A counseling service, initiated last year by two community groups, will continue for at least another year, thanks to a financial boost from the Town of Rimbey.
At its meeting, June 8, council agreed to support the Catholic Social Services Family Counseling Services in Rimbey by donating $5,000 to the program.
The funding is to come from unrestricted surplus.
The initial funding provided for the coun- seling services was for service from September 2014 to September of this year.
Program coordinator for Rimbey Neighbourhood Place and The Community Wellness Group, Leanne Evans, said the family councilor has been coming to Rimbey weekly since the program was initiated and has a steady stream of clients.
Evans noted the counselor has stated that approximately half of the clients she sees would not access the services if they had to travel to Red Deer or elsewhere to receive them.
“A disruption in the services offered would be a huge detriment to these clients,” said Evans. “It takes a very large leap of faith to reach out and admit that you need help. I hope we are able to continue to support these courageous people in their quest for peace.”
Evans said the counseling service has proved to be very much needed in Rimbey.
“There are many people seeking assistance with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, anger management, depression, blended family issues, self-esteem, couple issues and assertiveness training. There are young people who struggle with trouble at home and at school,” she said.
The counselor helps participants learn healthy strategies to deal with anger, bullying, teasing, violence, community and family conflict.
There is strong support for this type of program from the school social worker, FCSS, Alberta Mental Health and the Early Child Development Coalition who believe that healthy families contribute to a healthy community, said Evans.
Some people utilizing the program are referred by Alberta Mental Health and Rimbey Victim Service Unit is supportive of this initiative as well.
Referrals also come from the social worker at the Rimbey Junior Senior High School and West Country Outreach School.
Catholic Social Services has provided the services to Rimbey and area for a cost of $14,810 annually.
“Great progress has been made to break down stigmatism and fear so that anyone that may find himself or herself in need of this service will access it,” she said.
Last year, Rimbey Victim Services, FCSS and the Town of Rimbey has each contributed $5,000 towards the program.
Appointments can be made now with the family counsellor for the fall by calling Red Deer Catholic Social Service office at 403- 347-8844 and specifying that the appointments be made in Rimbey.