Mental health counselling benefits

The Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program's mental health counselling benefit is intended to provide coverage for mental health counselling to complement other mental wellness services that may be available.

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

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 or the number for emergency services in your community.

What is covered?

Every 12 months, an eligible client can receive up to 22 hours of counselling performed by an enrolled provider on a fee-for-service basis (such as, individual, family or group counselling). Additional hours in the same 12 month period may be provided on a case-by-case basis.

Who can provide mental health counselling?

To be enrolled, providers must be registered in good standing with a legislated professional regulatory body and eligible for independent practice in the province/territory in which the service is being provided. This may include the following types of providers:

  • registered psychologists;
  • registered social workers with clinical counselling orientation;
  • registered psychiatric nurses;
  • registered psychotherapists;
  • other regulated mental health providers permitted to practice by legislation.

More information on the eligible providers and the provider enrolment process can be found in the NIHB and Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program (IRS RHSP) Guide to Mental Health Counselling Services.

Where can providers get mental health counselling forms?

Providers may consult the forms: benefits and rights page for access to mental health counselling forms.

How do eligible recipients access mental health counselling?

Clients may contact their regional office for a list of mental health counselling providers close to their community of residence.

How can I obtain more information on the mental health counselling?

Please consult the joint NIHB and IRS RHSP Guide to Mental Health Counselling Services for more information on benefits eligible for coverage.

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