Robbie Dean Centre launches REACH program
Sean Chase/Daily Observer The Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre has launched a new community initiative, The Robbie Dean REACH program, to provide improved access to services. The program is being supported by a grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund and Renfew County United Way. In the photo are (left to right) Sandy McDonald, representing Bell Let's Talk, Robbie Dean counsellor Samantha Clouthier, Robbie Dean centre administrator Monique Yashinskie, Renfrew County United Way executive director Pat Lafreniere, Robbie Dean counsellors Julie Daechsel, Clive Addy and Clay McAleer.
The Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre launched a new community initiative Tuesday that aims to improve access to services for those who come to the centre for help.
The Research-Educate-Assist-Connect-Hope (REACH) program is being supported by the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund and Renfrew County United Way. The key part of the program will be a co-ordinator who will build a network of support services for those who come to the centre and, with the help of staff and volunteers, will ensure that the resource room provides current information to support those that need access to services.
Since opening in 2013, the Robbie Dean Centre has been striving to provide a beacon of hope for individuals and families in distress and crisis that sheds light on their journey to wellness. Situated in five locations throughout Renfrew County, the centre provides walk-in clinics, grief and loss programs and peer support groups. However, sometimes people in need run into difficulties negotiating those services.
“The road from crisis to hope can be difficult for many to travel. There's no reason for a client to be sent down a path full of bumps,” said Robbie Dean Centre administrator Monique Yashinskie. “It is unrealistic to expect that an individual or a family in crisis can successfully find and connect to support services.
The centre specializes in de-escalating crisis situations. It is only after a person or a family has achieved some form of stabilization that they can begin to effectively look for the services needed to sustain this stability. The Centre becomes the starting point and the first connection to a support system and it is crucial that this first connection has a successful outcome.
“We want their first contact with a support service to be a successful one,” added Yashinskie.
The staff at the Centre encourage the development of trust in a social support system providing services that many organizations worked to implement. The Centre also ensures that the connection between individual and organization is as simple as possible and leads to confidence that the system will provide exactly what individuals needs to become hopeful and empowered. The REACH program will not only have a co-ordinator to link clients to services, but it will build and maintain a resource library and provide resource training to the clinical team.
The announcement comes a week before Bell Let’s Talk Day which will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Bell Let’s Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day, and provides significant Bell funding of mental health care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives.
“Bell Let’s Talk is very proud to support the Robbie Dean REACH program to better connect those struggling with mental illness in Renfrew county with the resources they need,” said Mary Deacon, chairwoman of Bell Let’s Talk. “The 2017 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund provided 70 grants to support programs providing mental health services in communities around the country and with our recent announcement doubling the fund, we look forward to supporting the work of many more groups like Robbie Dean in 2018.”
Statistics continue to show the need for the Robbie Dean Centre is growing. Last year, they had 1,200 walk-in visits and averaged 200 phonecalls per month from people looking for help. Seventy five per cent of their clients are between the ages of 16 and 40. Thirty per cent of their services are used by military affiliated individuals. The centre has recently added 35 hours of counselling per week.
The REACH program is supported by Renfrew County United Way, Bell, Mike's Hardware, My-FM, Speed Pro Imaging and Brent Daechsel.