Created for folks in the West Kootenays of BC, Canada.
A Kootenay legend, Mike Cole, took his life in January of 2022.
As a tribute to Mike, a group of friends decided to create three Legacy Projects in his honour:
REACH OUT: Free Counselling & Mental Health is barrier-free access to counselling and mental health supports for folks who might be struggling and unable to access those services.
REACH OUT: Friends HelpLine is a simple way to reach out to friends when we are struggling and have a problematic tendency to self-isolate.
REACH OUT: Emotional Support Education aims to bring helpful skills to you so that you can better support your friends in need.
"We don't have to do all of it alone.
We were never meant to."
~ Brene Brown
We acknowledge and honour that we reside and work on the traditional territory of the Sinixt, the Syilx, and the Ktunaxa peoples. We value the opportunity to recognize the rights of our Indigenous community members.
We acknowledge the privilege of offering this service to our community on stolen land, and as such we will continue to advocate for decolonization, and with unwavering devotion and respect, pay tribute to this land's earliest inhabitants.
Here for You & Everyone. No Exceptions.
Our plain and simple goal is to provide counselling and mental health services to anyone who can't afford the fees - no matter what your financial situation or who you are.
If you think you need counselling or mental health support but can't afford it, then this service is for you. We don't screen, monitor or judge the users.
This is an equal-opportunity honour system. The REACH OUT fund is limited and any abuse of the fund will directly impact the ability to serve people in crisis.
Simply choose a therapist from the "Meet The Therapists" page and use their Booking Info to make your booking.
When booking, make sure to mention that you are booking for REACH OUT
so there is no confusion.
Remember, you might need to contact a few therapists to find one the fits with your schedule.
Click the BOOK NOW button below
to find your therapist.
We are all friends of the late, great Mike Cole, a Kootenay legend who took his own life in January of 2022. Mike was the kind of person that was always solidly there for others, and he also struggled with mental health issues - both of those inspired us to create these Legacy Projects in his memory.
Shortly after Mike's passing, a dear friend of Mike's, Lonny Stefanyk of Atrium Tattoo, had the initial idea of raising funds at Mike's tribute to support local mental health in order to help other people who were struggling like Mike was. Lonny and Sara Spicer of Meow Mix got talking about it and Sara contacted me, Alon Gelcer (therapist at Insight Quest), wondering if I had an idea for a mental health Legacy Project for our community. The answer was obvious right away because for anyone that works in the mental health field, we all know just how many people need help and can't access it due to lack of funds or because government services are so backed up. This was an opportunity to fill that gap. How hard could it be, right? I volunteered to create the website (writing the website content, coordinating with the 33 initial therapists, writing the profiles, setting up the systems, collating Alternative Resources, educational material, creating the Friend's HelpLine, etc) and my colleague, Lauren Heckley (Counselling with Lauren) helped with content writing, design ideas, advice and support, while Sijay James gifted his valuable time to create the logo and advise me on how to build my first website. Veronica Phipps, a past partner of Mike's, volunteers as our treasurer and accountant.
I had 6 weeks from the time of the conception until the launch opening at Mike's tribute and the project was finally finished on the day of the Tribute. My goal was to have at least a dozen therapists on the site by launch and the response from the therapeutic community was so beautifully resounding that we were able to launch with 33 therapists profiled. In our first month, the website has had over 1500 visitors - that's 15% of the population of Nelson.
The REACH OUT therapy team is a diverse group of kind, caring therapists who want to help make counselling, therapy and mental health more accessible to all who need it in our local Kootenay area. These therapists are volunteering their time and reducing their rates to accomplish this goal.
Who are the therapists?
How much are the therapists being paid?
Until we secure enough funding, we request that each therapist offer to workpro bono with one client/year or roughly 10 sessions/year. Beyone that request, each therapist can choose from a sliding scale of $0-50. Many donate their time completely (thank you! ...this allows the fund to reach more humans in need!!) and all are encouraged to choose the lowest amount possible.
For payment beyond the pro bono request, therapists are asked to submit invoices with session information (but no client information) directly to Veronica Phipps, our accountant at email@example.com and mention "Reach Out Invoice" in the subject.
Free is great, but there's some research to show clients gain more from sessions when they contribute something financially, so...?
If you are a therapist that would like your client to contribute something financially to the sessions, you can ask your clients to etransfer their contribution directly to Reach Out (firstname.lastname@example.org), or if you prefer, ask clients to give you the money and you can etransfer it to us. (Or, obviously, you could keep that money.)
If you're a client, consider contributing something per session - 20, 10 or even $5 through our accountant Veronica Phipps (email@example.com) and mention "Reach Out - Client Contribution" in the subject.
Is it really FREE?
Yes, most of our therapists are offering their services free and some for a sliding scale which is billed to us at REACH OUT, so even then it's still free for you. (That said, if you can afford some partial payment, that helps the limited REACH OUT funds to go farther to help other people.)
If you can pay something for a therapist (even if it's just $5), simply etransfer your payment to our Accountant, Veronica Phipps, at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: "client payment"). Your generosity helps others access help!
How is it funded?
Funds are currently raised through your donations and fundraisers for this initial launch phase. Phase 2 of the project will include grant funding and non-profit status. Please contact us with any funding or grant ideas.
How can I help?
You can list your service on this site if you are willing to serve at least one client/year pro bono (or 10 pro bono sessions) and then as many low-cost clients as you like, using the $0-50 sliding scale. We trust you to respect the honour system, thanks.
Also spread the word to other colleagues and benefactors!
How can I help?
We need: ideas for financial support, grant writing, etc, plus your feedback (on the website, services listed, and therapists).
Donations, Payments and Billing:
Contact our accountant Veronica Phipps at email@example.com for all etransfer donations and billing. Make sure to mention REACH OUT in all communications!
For payment beyond the pro bono request, therapists are asked to submit invoices with session information (but no client information) directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and please mention "Reach Out Invoice" in the subject.
We hope to have a Donate Button and better systems in place soon. Thanks for your understanding and patience!
In the meantime, Donations can be etransferred directly to email@example.com and please mention "Reach Out Donation" in the subject.
If you're a client that's contributing something per session, these can be etransferred directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and mention "Reach Out - Client Contribution" in the subject.
Who's behind this project?
How Are We Doing?
We'd love to hear from you!!
Did you have an excellent or "less-than-excellent" experience with:
An Alternative Service?
(Bonus tip: A beautiful gift you can give to whichever therapist supported you for free,
is a heartfelt testimonial of your experience.)
Anonymous feedback & testimonials are fine, or just initials, or your full name - your choice!
Contact us for support, feedback, or any questions.
or use the form below.
IMPORTANT: If you use the form below, please
DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ADDRESS!!
We've had people mis-spell their address and then we CAN'T REPLY!
And if you don't hear from us within 2-3 DAYS,,
PLEASE RESEND YOUR MESSAGE.