The water has receded and time has passed, but for many the trauma still exists. With the proven link between natural disasters and mental health issues, our services were needed this year more than ever. Our community was reminded of how mental health issues can affect anyone and can come at any time. And when they do, we are ready with a dedicated team of experts, the most effective treatments and no wait list and accessible counselling for all.
One thing we are consistently proud of, year after year, is our diligence to feedback. The feedback from our clients to their counsellors, feedback from our supervisors to their students, and feedback from our community to our organization all allow us to push industry boundaries and provide outstanding counselling service. Through continual feedback our clients have improved by 13 per cent since 2006, significantly outpacing sector averages, which have remained stagnant world-wide for over 35 years.
In 2013, depression, stress, domestic abuse, couples and family were the most demanded areas of counselling.
Following the floods we received 692 requests for service in July 2013, compared to 608 in 2012, making this a 14 per cent increase – the highest we have ever seen in all of 2013. As a result of the floods, we offered Skype and phone counselling sessions to accommodate the immediate needs of our clients and ensure they received the help they needed in the time of crisis.
The floods magnified new themes in our counselling approaches, bringing more attention on areas of safety, security, and predictability. We saw first-hand the importance of our counsellors' being equipped with critical incidence training and were humbled to witness the growth of support among our team as they worked to successfully guide their clients through a time of grief.
Months following the floods, the need for mental health support is far from over. As a response to the need for counselling services in High River, we opened a satellite counselling centre in High River in January of 2014.
I was really down, and having someone to understand and not judge me was huge. It's important to know that you're not alone, but also that there is something out there, someone out there who is willing to hear you and guide you to recovery."– Heather, Client