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Community Resources

Self-Management Programs

Links to government and non-governmental organizations provincially, nationally and internationally that can help you to “Live a Healthy Life” while managing chronic health conditions.

Information | Disease Specific Organizations | Adaptive Equipment | Healthy Lifestyle | Healthy Eating | Advocacy | Self-Help | Other Government Resources

INFORMATION

Alcohol & Drug Information Referral Service (ADIRS)
ADIRS provides free, confidential information and referral services to British Columbians in need of support with any kind of substance use issue (alcohol or other drugs). Referral to community substance use treatment services is available for all ages. Information available from ADIRS includes prevention resources, support groups, and addiction related topics such as fetal alcohol syndrome. Contact ADIRS toll-free at 1 800 663-1441, or in the Lower Mainland at 604 660-9382. Free, multilingual telephone assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

BC 211
211 helps link people rapidly and easily to the services they need, avoiding the stress and confusion of searching for programs and services. Certified Information and Referral Specialists help callers to determine their needs and options.

Canadian Men's Health Foundation
A national, registered charity providing information, tools, and motivation for men and their families to live healthier. 

FETCH (For Everything That's Community Health) 
This is an online resource that helps patients and health care providers find information on social and health resources within their own community, including counselling, crisis intervention, employment assistance, and agencies that provide support for various medical conditions.

Find Support BC
Connects families of persons with disabilities with resources available to them. Their database generates a list of resources based on age, disability, region and city in BC.

HealthLink BC 
24/7 access to non-emergency health information and services. Translation services are available in over 130 languages on request. Speak with a nurse about your symptoms, consult with a pharmacist about your medication questions, or get healthy eating advice from a dietitian. You can also find the health services and resources you need, closest to you. You can call 8-1-1. 

Immunize BC
Evidence-based immunization information and tools for B.C. residents.

Office of the Seniors Advocate
Seniors who have issues accessing health-care services or with the health care they received can call the Office of the Seniors Advocate to receive timely resolution of problems. This toll-free phone line is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

QMUNITY - BC's Queer,Trans & Two-Spirited Resource Centre
A non-profit organization based in Vancouver, BC that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives. They provide a safer space for LGBTQ2SAI+ people and their allies to fully self-express while feeling welcome and included.

RXHelp
RxHelp's mission is to provide Canadian health care consumers access to brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers "Patient Assistance Programs". Patient payment assistance programs are run by many brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide significant savings on brand-name prescription medicines. RxHelp.ca connects Canadian patients to these pharmaceutical manufacturer's payment assistance programs FREE of charge. There are 3 main types of programs:  

  1. Patient Choice Programs - Allow the patient to remain on their brand name medicine with little or no additional cost over the generic equivalent.
  2. Patient Assistance Programs - Help offset or reduce the out-of-pocket patient costs that are not covered by the patient's public or private drug plan. Some or all of the out-of-pocket patient costs will be paid by the manufacturer of the product up to a defined maximum.
  3. eSample Programs - Allows the patient to receive the prescribed medication for a certain number of days at no cost to the patient, based on reasonable up-charge, mark-up and usual customary pharmacy fee. Physician Access Only.

To use your card you must fill a valid prescription at a participating pharmacy in Canada. After receiving your RxHelp.ca card simply present your RxHelp.ca card when purchasing your included brand-name prescription at a participating pharmacy and you will receive your payment assistance immediately. The RxHelp.ca card is accepted at most pharmacies in Canada.

DISEASE-SPECIFIC ORGANIZATIONS

Alzheimer Society of BC

The Arthritis Society 

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Society of British Columbia

BC Brain Wellness Program  

BC Lung Association

BC Cancer

BC Lupus Society 

Canadian Cancer Society

Canadian Celiac Association

Canadian Digestive Health Foundation

Canadian Hemochromatosis Society

Canadian Liver Foundation

Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

Canadian Mental Health Association BC

Canadian Spondylitis Association

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Canada Patient Network

Crohn's and Colitis Canada

Diabetes Canada

Heart & Stroke™

Huntington Society of Canada

JointHealth

HeretoHelp
HeretoHelp is a website of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information. 

