BCI replies to all emails within one business day.
YOUR FIRST CALL
to contact us by email.
DURING Business Hours
BCI's office is open 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday. During these times, a program coordinator will answer your call and ask for the following information:
Who you work for (your employer)
In which city would you like to see a counsellor
If the counselling is for yourself and/or for another family member
If you have a preference for a male or female counsellor (if available)
The best phone numbers/an email to reach you, and if a message can be left on those numbers
If our lines are busy, please stay on the line and you will be redirected to our overnight live operators, who will ask you the best number and email for our office to reach you. A program coordinator will respond to you promptly.
After this call, a counsellor will be in touch with you within 1 business day. If you have not heard from the counsellor after 2 business days, please call us back to ensure we have the correct information.
OUTSIDE Business Hours
When you call outside business hours, please be patient while our phone system re-directs your call to our live operators. The operator will take down your name, your number, and your employer.
The next business day, a BCI program coordinator will contact you to confirm your name and number, and gather any additional information needed to make an appropriate referral.
If you need to speak to someone right away, tell the operator. They will have an on-call First Responder phone you right back to offer telephone support.
This is not an emergency service. If you are in an emergency or a serious crisis, please contact 911 or the Crisis Centre of BC at 1.800.SUICIDE.
Location, Location, Location
BCI has counsellors across BC - the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, Peace-Liard, Cariboo, Okanagan-Shuswap, the Kootenays, the Rockies, Fort George, Skeena and Thompson-Nicola. BCI also has counsellors in major centres in Alberta.
If you need to see someone in a different area (or even different province or country), we can set it up for you!
Five Common FAQs
1. How much will it cost?
There is no cost to you as all programs are either fully funded by your Employer, or jointly funded by your Employer and your
Union, there is no cost to you. Counsellors send their invoices directly to BCI.
2. Can I choose my own counsellor?
We have an extensive Counsellor Network throughout the province. Our counsellors specialize in short-term counselling for
anxiety, depression, family issues, couples' problems, grief, etc. When you call, we are happy to give you the name of
our counsellors who are in your area. If you would like to use a counsellor who is not part of BCI's Network, please
contact us for more information.
3. Is the service confidential? Why do I have to give you my name?
The service is confidential. Every few months, employers send us lists of all eligible employees. We ask your name to ensure
you are eligible for service. If you are, you are assigned a random number. Quarterly & Annual Utilization Reports do not
provide any information that could identify an individual. Counsellors keep confidential records, and will go over the limits
of this confidentiality with you during your first session.
4. How many sessions do I get?
Different employers have different program limits. While some have set a limit of 6 sessions, other programs are based on
need, so you might get more sessions. The average is 4 to 6 sessions per family. (If more than one family member is accessing
separately, you will need to keep in mind that your allotment is for the entire family, not per person. ) EFAP is designed to
deal with short term issues, and is not an alternative to long term counselling.
5. Who is eligible for the service?
Most programs cover immediate family members, such as your spouse and your dependent children. This may include a
child away at university. Children over the age of 6 can be seen if there is a counsellor with that specialization in your area.
If your spouse or eligible adult child wants to access alone, they must call themselves. They will only need to mention
their relation to the employee, and where the employee works. Most employers do not cover retired employees, but there
are exceptions. Please contact us to check.