Victoria – Anyone who has done jury duty knows that this is an interesting experience, and sometimes difficult. People who serve on juries in British Columbia will now have access to free counseling through a new support program.
The new Juror Support Program is part of the Province’s commitment to increasing mental-health services in British Columbia and is available to any juror who has served on a criminal, civil or coroner’s jury.
“As part of a juror’s civic duty, people often hear difficult and emotional details of a case that can take a toll on their mental health,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Making sure that jurors have access to the mental-health services to help them work through their experiences is vital. Through the new Juror Support Program, they now have the support they deserve.”
All B.C. jurors will have access to four confidential in-person, one-on-one sessions with a qualified counsellor for up to six months following the conclusion of the trial they served. Additional sessions may be available on a case-by-case basis. The program also provides jurors with self-care information at the start of the trial to ensure they are better equipped for the mental and emotional responses that can accompany jury duty.
These new resources are in addition to group debriefing sessions that continue to be available to jurors at the end of trial, if requested by at least six jurors.
Jurors can contact the Juror Support Call Centre 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The call centre can be reached toll-free: 1 855 717-7691