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VICCIR and the War in Ukraine

As we watch the horrifying events in Ukraine unfold, at VICCIR we are also preparing to support all victims of the war. We wanted to give you an update on VICCIR's response to this latest crisis, and how you can help. This short video highlights VICCIR's response to crises all over the world, and how your donations support our vital work.

Thank you to Phil N. Rossner who donated his time to create this video. Phil's non-profit video agency - Wide Awake Media (WAM) Production - produces a series entitled In Our Midst: People & Organizations making Positive Change, which is on Shaw Spotlight Community TV and YouTube. Phil is also a regular contributor to Meditation Magazine based out of New York.

VICCIR is ready to welcome any immigrant or refugee seeking mental health support as a result of the crisis in Ukraine. Anyone affected by this crisis who was born outside of Canada (or for youth, whose parents were born outside of Canada) can contact VICCIR and receive counselling as an individual, couple or family. We offer services on a sliding scale of fees. Our counsellors work with a team of interpreters so support is offered in a wide variety of languages. Please reach out by email ( or phone (778-404-1777) if you need help.

Update on Preparations

At VICCIR are preparing for the increase in demand for our services as a result of the war in Ukraine and we have no idea exactly how many adults and children will be requiring mental health support. The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) launched recently and there is no limit on the number who can apply. At a recent news conference, the Premier estimated it could be tens of thousands. In preparation, VICCIR has recruited Ukrainian speaking counsellors, practicum students, interpreters and volunteers. We are also working closely with Ukrainian community groups, the Church and Ukrainian-Canadians in different communities in BC.

Funding is a major issue. VICCIR is already managing an increase in demand for services as a result of the pandemic and the crisis in Afghanistan. We continue to provide ongoing support for individuals and families from war zones around the world. It is not clear where the funding to support the settlement and mental health needs of victims of the war in Ukraine will come from. Under the CUAET, individuals are immigrants, not refugees and are not therefore eligible for the settlement support, including mental health counselling, that the Federal Government provides to first year refugees.

In the meantime, VICCIR is already providing mental health support to individuals who are watching with horror the invasion, many of whom have family still in Ukraine. While the funding situation is being discussed by government, VICCIR is drawing on its already scarce funding in order to be able to provide help to those who need it now. We know from our experience working with victims of war that it is not feasible to put people on a waiting list, especially children. VICCIR has the expertise and experience to be able to help, and you can help too!

Given the current funding situation, making a donation to VICCIR would be an enormous help at this time. We continue to experience increasing demand for mental health support. Click on the button below to make a donation, and thank you!

Call for Volunteers

We are continuing to recruit members of our team to provide support to the newcomers expected to arrive from Ukraine. If you speak Ukrainian we have a range of possible volunteer opportunities. We also welcome individuals with clinical experience to contact us if you would like to help. Please email with your information.

VICCIR in the News

VICCIR Director of Services, Adrienne Carter speaks with experience both as a refugee from Hungary in 1956 and as a therapist who has worked in war zones and refugee camps all over the world. She was interviewed by CTV Vancouver Island and the Times Colonist's Jack Knox, who wrote this about the funding situation:

That’s where we’re at. Everybody — governments, non-profits, faith-based groups, individuals — is scrambling to clear a path to Canada for displaced Ukrainians, but coping with a massive, unexpected, evolving humanitarian crisis isn’t simply a matter of flipping a switch. The first steps have been good, but this voyage is only beginning. All hands on deck.

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