Care of all kinds: West Lincoln Community Care offers mental health counselling

·2 min read

In an effort to expand care efforts, West Lincoln Community Care (WLCC) is going beyond just providing care in physical form.

Mental health counselling is now available as part of WLCC’s roster of services.

With the help of psychotherapist, Angela Kingma, WLCC clients can now apply to qualify to receive counselling for their mental health needs.

Kingma, who has years of experience in community living and mental health support, said that the mental health of people at large is in a bad place, especially due the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said that developing a good support network of friends and support services and taking care of yourself is very important, especially as newer restrictions take away many activities that people do for recreation.

"Access is very important," said Kingma about her decision to collaborate with WLCC. Many clients may not be able to afford counselling, she noted, adding some might not have a vehicle to get to in-person sessions or internet access to attend online sessions.

“I've spoken to quite a few people who didn't know where to ask for help, so making sure that people know where to go for help is crucial, too,” she said.

Sharlene Volpatti, manager of client services and the food bank at WLCC said the need for mental health services became an identifiable issue when clients began to regularly ask for ways they could find support in their community, as it was otherwise too expensive, too far away, or wait times were too long.

“It's a very new program, so we're really excited about it,” Volpatti said.

She said that sometimes after its launch, the program will be assessed and if results are positive, then there is hope to expand.

Clients who qualify to receive appointments with Kingma will have all costs of their appointments subsidized by the WLCC.

In the meantime, Volpatti said that financial support from the community, or just spreading word of the program to those in need is strongly appreciated.

Those interested in donating to West Lincoln Community Care or who are in need of their services can call 905-957-5882 or email West Lincoln Community Care at wlcc@bellnet.ca.

Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News

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