Regina libraries are starting a new chapter in mental health services by offering free counselling at two of its locations.
Family Service Regina has offered walk-in counselling at no cost for over three decades, but recently the organization’s noticed longer waiting lists and a faster need for support.
“For them to call in and be told, ‘Well, you’re going to have about a two-month wait,’ we can really start to see things spiral,” explained Shellie Pociuk, CEO of Family Service Regina.
Because it often takes a lot for people to reach out for help in the first place, Pociuk said it’s crucial they get support immediately.
“Whether that means referring them to other services or referring them back to the agency for some more focused therapy, at least they got something that they can work on right away.”
Pociuk said something as small as a conversation has helped change lives.
“We’ve seen some people, when they wrote on their feedback form what would have happened or where they would have gone, they basically said, ‘If I hadn’t come across this, I would have went home tonight and killed myself.'”
She added people can always go back to the walk-ins as it’s not just a once-and-done fix.
The partnership between the Regina Public Library and Family Service Regina is provided with $120,000 in funding from Green Shield Services.
The counselling sessions run from 1 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Central branch and Fridays at the Albert branch.
Free counselling is also available at Family Service Regina’s office — Suite 200, 1440 Broadway Ave. — on Mondays and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m.