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Mental Health & Wellness

What is Mental Health & Wellness (MH&W) and Substance Use?

There is a lot more to Mental Wellness than the absence of mental illness – it is all facets of a person's life. ​Mental wellness is inclusive of aspects that promote and maintain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance.

For many First Nations in BC mental wellness and substance use have been targeted as priorities. There exist many causes of mental wellness issues the basis of trauma can have an impact on our mental wellness and this in no way means that one is crazy, sick or ill. Remember, trauma is an injury that happens to us. Some of the reasons of trauma are direct link to:

  • Colonization and assimilation and Indian Residential Schools
  • Systemic discrimination and racism
  • Child Apprehension
  • Land dispossession
  • Loss of tradition, language and culture
  • Intergenerational trauma and its effects

KDC Health offers programs to address mental wellness and substance use issues and restore life’s balance. KDC Health’s approach to wellness is to recognize the rich and diverse assets within communities and regions and the many promising and successful practices undertaken to date. Program offerings include:

  • Suicide or ideation
  • Substance misuse
  • Trauma
  • Grief & Loss
  • Mental Wellness
  • Stress, Anxiety, Depression
  • Parenting/Attachment

 There have been some proven factors that help in promoting wellness in communities and this includes:

  • Self-governance
  • Stewardship of ancestral lands
  • Presence of cultural services
  • Control of the education system
  • Control of health services
  • Control of emergency response services​​

The KDC Health Mental Wellness program understands the importance of culture and tradition as part of the healing process. It is KDC Health’s goal to offer programming that is culturally sensitive and steeped in the traditions of Kwakwaka'wakw people. It is our practice to offer ceremony and tradition as a part of every program offered thru KDC Health programs.


Precious Beginnings (PB) - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Program

The program is based on mentoring of women at risk. Mentors are well connected to the communities and will provide long term support, practical assistance, and advocacy for women who are making fundamental changes in their lives.  Mentors believe in the women and provide unconditional support. Women are not asked to leave the program if they have setbacks or relapse.

The Precious Beginnings program provides support to mothers and families at risk for FASD, currently living with FASD, or with high risk life histories in the family of origin.

PB welcomes women who are

  • Individual / child who is affected with FASD
  • Living in a high risk environment
  • Currently using drugs and/or alcohol during pregnancy or struggle with sobriety
  • Pregnant or up to 6 months post partum
  • Lack connection to community supports
  • Has another child(ren) who are cognitively impaired by alcohol and/or drugs
  • Are in childbearing years (15 years and older) and struggle with substance use

 The PB program is offered to women living in the KDC Member Nation communities of:

  • Mamalilikulla,
  • Da’Nanxda”Xw,
  • We Wai Kai,
  • We Wai Kum,
  • Kwiakah

 Making a Referral:

PB programs and services are available to all KDC Health member Nations on and off reserve. Accessing programs and Mental Health & Wellness counseling services can be achieved through the following:

  • Self-referral
  • Drop in
  • Faxing a KDC MH&W referral form to the appropriate site
  • Contacting a MH&W team member directly


  • For a referral into the Precious Beginings Program Contact the:
  • KDC Health Director: Kim Roberts:                                                                                       Phone: 250-286-9766 Email: 
  • Mitzi Larson, Campbell River Mentor                                                                                  Phone: 250-286-9766  Email:
  • Amanda Adams, Campbell River Mentor                                                                              Phone: 250-286-9766  Email:
  • Jocelyn Whyte, Quinsam Mentor                                                                                      Phone:  250-286-8064  Email:

 Community Wellness Worker (CWW)

There is two CWW’s Ken Bell for Campbell River and K’omoks and Brittley James for Quinsam and Cape Mudge.

KDC Health delivers community-based health care programs and services in order to enhance the mental health and wellness of communities through excellence, accountability and respect for regional and cultural diversity.

  • The CWW’s will spend time in community, building relationships and provide help and encouragement to MH&W clients.
  • provide one on one support for new intakes, treatment-ready and post treatment clients, listening and giving consideration to what the client needs
  • They will provide a safe and welcome environment for people to visit.
  • Most importantly ensure absolute confidentiality except as required by management and the law. CWW’s will provide support in a wide range of factors in creating a long-term recovery plan for clients including barriers to recovery, opportunity for employment after treatment, familial support and regularly occurring life stressors
  • Work together with clients to explore options and explain details of treatment centres, talking circles, support groups, alternative healing and various other available resources
  • CWW’s will identifies MH&W needs in the community and recommend preventative programs to meet client needs
  • Work collaboratively to deliver care within the context of the community site team to ensure continuity of care across the continuum including the Island Health (IH) and other community resources.


  • Ken Bell (community wellness worker all sites) 250-286-9766 Email:
  • Brandi Varga (youth outreach coordinator all sites) 250-286-8064                                                        Email:

Clinical Counsellor’s

The KDC Health Clinical Counsellor’s are professionally-accredited. The Clinical Counsellor’s role is to provide counselling to individuals, families and youth, across all KDC Health sites. The position applies knowledge and experience in providing therapy for a range of KDC Health individual and family situations. Therapist is a professionally accredited position and key role is to provide counseling to individuals, families and youth, across all KDC Health sites.

They will provide the following:

  • Counselling services and family therapy to an active caseload of individuals, youth and families
  • Interview individuals and families as required
  • Counsel persons in groups whenever necessary and appropriate.
  • Conduct interviews with clients in the therapist’s setting, home, school or other setting as required
  • Conduct individual or family therapy through use of professionally accepted approaches such as family systems theory, strategic therapy, according to therapist’s personal qualifications, training and experience
  • The will provide support services to children experiencing hardship due to admission to care and separation from family
  • They take care in pride in providing family counselling for families and children who have been separated due to the child’s admission to care, and who seek reunification
  • Provide specialized counselling sessions and groups
  • Accept referrals from families known to be high risk by the MH&W team, the Ministry of Social Services, or outside network agencies

For Further information on Mental Health Support Please Contact:

Petra Stewart (counselor all sites) Phone: 250-286-8064 Email:
Lane Litke (counselor all sites) Phone: 250-286-8064 Email:
Leanne Mcintee (MOUHSS mobile outreach) 250-9766 Email:
Tracy Hnidy(counselor all sites)250-286-8264 Email: