People seeking mental health help don’t have to wait in Strathcona County.
 
The county has offered walk-in clinics since last September and the service is being utilized.
 
“We’re focusing on really supporting people using a strength based, action oriented approach to helping them deal with everyday coping kinds of situations as well as mental health issues,” said family and community services manager of human services and innovation, Lori Prediger.
 
They redesigned and revisioned their counseling services last September, and have gone from offering the walk-in clinics just two days a week to five days a week.
 
“We realize life isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s complicated and people just need a helping hand once in awhile to set their direction and get some strategies to move forward,” said Prediger.
 
A walk-in clinic is a very important service to offer.
 
“What we know about people’s motivation to make changes, if you finally get the courage to phone and call and want to see someone, you need to be able to talk to someone today, when you’re ready to change. Not two or three weeks from now when you’re on a waiting list,” she said.
 
The walk-in clinic is located at 501 Festival Ave. on the second floor, in Sherwood Park. It's open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
 
Walk-in counseling is on a "pay what you can afford" model, while group sessions are free.
 
Free group sessions are as follows:
Monday – understanding emotions group; 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday – men’s group; 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday – communication tools; 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday – women’s group; 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday – next steps support group; 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
 
They served roughly 340 people in the walk-in clinic between September and December of last year.

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