Children and youth in Waterloo Region’s townships now have better access to counselling services thanks to a partnership with Lutherwood and Carizon Family and Community Services.
Together, they created Front Door, which provides access to child and youth mental health services. Now, they’re expanding those services by placing an outreach worker once a week in each of the townships.
The services will be available at The North Dumfries Community Health Centre on Mondays, the Wellesley Township Community Health Centre on Tuesdays, and the Woolwich Counselling Centre and the Wilmot Interfaith Counselling Centre on Thursdays.
Beth Mason, program director at Woolwich Counselling Centre, says the number-one issue that children and youth face coming into the centre are anxiety and stress, followed by depression and social or behavioural concerns.
“Families and youth can access this service, which is a single-session consultation appointment to access the region’s children and youth mental health system, and the many mental health supports and services the region offers. At this appointment the Front Door worker will hear their concerns and address what they can with the family or youth in that appointment, and determine if referrals to other community mental health services are necessary,” Mason explained.
They are also there to support families and youth as they navigate their way to more intrusive mental health supports. If the outreach worker feels they require ongoing counselling supports, they will refer them to the existing counselling agencies.
Funding was provided by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to Lutherwood to enable Front Door to be located in the rural areas. The counselling and community health centres are simply providing the space for Front Door to provide this service in the townships.
The appointment is free.
“Cost of counselling should never be a barrier keeping children and youth, or anyone from receiving counselling. Our region is fortunate to have many counselling agencies who provide a sliding fee scale and various subsidy programs, enabling everyone to access counselling support,” Mason added.
Woolwich Counselling receives referrals for child and youth counselling from across the region and will now also be offering counselling services in Wellesley at the Wellesley Community Health Centre on Mondays, starting the end of February. Individuals seeking counselling at either the Woolwich or Wellesley location can call Woolwich Counselling Centre to make an appointment.
Woolwich Counselling Centre has some upcoming child and youth programs including “No Need To Fret,” an anxiety group for children, “Glad To Be Me,” a self-esteem program, and “Understanding and Responding to Self-Harm,” an educational workshop.
Woolwich Counselling Centre can be reached at 519-669-8651. Families and youth can access Front Door’s single session consultation service by calling Front Door at 519-749-2932.