New walk-in counsellor hoping to voice that ‘we all struggle’

Catholic Family Services' (CFS) new crisis counsellor Nicole Roy poses in her office on July 4, 2019. Previously, clients were waiting several weeks to see a therapist. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

In times of high stress, anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts, it used to take a minimum of three to four weeks to see a counsellor at Catholic Family Services (CFS).

Now that they’ve hired crisis counsellor Nicole Roy for walk-ins, clients are getting an urgent response to an urgent situation.

CFS is now offering walk-in counselling for emergency circumstances. It’s free to walk into their building on 1st Avenue West and ask for help—something Roy is hoping she can show people is not to be ashamed of.

“It’s really important to get out there and actually advocate and voice…sometimes we do need help and it’s okay to just walk in,” she said. “We all struggle, but as a community we need to support each other and lean on each other.”

Roy explained that the session is meant to bring someone in stress to a place of calm. It’s also a starting point for getting further help, where she’ll assess your situation and refer you to other therapists or programs.

“It’s really present,” she said, explaining that she focuses on finding a quick solution.

Executive Director Louise Zurowski said they’ve always had people walk in asking for counselling, but they were unable to immediately give them a full session. Instead, they’d speak with them quickly and put them on the waiting list for a counsellor.

“This is an alternative for people,” said Zurowski. “Lots of times, in that first session, it’ll be enough to calm somebody down and they become rational.”

Roy has previously worked at Access Place in crisis management and in the emergency room at the hospital.

She said mental health and suicide awareness are especially important for communities in northern Saskatchewan.

“What I’ve been working on is really normalizing how people feel. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows,” she said.

For more information, contact CFS at (306) 922-3202.