BC-Wide – BCSS – Strengthening Families Together Courses Start Spring & Fall

Offered spring and fall in many regions throughout BC (see locations linked below, or check with your local BCSS location), the Strengthening Families Together Course provides support and education for family members and friends of persons with a mental illness.

Do you have a relative or friend with a serious mental illness? Strengthening Families Together is a 10-session group for families and friends, which provides information, skill-building, and support.

You will learn:

  • The different types of mental illnesses
  • The medications and treatments for mental illness
  • How to cope with and support your loved one living with a mental illness

This program, developed by the Schizophrenia Society of Canada is now available, replacing the “Family to Family” program.

How do I sign up? Where and when is the nearest course?

  1. Call your local BCSS Educator at toll Free: 1.888.888.0029 or check out our list of currently scheduled classesto see if a class is starting soon near you.
  2. If there is nothing listed, there is still probably a course in your area. Most regions offer this course in spring and fall and take names for waiting lists in between. If you don’t see a course coming up, be sure to call your local BCSS Educator at 1.888.888.0029 and get on the list to be contacted when one is scheduled. If we don’t hear from you, we won’t know there is enough interest to hold a course, so it’s helpful to put your name on the list.
  3. If you scroll down to the bottom of this post there are links to several regions that are known to host Strengthening Families Courses, you can click on these links to get an assortment of posts about that region, which will likely include a post about the course or how to get in touch.

About the Program

Strengthening Families Together grew out of the strong belief that Canadian families have a right to reliable educational information on serious mental illnesses, regardless of where they reside.

This 10-session national education program for family members and friends of individuals with serious and persistent mental illnesses aims to increase accessibility to Canadian-based information on the topics associated with living daily with a mental illness.

Strengthening Families Together is about more than education: it is about strengthening family members and friends of individuals with a serious mental illness by providing support, awareness, and tools.


Families have an opportunity to discuss the daily challenges they face and learn how to connect with others through membership in their local provincial society and chapter/branch.


Families get reliable and consistent information about mental illness, treatment options, causes, research, and available mental health services, in the hopes of diminishing the stigma attached to diagnosis.


Families are equipped with problem solving, coping, and advocacy and communication skills, and the know-how to develop their own local support group.

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