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Muscular Dystrophy Canada

Pain BC™

Parkinson Society BC

PARC - Promoting Awareness of RSDS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) and CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) in Canada

Spinal Cord Injury BC 

After Stroke British Columbia

 

ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT

Red Cross Health Equipment Loans
The Canadian Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) provides Canadians with short-term loans of health equipment on a donation basis.


HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Active Aging Canada
Active Aging Canada's mission is to support lifelong healthy active aging of adult Canadians through participation, education, research, and promotion.

Community Virtual Care Program - Island Health 
Community Virtual Care is a free Island Health program that uses remote patient monitoring, virtual visits and the telephone to support clients living with chronic disease from the comfort of their home. Nurses provide 1:1 support to help you to improve your knowledge of your chronic disease and your ability to manage your own health. Clients are typically on the program for about 90 days.

Government of Canada - Health
Provides information on such topics as recalls and advisories, healthy living initiatives, and the Healthy Living Guides (Canada Food Guide and Physical Activity Guide).

interCultural Online Network (iCON)
University of British Columbia's iCON offers in-person and technology-supported multicultural community education on health literacy and chronic disease management.  Culturally appropriate materials are presented by health care providers in the patients’ first language, mostly for Chinese and South Asian people. 

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines

Sources Community Resource Centres
A community-based non-profit society offering a variety of social wellness programs and services through 20 locations, including Community Resource Centres, that are continually expanding to meet individual and community needs.

HEALTHY EATING

Dietitians of Canada
Dietitians of Canada's Unlockfood.ca website is a bilingual award winning website where you will find information on nutrition, food and healthy eating as well as recipes, videos and interactive healthy eating tools.   with information for 

Canada's Food Guide (2019)
The new Canada Food Guide has a number of resources on their website for healthy eating.

SUPPORT IN THE HOME 

Better at Home
United Way’s Better at Home program helps BC’s older adults continue living independently in their own homes by
providing simple, non-medical home support services. Its unique ‘seniors planning for seniors’ approach means
older adults contribute to the design, operation, and evaluation of their local program.


ADVOCACY 

BC Rural Health Network
The purpose of the Network is to promote and support a health services system that improves and sustains the health and well-being of residents of rural communities across British Columbia. 

Family Caregivers of BC

Disability Alliance BC 

Seniors First BC
Provides the Seniors Abuse Information Line (SAIL), a province wide confidential phone line that is a safe place for older adults and for those who care about them to talk to a trained intake worker about abuse or mistreatment, receive information and support about issues that impact the health and well being of an older adult. Language interpretation available 9 am to 4 pm weekdays.
Phone: 604-437-1940 or toll-free 1-866-437-1940 weekdays 8am to 8 pm and weekends 10 am to 5:30 pm excluding statutory holidays. 

SELF-HELP

PeerNet BC

Crisis Centre BC
The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC (Crisis Centre) is a non-profit, volunteer organization committed to helping people help themselves and others deal with crises. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-SUICIDE or call your local crisis centre If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide.

OTHER GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

Public Health Agency of Canada
The home page of this Government of Canada website has lists of services and information on health.

Public Health Agency of Canada – Aging & Seniors
The Division of Aging and Seniors (DAS) provides federal leadership on seniors' public health issues in order to optimize healthy aging. As such, DAS is the focal point for information and centre of expertise in the area. The Division strives to influence policy development, expand and transfer the knowledge base, and engage stakeholders on matters concerning healthy aging, including the prevention and control of disease and injury in older adult life. Features the Safe Living Guide - A Guide for Home Safety for Seniors available for download.

Veterans Affairs
If you are a current or former member of the CAF or RCMP, or a family member, the Government of Canada Veterans Affairs has targeted services and benefits to improve your well-being.

VictimLink BC
VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across B.C. and the Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-563-0808. It provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including victims of human trafficking exploited for labour or sexual services.

DISCLAIMER: This list is in no way exhaustive and the University of Victoria does not endorse any aforementioned resource as most effective. Please share with us any other resources that might be considered for inclusion by emailing selfmgmt@uvic.ca.

Last updated: May 2022