MFRC Launches Virtual Counselling Sessions


Jon Chabun, MFRC ~

The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) to adapt how it does in-person confidential sessions with clients.

You can now meet with a MFRC social worker or counsellor virtually using your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

“We have taken every precaution to ensure the confidentiality of clients,” said Jackie Carlé, MFRC executive director. “We considered eight platforms and wanted something that was user friendly but could meet our privacy requirements.”

The MFRC selected Zoom Business to deliver virtual counselling sessions. Other organizations such as hospitals and clinics use Zoom to connect with clients virtually.  The MFRC will only be using Canadian servers to support sessions, and the service will be compliant with federal and provincial security standards. Each session will use a password to further protect it. 

“We acknowledge recent concerns on the product but believe going forward this will be the most secure platform for our community,” said Carlé. “Zoom has moved quickly to address security concerns and we have trained our staff to use security best practices.”

Smartphone or tablet users can download the Zoom app from the App Store or Google Play. Computer users will receive a prompt to download and install an add-on for their computer.  Clients will then receive meeting invites by email.     

The MFRC purchased a Zoom Business account that includes 10 licenses for staff.  The organization also plans to offer virtual meetups of popular groups and shift more of its workshops to an online platform.    

For clients to have a good experience with online sessions, the MFRC recommends a few strategies. People should find a distraction-free space in their home with good lighting, use headphones, and limit other internet use in their home during the session.

During the pandemic, new and existing clients can book an appointment by calling the MFRC Information Line at 250-363-2640 and leaving a message. They can also call the MFRC Intake Line directly at 778-533-7736.

Clients also have the option of doing sessions via phone. Staff can also provide support via email.    

Registered social workers and counsellors can provide short-term counselling and personalized support for military lifestyle related issues including mental health support, relationship issues, parenting challenges, and coping with challenging situations. 

For more information, visit the MFRC website at

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