Volunteer Counselling - Crucial to Community Health
All of us go through difficult and confusing times in our lives. We experience emotional trauma, loss and significant change that causes us stress and can lead us into depression, addiction and other unhealthy coping strategies. We can become overburdened and start to notice the ill effects of trauma in our life by the quality of our relationships and our own well-being. It may seem we are mired in conflict, hopelessness and/or anger.
Many of us will come to a point in our journey where our desire to grow and to heal will outweigh our need for sameness and the “safety” of the habits and strategies we have formed. We might know that something better is possible but have no idea how to grasp it, or a loved one is so concerned about us that they have convinced us to seek help - whether we believe we need it or not. When this time arrives it can be most beneficial to seek the support of another person, someone who is outside of our immediate circle, who can be a present and impartial witness to our growth.
Engaging in a counselling relationship can be a life changing decision.
There are benefits to choosing to see a Volunteer Counselor. A Volunteer Counselor is a trained and skilled individual who understands the importance of providing a listening ear, support and guidance. They may be a professional counselor, volunteering their time to be of service, they may be a Practicum Student who is taking formal training to be a professional counselor, or they may be an individual who is interested in giving their time to others in a healing relationship. Regardless, they have specialized and advanced training in offering support. Volunteer Counselors generally offer more flexible appointment times; including evenings and weekends and sliding scale payment options.
Counselling and support should never be denied to someone as it is an important component in the healing process.
Just as medical services are crucial for the sick, so should mental health services be available for emotional health and wellness. Volunteer counselors fill an important gap in mental health services that can be difficult to navigate and often unaffordable.
At NFLA we offer a variety of Volunteer Counselling services and group support. We have specialized services for Seniors, families, youth and individuals. We are the leader in providing these services in Nanaimo, having been doing so for nearly 50 years! Every year we help over a thousand individuals get the counselling and support they need through our Volunteers. We are fortunate to have established clinical counselors providing supervision to our Volunteers and also to train and teach them the necessary skills to providing this service. Because of our capacity to provide service we have a minimal to non-existent wait-list meaning we can connect you to a counselor in just a few days. We see individuals dealing with past trauma, intimate partner violence, ongoing crisis and mental health concerns, and suicidal thoughts and feelings. We see youth who are experiencing bullying, family breakdown and a host of other issues. We see couples who are struggling in their relationship and are at the end of their rope.
Although there are no issues that our counselors are unable to support you through, if necessary we will refer to other services if your needs require more support then we can offer.
Our purpose and goal is to make counselling accessible to all in our community regardless of income and/or social status. We believe that every person has the right to mental health services and we exist to respond to the needs of those who walk through our doors. This service could not exist without the skill and commitment of Volunteer Counselors.