For the Wellbeing Centre staff, the most rewarding aspects to the past year are the overwhelmingly positive feedback received from clients and the number of sessions that were able to be delivered at a time of unprecedented need.
The aftermath of the flooding events in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, coupled with the ongoing stresses caused by Covid, led to fear, worry, and increased anxiety and depression among clients. The need to prioritise clients affected by the flooding greatly impacted the centre’s wait times and increased the workload for counselling team members.
Designated funding from the Visionwest Flood Relief Fund enabled the provision of free counselling to flood-affected whānau both in the Wellbeing Centre and to children in schools including free counselling to Waimauku School through a fully trained counsellor.
Alongside our flood response work we continued to offer our full range of counselling options including individual, couples and children’s counselling.In response to the year’s significant increase in demand, staff were added. The Centre’s staff is now made up of six fully trained Counsellors, five Counselling Interns and Louise, the Centre’s administrator.
This year we have five intern counsellors at the Wellbeing Centre. This gives them the opportunity to learn and grow, enables us to provide low-cost counselling, and helps us build relationships with their tertiary institutions which helps promote the services we provide.
As the effects of Covid diminished, the Wellbeing Centre was able to resume face-to-face sessions while continuing to offer online sessions for clients who request them.
A 24-week Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) group for ACC clients, led by 2 of our Counsellors, commenced in May 2023. 8 clients are attending.
The Aoake Te Ra (bereaved by suicide) contract has been secured for next year enabling us to provide whānau with valuable support at a crucial time.
The school counselling programme, led by our Intern Counsellors, continues to grow with two new schools coming on board bringing the total to 6 schools.