Spotlight: Community Counselling for Adults

As a complement to private practices and adult mental health services on Salt Spring Island offered through Island Health, community-based counselling for adults has been offered at at Island Community Services since 2019. 

Funded through the Community Action Initiative (CAI), in partnership with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions,  Community Counselling offers free-of-charge, short-term, individual psychotherapy services to adults who are experiencing mental health, trauma-related or substance use challenges with Community Counsellor Jacinda Duque.  The service is prioritized for those who may experience barriers to accessing the services elsewhere and has drawn clientele from a wide range of demographics and counselling needs.

“What I appreciate most about being a community-based counsellor is that I am continuously forming meaningful connections with people at varying points along a wide spectrum of life experiences and current circumstances,” said Duque. “My approach with clients is to come from a place of collaboration – working together to make room for what may feel uncomfortable, distressing or painful, while holding hope that throughout and beyond our time together, desired changes can emerge and people can reconnect with the parts of themselves that illuminate strengths and inner resources.”

Duque is a graduate of the Master of Social Work program of UBC as well as a graduate of the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute in Vancouver. She has experience in maternal and infant wellness, birth-Doula and hospice / palliative caregiving, art therapy, family preservation, and reunification social work in child welfare in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver. Her work is founded on an understanding of attachment, trauma-informed and mindfulness-based cognitive, somatic, behavioral and neuro-psychological frameworks. 

“At the heart of who I am as a psychotherapist is a feeling of purpose when I am intentionally and compassionately being with others in the here and now, while holding space for the past and what’s yet to be”, says Jacinda Duque. “The lens from which I engage in psychotherapy is continuously expanding and evolving through teachings and relationships, including with those who have joined me in the therapeutic space.”

Flexibility in meeting clients has been a priority as the simple act of attending sessions in an office can be a barrier to some.  Duque works a mix of daytime office hours, with some capacity for morning and evening sessions outside those times and a mix of online and in-person sessions.

Referrals and self-referrals for the service can be made online here or in person by filling out a referral form available at reception at the main office at 268 Fulford-Ganges Road. Jacinda Duque can be contacted directly with any inquiries at (250) 537-9971 ext. 226 or by email at jduque at