Mental health counselling benefits

If you're experiencing emotional distress and want to talk, call the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310. It's toll-free and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.       

Learn about the coverage available for mental health counselling under the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program.

Counselling, as well as cultural and emotional support, is also available through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program for eligible former students and their families.

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About mental health counselling benefits

The program covers mental health counselling to provide support for an immediate mental health need. This is part of federal mental wellness programs for First Nations people and Inuit. These programs are linked to services provided by communities, provinces and territories.

The program provides eligible clients with coverage for benefits not available under other federal, provincial, territorial or private health insurance.

How to access mental health counselling benefits

The program provides coverage for an initial assessment, followed by up to 20 counselling sessions. For more information on specific benefit policies and requirements, refer to the Guide to Mental Health Counselling Services.

Eligible mental health providers include:

  • psychologists and social workers with clinical counselling orientation
  • mental health counsellors with education and training similar to psychologists or social workers

Only services delivered by a professional enrolled with the program are eligible for reimbursement. Providers who are not enrolled, but may be eligible to do so, are encouraged to enroll with the program.

Providers who are enrolled with the program generally send in claims to bill the program directly. This means that you do not have to pay any deductibles or co-payments. You will need to show client identification in order for providers to bill the program directly.

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