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Community Resources

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
 
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
Available to the Lower Mainland, 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. 
 
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
www.healthlinkbc.ca or c
all 8-1-1
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.

Immunize BC
Evidence-based immunization information and tools for B.C. residents.
 
1-877-952-3181 or in Victoria 250-952-3181
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.
 
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
www.alzheimerbc.org

Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplasia Association
www.aamac.ca

The Arthritis Society
www.arthritis.ca
 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Society of British Columbia
www.alsbc.ca
 
BC Lung Association
https://bc.lung.ca/
 
BC Cancer 
www.bccancer.bc.ca
 
BC Lupus Society
www.bclupus.org

BC Schizophrenia Society
www.bcss.org

Canadian Cancer Society
www.cancer.ca

Canadian Celiac Association
www.celiac.ca 
 
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
 
Canadian Hemochromatosis Society
 
Canadian Liver Foundation
www.liver.ca

Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation
www.canlyme.com

Canadian Mental Health Association
www.cmha.ca

Canadian Spondylitis Association
www.spondylitis.ca

Chronic Pain Association of Canada
www.chronicpaincanada.com
 
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) Canada
www.copdcanada.ca
 
Crohn's and Colitis Canada 
 
Diabetes Canada
www.diabetes.ca
 
 
Heart & Stroke Foundation
www.heartandstroke.ca

Hepatitis C Education & Prevention Society
www.hepcbc.ca

Huntington Society of Canada
www.huntingtonsociety.ca

JointHealth
www.jointhealth.org
 
HeretoHelp is a website of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information. The BC Partners are a group of seven leading provincial mental health and substance use non-profit agencies: Anxiety Canada, BC Schizophrenia Society, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, Canadian Mental Health Association's BC Division, Institute of Families for Child and Youth Mental Health, Jessie's Legacy eating disorders prevention and awareness (a Family Services of the North Shore program) and Mood Disorders Association of BC (a branch of Lookout Housing and Health Society).

Kidney Foundation of Canada
www.kidney.ca

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
www.mssociety.ca

Muscular Dystrophy Canada
www.muscle.ca

Pain BC Society
www.painbc.ca

Parkinson Society BC
www.parkinson.bc.ca
 
People in Pain Network
www.pipain.com
 
Positive Living Society of BC
www.positivelivingbc.org
 
PARC - Promoting Awareness of RSDS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) and CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) in Canada
www.rsdcanada.org/parc
 
Spinal Cord Injury BC
http://sci-bi.ca

Stroke Recovery Association of BC
www.strokerecoverybc.ca
 
ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT

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 strives to promote a society where all older Canadians are leading active lifestyles that contribute to their overall well-being.
ALCOA, a partnership of organizations and individuals having interest in the field of aging, encourages older Canadians to maintain and enhance their well-being and independence through a lifestyle that embraces daily physical activities.
 
A comprehensive guide with information on the prevalence of addiction in seniors, prescription drug use, and various routes of recover and how family and friends play a vital role.   
 
Food & Drug Interactions
A resource designed to highlight potentially harmful interactions between dietary supplement, different foods/vitamins, and prescription drugs. Changes associated with aging cause seniors to be more risk for harmful interference with their medication, and this guide reveals a few combinations to be aware of.  
 
Health - Government of Canada 
www.healthycanadians.gc.ca
Provides information on such topics as recalls and advisories, healthy living initiatives, and the Healthy Living Guides (Canada Food Guide and Physical Activity Guide).
 
Healthy Families BC
A cross-government health promotion initiative that seeks to improve the health of British Columbians by taking steps to address common risk factors and reduce chronic disease.

New Health Partnerships Information for People with Chronic Conditions: Self-Management Support: Information for Patients and Families
www.ihi.org
This document is intended as a resource for patients and family members dealing with chronic or long-term conditions. Includes such topics as information on being active in health care, getting started with self-management, staying on strack, and a section on resources and tools. 
 
Osteofit A fitness program designed for people with osteoporosis available in select communities in BC. 
 
Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines

Physical Activity Line (PAL) - HealthLink BC
www.physicalactivityline.com
A resource for practical and trusted physical activity and healthy living information. The line provides guidance to help you become more physically active, overcome your barriers and stay motivated, education on the most up to date, trusted physical activity and health information and connects you with health professionals and community health and fitness programs. Staffed by CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologists® are available Monday to Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, to assist you with all of your physical activity related needs. Call 8-1-1 as PAL is now part of HealthLink BC.
 
 
Senior Road Safety Guide
A website section from the US Traffic Safety Store that features helpful information on driver safety for older adults. 
 
Sources Community Resources Society
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
www.dietitians.ca

Canada's Food Guide (2019)

The new Canada Food Guide has a number of resources on their website for healthy eating. 
 
ADVOCACY

Family Caregivers of BC
 
Disability Alliance BC (formerly BC Coalition of Persons with Disabilities)
 
Seniors First BC
 
 
 
SELF-HELP

This guide provides information on how to care for people with Alzheimers or dementia. It includes caregiver wellness information such as how to properly deal with stress. 

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 crisis. 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
 
The home page of this Government of Canada website has lists of services and information on health.  
 
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, to expand and transfer the knowledge base, and to 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.
 
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.
 
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: April 2019