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Parksville counsellor recognized with BC Achievement Community Award

Blacklock serves as executive director of Island Community Counselling
Earl Blacklock has been recognized with a BC Achievement Community Award. (PQB News file photo)

Earl Blacklock from Parksville has been recognized with a BC Achievement Community Award.

As the executive director of Island Community Counselling (ICC), Blacklock’s goal is to make a difference in the lives of those affected by poverty, substance dependence and traumatic life events, according to a news release by the BC Achievement Foundation.

Blacklock serves as an experienced clinician and as the agency’s chief administrative officer. With three master’s degrees and accreditation as a Canadian Certified Counsellor, he leads ICC’s trauma program and has created initiatives that improve access to care delivery throughout the region.

Recognizing the pressing need for more qualified counsellors, Blacklock expanded a practicum therapist program that provides invaluable opportunities for graduate students to gain hands-on counselling practice.

Many of these practicum therapists remained with the agency, significantly expanding ICC’s counseling team from just five to 29 counsellors. His leadership helps address the shortage of trained mental health professionals while ensuring therapeutic counselling services are accessible to all who seek help. By providing prompt and comprehensive support, Blacklock’s dedication changes lives and inspires others to contribute to the causes of mental health treatment and advocacy.

READ MORE: Parksville student wins prestigious $120K Schulich Scholarship

The Community Awards, presented by BC Achievement — an independent foundation that honours excellence and inspires achievement throughout the province — recognize extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger and more resilient communities.

“Community Award recipients are recognized for their outstanding contributions in making life better through innovation, dedication, and volunteerism,” said Premier David Eby. “From young leaders to experienced organizers, from entrepreneurs to educators, this year’s honorees show us the benefits of working together to build a happier, healthier and stronger British Columbia. Their good works are an inspiration to us all.”

The Community Award recipients are selected by an independent jury panel, whose 2024 members include Mayor Suzan Hewat of Kaslo; Mayor Sarrah Storey of Fraser Lake; and past recipients, Julie Fowler of Penticton; Herman Ho, MB, AdeC of Vancouver; and Sqwulutsultun William Yoachim of Nanaimo.

The 2024 Community Award recipients were recognized in a formal presentation ceremony held in Victoria on May 8 in the presence of the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

BC Achievement is an independent foundation established in 2003 that celebrates the spirit of excellence in our province and serves to honour the best of British Columbia.

— NEWS Staff