Lifesaving Same-Day Mental-Health Clinic Ending in Harriston, Surrounding Area
A grant to Family Counselling and Support Services for Guelph-Wellington (FCSSGW) from United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin that funds lifesaving mental-health services to residents in Harriston and surrounding Town of Minto will run out on March 31, 2021. The endowment through the Emergency Community Support Fund made the 100% fully funded same-day support possible.
During the one-year term, a registered therapist offered brief therapy one day a week with follow-up sessions as required to individuals ranging from five to 75 years of age. Of the residents using the same-day clinic, the majority reported thoughts of suicide relating to depression, anxiety, and/or relationship issues.
“The service was overdue in reaching rural communities as the statistics demonstrate,” said executive director Joanne Young Evans. “Whether it’s a farmer dealing with financial stress and isolation, families coping with violence or abuse, youth managing changes to their school schedules and learning styles, or people just feeling lost and hopeless during the pandemic, this clinic helped them through tough times.”
Mental-health issues can escalate quickly and having access to early intervention through same-day services meant that clients left the clinic with an action plan and hope.
After March 31, Harriston and area residents will be able to access free same-day mental-health clinics that run Mondays in Mount Forest and Thursdays in Fergus. A same-day clinic also runs Wednesdays in Guelph with fees based on a sliding-scale. Additionally, FCSSGW operates a free, anonymous, and confidential Distress Line that is available to all Wellington County and area residents 24/7.
“Our agency is grateful for the grant the United Way made available to support the Harriston community and surrounding Town of Minto. I believe we helped chip away at the stigma of mental health to build a more resilient community that is better able to manage ongoing issues and will be more likely to seek help in the future.”