach an information specialist 24 hours a day, or visit
  • Dial 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
  • Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) to get help right away, any time
  • Call KUU-US Crisis line at 1-800-588-8717 to access 24-hour Indigenous-specific crisis support

About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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