Our Supported Education Program provides Education Coaches who work with individuals interested in increasing their formal education, whether that means completing a GED, taking a few courses, or completing a university degree. Support is individualized, and moves at the pace chosen by the client. Educational bursaries available.

Population Served

Supported Education works with adults (19 and over) experiencing a mental illness and/or substance use issues who want to pursue education. Clients are connected to the health care system. This means they are willing to work with a health care professional to follow a treatment plan.


  • Support individuals to successfully pursue their educational goals.
  • Reduce the effect mental illness or a substance use issue has on finding and staying in the program/course the individual wants.


The Education Coach Program provides Psychosocial Rehabilitation (or PSR) services designed to promote personal recovery, successful community integration, and maintenance of a satisfactory quality of life. PSR focuses on helping individuals develop skills, access resources and improve their quality of life by building on their strengths. Individuals set their own goals, and choose how to achieve them, with or without support from staff.

We believe:

  • Everyone has the right to education.
  • Individuals who choose to pursue education have a right to be supported in finding and staying in the program/course the individual wants.
  • Obtaining education is an important component of recovery from mental illness:
    • Gives individuals a sense of purpose, and meaningful activity
    • Increase of self-worth and accomplishment
    • Increases skills and growth
  • Disclosure is up to the client: Services and education are not dependent on clients disclosing their mental illness to educators.
  • Individuals with a mental health issue or substance use issue are more than able to fully participate and excel in any kind of education and for many a return to school can be an important part of the process of recovery.

We have seen many people undertake some kind of study successfully, whether that is taking a degree, improving literacy, or undertaking specific, job related training.

Services Provided

  • Clients work collaboratively with Education Coaches, developing approaches to finding and staying in programs/courses that work.
  • One on one assistance for education seekers in meeting their employment goals and continual support once the desired program/course has been obtained.
  • Work with individuals and educators to develop accommodations if necessary.
  • Support to build strengths and skills required to be successful in finding and staying in the desired program/course.
  • Education coaches are experienced in all aspects of the education process and can assist you with the application process, finding the right program or course and problem solving.
  • Education Support
    • Education Coaches work with clients to improve learning skills. This can happen on campus, in ICMH offices (on Skinner street), or even in a coffee shop if there is a private space to talk.
    • Some people meet with a coach just once for some information, others receive support throughout the time they are in education.
    • Coaches can help to problem solve with you about your mental illness and its impact in the classroom, connect you with disability services and to find solutions or accommodations that will allow you to be successful.
    • Support is ongoing until it’s no longer required – no time limits.
  • Our Education Coaches offer practical support to ensure you achieve your goal.
  • We offer advice on navigating the educational system, from grants and bursaries, exploring courses, finding your way around the campus and connecting you to the resources you need to be successful.

Outcomes and Benefits

  • Entering into the program/course the individual wants with the mental health support they need.
  • There is no cost to the client or educator

To learn more please contact:

Director of Programs
125 Skinner Street
Victoria, BC V9A 6X4
Tel: (250) 389-1211 ext. 128

Office hours- Monday-Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm

You can ask for a referral to Supported Education from your case manager or psychiatrist (please note that we do not accept self-referrals at this time). Referral forms can be found here: NetWorks Referral Form