FCS launches virtual counselling

Strathcona County's Family and Community Services is offering residents free virtual counselling services through phone or virtual videos to cope with the stresses from COVID-19. Photo Supplied jpg, SP

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As the pandemic continues to keep many people in their homes, Strathcona County’s Family and Community Services (FCS) is stepping up its efforts to help your mental health.

FCS is now offering residents free virtual counselling services through phone or virtual video.

“We started offering the telephone service in March and the virtual services started about two weeks ago,” explained Lori Prediger, FCS manager of human services and innovation. “The telephone service has been popular but the video conferencing hasn’t been requested as much as I thought it might be and I encourage people to try that because it is great to see the person you’re talking with because it gives it a more personal experience.”

Everyone has been impacted by the pandemic and FCS staff are here to help, noted Prediger.

“Even if it is just to talk about how your family is doing, some struggles you’re having or just need a listening ear, all of those kinds of things are why we’re here to support people,” she said. “If you’re feeling alone and isolated you can get some support because one of the biggest impacts right now from COVID-19 is that we’re so disconnected from our usual support systems.”

Counselling is available seven days a week, Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. at 780-464-4044 or at strathcona.ca/counselling.

“It is highly confidential and we’ve gone through all the security assessments, which is why it took a little bit longer for our virtual counselling to come up because we wanted to ensure that we could allow people to have a confidential experience,” Prediger said.

FCS also has a variety of online programs and workshops to help your well-being and this month will launch a program called psychological first-aid.

“(Psychological first-aid) is a program to help you support our family, friends, children and others during this time,” Prediger said. “What is some basic psychological information that you could have at your fingertips and it is based on the principles of first aid and it sets out to help deal with the typical type of emotions and reactions during a crisis.”

Prediger said there is lots of support and information available for residents at strathcona.ca/wellbeing.

tdosser@postmedia.com

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