We recently sent a letter to the Health Minister Mr Adrian Dix and copied our local MLA’s Ronna Rae Leonard, Rachel Blaney and Gord Johns in support of regulating BC Counsellors.
Fact BC has been seeking this recognition for over 20 years. This will not only bring regulation to this field of professionals, but will also result in more extended benefit plans covering registered clinical counsellors which in turn will help more people access the services that they need.
Please consider writing to your local MLA to share your personal story. The more people who advocate for this regulation, the more likely it will be to come to fruition.
Dear Mr Dix,
I am writing in regard to the regulation of British Columbia counsellors by the Health Professionals Act.
I run a counselling clinic that helps clients recover from the negative effects of concussion, trauma and PTSD.
We receive many enquiries from our Military personnel, RCMP officers and first responders who suffer from stress and trauma due to the dangerous work they do. Many are so severely incapacitated that they cannot work and, tragically, cannot afford to pay for counselling services that could help them heal and work again.
However, there is a potential solution: most of these people have extended medical coverage through Blue Cross Medavie. The problem is that Blue Cross doesn’t provide coverage for counsellors in BC as they do in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Blue Cross cannot cover BC counsellors because they are not regulated by the Health Act in British Columbia.
In order for BC counselling services to gain Blue Cross coverage, there needs to be the creation of a B.C. college of therapists, or similar government body, that would regulate counsellors by the Health Act.
The Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists in B.C. have been advocating for this for decades, by requesting a provincial oversight body. It is my understanding that former minister of health Terry Lake supports this initiative.
It is an easy administration process that does not require legislation, only an Order in Council. Furthermore, the college is self-funding and does not need taxpayer funding. Counsellors in BC have been self-regulating for decades and step up to do the work and provide the resources required of professionals.
I am hoping that you can advocate for the creation of a provincial oversight body of counselling therapists, and consequent regulation by the Health Professionals Act. Then we will be able to give our essential service providers, heroes who keep us safe by risking their lives every day, access to insurance-covered counselling to help them regain their health and even return to work.
Thomas Diamond PhD