A Courtenay mental health clinic has joined Winnipeg and St. Catharines, Ontario as the only three Canadian clinics owned by Nōmina Integrated Health to offer free, walk-in mental health services.
Lisa Klco, Nōmina Clinical Director, ran a clinic in the same location previously but says mental health help can be much better.
“When people need help they need help now, they can’t necessarily wait three or six months to get in to see their preferred clinician,” said Klco.
Over one in four Canadians now suffer from a mental health issue.
Depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse, and even suicide have been at epidemic levels since the beginning of COVID-19.
“Our community-based mental health services are taxed. They are entirely overwhelmed and there is just such a deficit to meet the burgeoning need that is growing,” added Klco. “Equally our fee for service providers are very full as well. A lot of them have wait-lists and full caseloads.”
The free, privately-funded walk-in model is designed to make access easier than ever.
“It’s a broad range of services. It’s definitely meant to try and support individuals connecting with those community services or even just counselling support,” said Klco.
“Our no charge Mental Health Clinics will offer evidenced-based therapies by our highly specialized and trained clinical team. Nōmina therapists have clinical expertise in various therapeutic trauma approaches such as ISTDP, EMDR, and cognitive modalities such as CBT, DBT, IFS, DNF, and ACT,” said Chad Northcott, Nōmina Clinical Counsellor.
“Nōmina’s mission is to provide holistic services while making mental health even more accessible to everyone. We believe the underlying reason behind a mental health issue is separate from the way that issue is expressed. Our aim is to help dig under the surface to find the root of a particular issue. This is combined with the successes you have had in your life to create new behavioural patterns,” says Klco.
Mental health advocates support the clinic and say just one bit of help at the right time, can make all the difference in the world.
“I’m really enthusiastic about this model and I know that there’s a great need in our community for it,” said Heathery Ney, Comox Valley Transition Society Executive Director. “Sometimes those brief interventions at the time it’s needed can be life-changing in terms of somebody’s mental health.”
The no-charge clinic at 949 Fitzgerald Avenue will be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.