Esquimalt High School’s Counsellors are available to help you with personal, social and academic problems. We have SCHOOL BASED COUNSELLORS and YOUTH and FAMILY counsellors. They have two similar but distinct roles. School based counsellors do personal counselling, post secondary, career advising, and course planning. Youth and Family counsellors do personal and family counselling.
The Greater Victoria School District #61 (GVSD 61, May, 2022) mandates that:
The primary mandate of a school counsellor is to act as an advocate for all students by creating a caring environment that supports their personal, social, career and educational needs.
Description of service:
School-based counselling may include individual and/or small group support. Some of the areas of focus may include:
- Emotional regulation
- Dealing with social conflicts
- Classroom supports
- Grief and loss
- Separation/divorce” (GVSD 61, May, 2022)
School Based Youth and Family Counsellors (YFCs) provide counselling and support services to children, addressing critical issues that impact healthy development to youth and their families who are experiencing emotional, behavioural, social, cultural or academic difficulties. Goals are to enhance students’ relationships and participation within their family, school and community while striving to build resiliency and healthy community connections for children, youth and their families.
Supporting children, youth and family development through:
- family counselling
- individual and group counselling
- parent support and education
- support and advocacy
- conflict mediation
- life skills training
- crisis intervention
- referrals to community resources
- strengthening ties with families, schools and communities
Schedule an appointment
If you are in crisis and need immediate support, please contact the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888, go to the hospital, or call 911.
To request an appointment with a counsellor go to bit.ly/ESQcounselling or email the counsellor directly.
School-based counsellors for personal counselling, course changes and postsecondary advising:
- Allyson Hoffman (she/her) Monday to Friday email@example.com
- Anastasia Andrews (she/her) Monday to Friday firstname.lastname@example.org
International Student Advising
- Tim Zemanek: email@example.com
Youth and Family Counsellors personal and family counselling (not course changes):
- Brianne Mendes (she/her) Monday to Friday firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bob Beattie (he/him) Monday to Wednesday email@example.com
- Akki Mackay (they/them) Wednesday to Friday firstname.lastname@example.org
Students: You can book an appointment by bit.ly/ESQcounselling or email a counsellor directly. Counsellors make every effort to see students during elective blocks or non-instructional time.
Parents/Guardians: To request a counselling appointment you can email one of the counsellors listed above directly, or call the school’s main office at 250-382-9226. If you have a Gmail account, you may use the link on this page to access our Google request form.
In crisis or in need of immediate support outside school hours?
Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Centre of B.C.: If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide call 1-800-784-2433. Services available 24 hours per day 7 days per week. Available in 140 languages using a language service. Let them now what language you require.
Vancouver Island Crisis Line: Available 6:00pm to 10:00pm by TEXT @ (250) 800-3806, CHAT on the phone by calling 1-888-494-3888
Kuu Us Crisis Line: B.C. Wide Indigenous Crisis Support – YOUTH CALL: (250) 723-2040 OR TOLL FREE: 1-800-588-8717
Hope for Wellness Helpline: Available 24/7 to all Indigenous people across Canada. Chat online or call 1-855-242-3310.
Youth in B.C.: Online chat available from noon to 1:00am in B.C. for youth 25 and under.
Kids Help Phone: Confidential texting. Text the word CONNECT to 686868. Or call 1-(800)-668-6868 if you wish to talk. If you identify as Indigenous, you can ask to be connected with a First Nations, Inuk, or Metis crisis responder (if one is available) by messaging FIRST NATIONS, INUIT, or METIS to 686868.
Youth Space: A free online crisis & emotional support chat service for youth under 30 across Canada. Available from 6pm to midnight. From their website, “We listen without judgment, and keep chats confidential & anonymous.” Options for online instant messaging chat or texting @ (778) 783-0177.
211 British Columbia: “211 is a free and confidential service that connects people to helpful and vital resources in their community. Including: food shelter, mental health & addictions support, legal and financial assistance, etc.”
