Envision Counselling and Support Centre keeps providing support to residents of all ages in southeast Saskatchewan.
Laura Melle, assistant executive director with Envision, said they don't see any ups and downs in demand for their services and are steadily busy helping the population. COVID-19 and associated restrictions created one kind of stress for people, but after restrictions were lifted they still saw a great need for counselling services.
"It seems that we go from one thing into another thing," Melle said. "We're supporting a lot of different individuals and families on a variety of different issues ... And we always want people to know that if you are struggling, you don't have to struggle alone, there is support."
Envision has offices in Estevan, Weyburn, Carlyle and Oxbow, and they do their best to help anyone in need of counselling and support services in the broad southeast region. Their counselling programs are offered in person, over the phone and over video calls, so that clients could choose which option best serves their needs and is the most comfortable for them.
Envision provides counselling and support in all kinds of difficult situations including family and relationship counselling and breakdowns, parenting issues, violence intervention and more.
"We work with all ages, five and up. We have one program for children exposed to violence based out of Estevan. We have family programs [in which we work with] families and individually," Melle said.
"And then we also have a program that we started in the midst of COVID called Bridging the Distance. It's a program that we're able to provide with funding through the Community Initiatives Fund, and it is for the population 55 and older that are struggling with grief and loss and anxiety and depression and those types of things."
Bridging the Distance allows Envision to offer support to older people who wouldn't fit into their other programs, and just like their other support services, it’s seen a lot of use during the pandemic.
"I think that's really important for people to know that even if you don't have intimate partner violence or a family breakdown situation, there's still support for you," Melle said.
Another valuable support program is Rapid Access Counselling. It's offered in person out of the Salvation Army in Estevan on Mondays and Wednesdays. It is a free, immediate, accessible form of brief counselling. People can access same-day services without having to wait. Services are provided by qualified counsellors, and they also help people connect to the community and health services they might need.
"It's comforting to know that they can reach out and talk to someone when they need to instead of booking an appointment for two weeks from now," Melle noted.
The program is also available in person in Weyburn and Oxbow on other days.
People can call Envision at 306-637-4004 or go to www.counsellingconnectsask.ca to find appointment availability at the three locations. If anyone needs support on other days or doesn't want to have an in-person meeting, the above website allows finding counsellors from anywhere in the province, who will provide help virtually on any day.
Envision is also providing workshops. Their latest series is done in partnership with the Estevan Early Years Family Resource Centre at their location at the ECS and is focused on families. There are still three meetings remaining in this series, with the Oct. 6 workshop dedicated to stress; Oct. 13 exploring self-care; and Oct. 20 dedicated to boundaries and self-esteem. Workshops start at 6 p.m. and in-house childcare is provided. These workshops became possible with the support of the William Sinclair Memorial Fund.
All of Envision's community programs are free to the public. For more information see their website at www.envisioncounsellingcentre.com.