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  • If you’re looking for medical or pharmaceutical treatment for mental health concerns, a psychiatrist or your family doctor may be the most appropriate provider for you.


  • If you are looking for therapeutic treatment for mental health concerns, a psychologist or Registered Clinical Counsellor or Social worker may be the most appropriate provider for you.



Inform yourself of providers that use designations such “therapists, coaches or counsellors as these terms aren’t registered and do not have industry standards or governing body.  They may not carry practicing insurance and these will not be covered by your Insurance provider.


Finding a Mental Health Practitioner




Registered Clinical Counsellor or Certified Clinical Counsellor C.C.C

 (Typical Rate: $110 - 120 / Hour)

Training required for a Registered Clinical Counsellor (R.C.C) is to have at least a master's degree with clinical experience. These counselors:

Provide diagnosis and psychological counseling (psychotherapy) for a range of concerns
Providing psychological counseling, in one-on-one or group settings
Are not licensed to prescribe medication
May work with another provider who can prescribe medication if needed

Website Search:    bc-counsellors.org





Psychologist (Typical Rate: $150-175 / Hour)

A psychologist is trained in psychology — a science that deals with thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Typically, a psychologist holds a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D.). A psychologist:

Can diagnose and treat a number of mental health disorders, providing psychological counseling, in one-on-one or group settings
They are trained to deal with the severe mental illness (ex. Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar)
Cannot prescribe medication
May work with another provider who can prescribe medication if needed

Website Search: www.psychologists.bc.ca/find_psychologist_full





Psychiatrist (Typical Rates: Covered under MSP)

A psychiatrist is a physician — doctor of medicine (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) — who specializes in mental health. This type of doctor may further specialize in areas such as child and adolescent, geriatric, or addiction psychiatry. A psychiatrist can:

Diagnose and treat mental health disorders
Provide psychological counseling, also called psychotherapy
Prescribe medication
Tend to have long waitlists and less frequent appointments because of this.

Non-emergency referrals to psychiatrists are generally obtained through your family doctor. The first step is an appointment with your regular family physician or a primary (community) health center to discuss your mental health problem and request a referral to a psychiatrist in your area. If you do not have a family doctor or are not served by a local health centre, you can contact your provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons or Medical Board for help to find a primary care physician. 




Registered Social worker

If you prefer a social worker, look for a licensed clinical social worker (L.C.S.W.) with training and experience specifically in mental health. A licensed clinical social worker must have a master's degree in social work (M.S.W.), a Master of Science in social work (M.S.S.W.) or a doctorate in social work (D.S.W. or Ph.D.). These social workers:

Provide assessment, psychological counseling and a range of other services, depending on their licensing and training
Are not licensed to prescribe medication
May work with another provider who can prescribe medication if needed