May 6, 2002

Community Drop-In Counseling Program Expanded

Program more widely available to Winnipeg

Klinic Community Health Centre in partnership with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has expanded drop-in and short-term counseling to encompass five sites throughout Winnipeg.

"Many people do not have access to counseling services, so often there are long waits for the services that are available," said Tim Wall, Director of Counseling Services, Klinic. "This program offers accessible short-term counseling services to individuals, free of charge, with little or no waiting time. Services are offered on a first come, first served basis and do not require an appointment."

"The intent of this program is to offer counseling to individuals immediately when they are experiencing stress in their lives," Carolyn Strutt, Director, Community Mental Health, WRHA. "Often people will only need short-term counseling if intervention is early. The benefit is that people are seen before the situation reaches a crisis state."

Klinic now offers drop-in counseling in the following communities: Central Winnipeg, St. James Assiniboia, Assiniboine South, Seven Oaks, Inkster, Transcona, River East, St. Vital and Fort Garry.

"I feel this is an excellent program to be able to receive immediate assistance when in crisis . . . in the past, if I have had a crisis I had to wait a long time (and felt) marginalized by the process (from a recent client survey)."

Trained counselors and volunteers offer support for men, women, youth (aged 13 and up) and seniors, for issues ranging from stress to depression and family violence. Individuals can call 784-4067 for information about drop-in counseling locations and times. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can call 784-4006.

Klinic Community Health Centre provides a continuum of health care, social and counseling services. Individuals are offered non-judgmental support regardless of age, gender, appearance, culture, faith or sexual orientation.

When the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Board of Directors set their vision statement, they included illness and injury prevention and health promotion as a key, stating that the WRHA will lead with innovative and cost-effective health education and injury prevention programs.

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