Island Health Public Health Nursing: Call (250) 388-2200
Where to Call for Help 2023-2024: This poster is updated annually with phone numbers of local agencies to help with:
B.C. Schizophrenia Society:Information for youth who may be experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia as well as information and support for their families.
Be There: Would you know how to ‘be there’ for a friend? The 5 Golden Rules on how to support a friend struggling with mental health. Go the website or read the attached .pdf. from jack.org. Read the .pdf.
Canadian Mental Health Association: Current information and resources about mental health.
Find a Registered Clinical Counsellor: B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors
Find a Registered Psychologist: B.C. Psychological Association
First Nations Health Authority (FNHA): Mental Health & Wellness Supports Culturally safe and trauma-informed service, available 24 hours a day, services covered by First Nations Health Benefits. See attached .pdf for more information.
Foundry: Mental health and substance use support, primary care, peer support, and social services.
Here to Help: Mental health and substance use information for supporting yourself or supporting a loved one.
Hulitan: Child and Youth Mental Health Program: The L,KI,L program provides support to Aboriginal children and youth aged 0-19 and their families, by helping to improve their mental health and overall well-being. The program maintains a focus on healing that incorporates both cultural and mainstream interventions. This program strives to facilitate a better awareness and understanding of colonization and the intergenerational impacts of residential schools.
Kelty Mental Health: Mental Health Resources for youth and young adults, parents & caregivers, and school professionals. Reliable, evidence-based information
Mental Disorders: Reliable information about Mental Disorders from Mental Health Literacy. For teens, their friends, parents and educators. Info about: anxiety, mood, psychotic, personality, eating, and developmental disorders, addictions, obsessive-compulsive, and trauma & stressor-related disorders.
Breathr App: Begin to explore mindfulness practices that can be done anywhere. Guided meditations and interesting facts about the brain science behind these practices. Available at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store too. From the B.C. Children’s Hospital.
Mind Your Mind: Ontario Ministry of Health “Exists in the space where mental health, wellness, engagement, and technology meet. We work with community partners and young people aged 14 to 29 to co-create interactive tools and innovative resources to build capacity and resilience.”
Be Safe App: Download on the Apple App Store or Google Play for free. “Helps you create a safety plan, find local resources for support and helps you to be prepared in a crisis.”
My Toolkit: “An interactive resource to help educate young people about mental health.”
Mood Disorder Association of British Columbia: “Non-profit organization that provides treatment, support, education, and hope of recovery for people with a mood disorder.”
Open Mind BC: Mental Health Tools and Resources for Youth & Young Adults and their Friends from Doctors of B.C.
Psychosis Sucks: Provides information about psychosis from Psychosis Canada
Resources for Responding to Trauma and Tragedy (2017): Edutopia article with links to a collection of resources for further reading.
Schizophrenia – Open the Doors: Provides information about schizophrenia in English, Arabic, Greek, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese.
Stigma-Free Society – Teen Corner (Gr. 8 to 12): Aims to educate and supports young people in their mental wellness journeys.
Check out their free: Student Mental Health Toolkit
Surrounded by Cedar Child & Family Services (SCCFS): The Child & Youth Counselling Program offers individual and group counselling services to urban Indigenous children, youth and families impacted by complex trauma. SCCFS
Thrive: Mental Health Outreach Team: Supports for children and youth under 19 years old and their family members.
WellBeing: B.C. Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions
We Matter: A national “Indigenous youth-led…registered organization dedicated to Indigenous youth support, hope and life promotion” through “positive messages of hope, culture, strength, healing, mental health and life promotion.”
What is Complex Trauma: A Resource Guide for Youth and Those Who Care About Them: Free download from The National Traumatic Stress Network (2017).
Kelty Eating Disorders: B.C Children’s Hospital – “Connecting you with resources and information for every stage of the eating disorder journey.”
