To improve the quality of life for those affected by schizophrenia and psychosis through education, support programs, public policy, and research.
About BC Schizophrenia Society Victoria Branch
BCSS Victoria was formed in 1984 and is the largest branch of the BC Schizophrenia Society with over 300 members. The branch operates programs and services for family members and those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and other mental illnesses. Our services include family counselling and peer support, a reference library, respite care, consumer peer support, public education through our Partnership Presentations, and the Memorial (scholarship) Fund. The Victoria Branch of BCSS is supported by the United Way, private donations, fundraising activities and Vancouver Island Health Authority.
Our Services Need Your Support!
We offer some of the most programs and services for people with mental illness in Victoria, as well as their families and loved ones. Without your committed support, no matter the amount or frequency, we wouldn't be able to provide the levels of services and programs that Victoria desperately needs. These services include one-on-one counselling and support, as well as group sessions open to the public, as well as workshops throughout the year. We offer these all free of charge.
The Family Counselling Program provides short term counselling for people with a family member with a mental illness.The goal is to assist families to gain the knowledge, skills and resources to enable them to successfully manage the multiple and ongoing demands of supporting someone with a mental illness.
The service is tailored to the needs expressed by individual families and most frequently involves gaining information about diagnosis, treatment options, prognosis and recovery, developing constructive coping techniques, improving self-care skills, accessing mental health resources and managing distressing behaviours.
Funded by the Vancouver Island Health Authority, there is no charge for this service and people are eligible for up to six sessions.
Family Support Groups:
We offer Family Support Groups are free of charge and offered as a drop-in resource for family and friends of loved ones with mental illness (every second Thursday of the month in the evening). We also offer a special support group every last Thursday of the month specifically for spouses and partners of loved ones with mental illness.
Peer Support is confidential, one-to-one mentoring through a shared experience of mental illness and recovery. The goal of peer support is to assist a person to discover ways to better manage their illness and enjoy life. Our peers are a vital part of BCSS Victoria. They provide an invaluable resource to countless people in Victoria in stages of recovery. They undergo special training to provide this service.
Wellness Recovery Action Plan (W.R.A.P.)
An evidenced based self-management and recovery system developed by agroup of people who had mental health difficulties and who were struggling to incorporate wellness tools and strategies into their lives. BCSS Victoria offers the W.R.A.P. program several times a year in a small group setting, and is one of the city's key programs to empower people struggling with mental health. Program facilitators go through special training programs to lead the group. BCSS Victoria relies on the generosity of donors like you to make these programs a reality. We are only able to offer W.R.A.P. sessions when our budget allows, and yet our waitlist for the program continues to grow.