Amyothophic Lateral Sclerosis Society of British Columbia

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Recognizing ALS is more than a diagnosis or an individual illness, ALS causes a widespread ripple effect of consequences for all concerned, both physically and emotionally. The reverse is also true. Among ALS patients, quality of life has been found to be affected more by family relationships and social support, as well as psychological and existential factors (emotions, thoughts, and beliefs), than by strength and physical function (Simmons, et al., 1999).Similarly, the inner feeling of caregivers has been shown to be the biggest factor in determining their quality of life and their effectiveness in coping with ALS (Gauthier, et al., 2007).



ALS BC has recognized this ripple effect of ALS consequences for many years. They had a goal to assist individuals to cope not only with the physical ramifications of ALS but also with the emotional burdens of the disease.

In 2010, Dr. Elizabeth Bannerman came forward and initiated the ALS Psychological Support Program.  Since the inception of this new program,  she has worked to recruit other psychologists and registered clinical counselors to be trained about the effects of ALS on the family and the person living with ALS.  In return for this training, a group of psychologists and registered clinical counselors provides their services to people affected by ALS, patients and family members, individually or in a family group pro bono.  Services will be provided throughout the disease and up to one-year following.

Since the inception of this program in 2011, 197 people have benefited from this support.

Excluding administrative expenses, the annual of the program in 2016 $9,756 was (2015 -$1,200; 2014-4,900, 2013-4,200).

If you're a psychologist and a registered clinical counselor and would like to help and participate in this program, please contact Alex Guerrero, the patient services coordinator at 604.278.2257 ext. 226 or e-mail her at  The Society still needs some practitioners, especially in remote areas.

If you wish to utilize these services, please the patient services coordinator. Help is only a phone call away! 

Psychological Support Program Sponsors