By Linda Kelly, MSW, RSW
We attended our first Chamber of Commerce After Business event last night, hosted by the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. So, I'd like to pass on my answers to some of the most common questions that came up.
Do you provide services for children?
YES! Though some of us have more experience than others with children, we follow the same protocols (CBT with aspects of play therapy, focusing on relationship-building, enhancing self-esteem, building on adaptive skills, teaching about emotions, developing emotional regulation skills).
For any child who needs a few sessions to get comfortable, to build rapport, and to develop trust with the therapist before they can get into talking, we give them our time, positive regard, and attention.
Are your services covered under OHIP, ODSP, or OW? (Ontario Health Insurance Plan, Ontario Disability Support Plan, or Ontario Works)
Unfortunately, no! Government funded services exist, but they have massive wait lists because the funding is limited. We exist as a private company so that we can fill the gap for clients who have the option of paying for services, for those who have coverage under their extended health benefits at work, and for those who are eligible for programs that will cover their counselling fees, such as:
-First Nation status
-Victims of violent crimes
-Pilots and flight attendants
-Victims of motor vehicle accidents
-Family of Indian Residential School survivors
I do believe that there SHOULD be coverage for counselling services for recipients of ODSP and OW, as well as for the children of the recipients. However, as mental health becomes a bigger priority for our government, we are hopeful that some of those benefits will be expanded to cover counselling.
Why don’t you provide ___________?
This question was asked often, and all requests were perfectly valid. As Registered Social Workers and Psychotherapists, we are qualified to provide a number of different services. However, if we try to be all things for all people, we run the risk of doing harm to our clients and to ourselves. As the owner of this organization, the health and wellness of our staff members, as well as their satisfaction with their jobs is a top priority. Job satisfaction comes from respect, opportunities for growth, learning and development, and making a positive impact. By specializing in counselling services, we continually get better at our craft, and in so doing, we help more individuals who can contribute to creating healthier communities and a better world.
We also aim to lead teams of mental health workers as our centre continues to grow. As we develop our expertise treating the specific issues facing residents of Northwestern Ontario, we build the foundation for a future Northwestern Ontario Centre of Excellence for the treatment of mental health issues.
So in closing? There are some services that we do not provide, because counselling is our primary focus, and it is the very heart of what we do.
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Check out kellymagazine.ca for recent mental health articles and blog posts.
This blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide personal support as an alternative to psychotherapy services. Please note that replies are viewable by the public, and we may take a few days to respond. If you require immediate assistance, please call us during business hours.