MCFD Eating Disorders Program: Phone (250) 387-0000. Access to these services requires a doctor referral.
National Eating Disorder Information Centre: “NEDIC provides information, resources, referrals and support to anyone in Canada affected by an eating disorder.
Non-Suicidal Self Injury (NSSI)
Here to Help: Article about NSSI “Separating Fact from Fiction” (Klonsky, 2017).
Kelty’s Recommended Resources: Self-Injury: “A list of recommended resources to learn more abut self-injury including websites, online tolls, books and provincial support services.”
Self-Injury Outreach and Support (SIOS): “As part of a collaboration between the University of Guelph and McGill University, we are anon-profit outreach initiative providing information and resources about self-injury to those who self-injure, those who have recovered, and those who want to help.”
Calm Harm App: “Provides tasks that help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm.”
Coping with Urges: 9 Helpful Strategies: The 15-minute Rule, Ride the wave, Keep & review a log, Progressive muscle relaxation, Talking to someone, Do a creative activity, Listen to music, Exercise intensely to raise your heart rate, Play or cuddle with a pet.
Understanding Self-Injury/Self-Harm: Mental Health Literacy
LGTBQIA2S+ and SOGI
GVSD #61 – Policy #4305 – Gender Identity and Gender Expression
QMUNITY: B.C.’s Queer, Trans, and Two-Spirit Resource Centre
SOGI 123 – British Columbia
Youth Leadership Council – Victoria Pride Society – “Group of 14 to 24 years-olds that meet monthly to plan youth initiatives and events that relate to the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.”
Island Sexual Health: Community Health Care Clinic. “We’re here to support you with your sexual wellness, education and product needs through all stages of your life.”
Island Sexual Health Clinic: Information about birth control and safe sex. “We understand that sexual wellness evolves over a lifetime and to support your evolving care needs, we offer inclusive, pro-choice, and sex positive services for people of all genders, orientations, abilities, and ages in Greater Victoria, BC on the territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.”
Anxiety Canada: “We offer trusted resources and programs to help people better understand and manage anxiety – and find the relief they need.” Information on anxiety disorders.
Anxiety in Youth: A Guide for Anxiety in Teens from Anxiety Canada
MindShift CBT App: Free evidence-based anxiety relief. This app uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) “to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety.”
Youth Resources: Types of Anxiety and Coping Strategies
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Mental Health Literacy. Definition, risk factors, treatment options, resources & tools and external resources.
Grief and Loss
Bereavement Helpline: Call TOLL FREE @ 1-877-779-2223. Grief support for loss due to substance use, pet loss support, homicide grief support and suicide grief support.
10 Things to Know About Grief. Scroll down the page to “Ten Things to Know About Grief”. Brochures available in English, Mandarin. German, Korean, Farsi, Spanish, Tagalog (Philipino) and Vietnamese.
Dealing with Grief: A Guide to Understanding Your Reactions. Read more here.
Coping with Grief and Loss: Informational resource from the Mind Your Mind website.
Grief & Loss: Information from B.C. Children’s Hospital.
Learning Through Loss: Peer support programs, workshops and services for grieving youth (age 13 to 24) in the in the Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island region.
Loss & Grief – The Foundry: Information and resources.
Divorce and Separation
Families Change: Helping kids, teens and parents deal with a family break up.
Parenting After Separation: “Free online courses for B.C. parents and other family members who are dealing with separation or divorce and facing decision about guardianship, parenting arrangements, contact, child support and spousal support.”
New Canadians – Services for Immigrants and Refugees
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria: Immigrant welcome centre, English classes, Employment Services, LGBTQI2S+ Services, Workshops & Training, and Private Refugee Sponsorship. Site can be translated to: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish and Ukrainian.
Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees (VICCIR): “VICCIR provides mental health counselling to immigrants and refugees living in Canada. We offer our services on a sliding fee scale, based on clients’ ability to pay. We work with specially trained interpreters as required.”