Finding Services for your loved one
Finding services for your loved one can be challenging. It's hard to know where to begin sometimes and to know what is available. Sometimes services you might expect to exist are not available or are not called what you think, and sometimes great programs and services are available but hard to find.This month we are going to look at services that help you find what you need, and how to go about locating the services your family is looking for.Help finding help
You don't have to be an internet search expert or know all the right words to ask in order to find services. There is help. If you call 811
(that's the whole phone number, there is no area code) and tell them what you are looking for, the specially trained navigators will help you find it. The phone line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need help finding mental health help, you can contact your localBC Schizophrenia Society Educator
, or call 310
for support and help finding resources.About Finding Health Services in BC - the basicsIf you are new to BC or Canada - the Medical Services Plan
If you are new to BC or new to Canada, it can help to know the basics. Everyone who has their home in BC needs to have the Medical Services Plan (MSP). MSP is health insurance, and doctors and hospitals will ask you for your MSP number when helping you. You will not usually have to pay anything for care at a doctors office or hospital if you have your MSP number. If you earn less than $22,000 per year, MSP is free. If you earn more than that you pay monthly. Here is some information on the costs.
You can apply for MSP online at www.gov.bc.ca/mspbcresidentforms
by printing the form, filling it out and mailing it in. If you want, you can apply instead over the phone 604 683-7151 (1 800 663-7100 toll free) or at a Service BC office
. Here is some moregood information
about health care in BC for newcomers and refugees.If you don't have a family doctor, here is a searchable list of family doctors
who are accepting patients. (Tip: To keep it simple, click next to family physicians, and type your city name in and click 'search') Once you find a doctor near you on the list, you can call their office to make an appointment.How to Find Mental Health Services
If you need to talk to someone and would like support and help finding mental health services for your loved one, you can call 311.
If you need help getting help for your loved one, the BC Schizophrenia Society regional educators can help. You can call 604-270-7841 (1.888.888.0029 toll free)
and ask for the regional educator for your town.If your loved one seems to have a mental illness but does not have a doctor, mental health team or psychiatrist yet, you will need to contact mental health intake for your town. You can look up the number for mental health intake for the town your family member lives in here
. In the search box, type in 'mental health intake' and also fill in the town you want to find services for. When you call, you can explain what is going on and what makes you think your loved one might be ill.If your loved one already has a mental health team, and you are looking for something else, Health Link BC has a directory you can search by location and topic to find services
in your area.How to find support services like housing or employment help for persons with a mental illness
These types of services change a lot depending on where you live, so it's good to talk to someone who works in your area. Your BC Schizophrenia Society regional educator
can help you or you can call 311 for more information.