The Rimbey Community Wellness Group has taken a proactive approach to providing counseling services for young people in Rimbey.
The group has submitted a grant application for approximately $16,000 to the United Way to apply for funding. The grant, if approved, will mean Rimbey Ju- nior/Senior High School social worker, Margo Froehlick can work full time.
Until earlier this year, Froehlick worked two days at West Country Outreach and three days at Rimbey Junior/ Senior High. However, she finished out this last school year full time at Rimbey Junior Senior High. The two extra days were paid for out of funds from the school site. However, this year all decisions regarding funding are made at central office.
This year the school board has decided to fund the salary for the social worker to four days a week, which is an increase from the three days at the high school that was funded last year.
The decision prompted the wellness committee to take action.
“The group sees the value of the school social worker and applying for the funding seemed like a natural fit,” said Leanne Evans from Neighborhood Place.
“Kids aren’t an expense, they’re an investment,” said Coun. Brian Godlongton, who sits on the wellness committee.
“You get them at this age and you can help them,” added Helen Coers. “It’s a wonderful investment.”
“Kids out here are isolated compared to a larger centre,” said the wellness committee chairperson, Eileen Banks.
Trudy Bratland, chairman of Wolf Creek Board of Education said Rimbey Community Wellness Group deserved kudos for its initiative.
However, she said profiles based on need were reviewed in May for all the schools in Wolf Creek Division. At that time it was determined that funding for salary for a Family School Liaison Worker/social worker at Rimbey High School for four days a week would be sufficient.
Froehlick said she is grateful and thankful for the support that Leanne Evans from Neighborhood Place and the wellness committee is willing to offer. She said the extra day will allow her to take on a more proactive and edu- cational approach, as well as her regular one on one counseling duties.
She noted the complex issues that teens are facing regarding mental health and wellness have been on the rise over the years. Issues such as addictions, self-esteem, self-harm and suicidal ideation, are dealt with on a daily basis, she said.
“The goal is to work with students, staff and parents to build resiliency in youth so that they are equipped to deal with the challenges that they will face throughout their lives.
It is crucial as a society that we teach and model to our children how to cope with the difficulties that come along life’s way with healthy coping skills. It is not about keeping them from adversity because adversity will most definitely come. It is about how to handle the stress and chal- lenges that we face. That is how you build resiliency.