By Treena Mielke
Leanne Evans, Neighborhood Place and Rimbey Wellness co-ordinator, reminds the public that family counselling in Rimbey is still ongoing and a counsellor from Catholic Social Services comes to town every Tuesday.
While municipal funding has been cut for the service provided by Rimbey Community Wellness Association, Evans said the wellness group is hopeful to replace that funding through other sources.
“We were told the funding was cut because soft services don’t fall under the mandate of the municipal government,” she said. “However, we are hoping not to have an interruption of services.”
Evans said the family councillor has been coming to Rimbey weekly since the program was initiated and she has a steady stream of clients.
“A disruption in the services offered would be a huge detriment to these clients,” she said. “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.”
In an earlier interview, 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, 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 counsellor helps participants learn healthy strategies to deal with anger, bullying, teasing, violence, community and family conflict.
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 approximately $15,000 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.
Rimbey Victim Services and FCSS contribute $5,000 each towards the program.
Appointments can be made now with the family counsellor by calling Red Deer Catholic Social Service office at 403-347-8844 and specifying that the appointments be made in Rimbey.