Help for the Helpers

Help for the helpers now available

by Niagara Falls Review   St. Catharines Standard

Family Counselling Centre Niagara is now offering free counselling sessions and special programing for essential service workers struggling during COVID-19.

The centre, a division of Family and Children’s Services Niagara, continues to operate during the pandemic and has adapted programs to address challenges posed by the ongoing health crisis.

In addition to counselling now being offered by phone or video, the agency has launched a program to support first responders and essential service workers through their employers.

The agency’s Helping the Helpers is designed to complement existing employee assistance programs, as those services have become overwhelmed by the additional demands created by the global pandemic.

“As FACS Niagara adapts to meet the changing needs of our community during these unanticipated times, so, too, does our Family Counselling Centre,” said Anna Bozza, executive director at FACS.

The Helping the Helpers program is available to social service workers supporting vulnerable populations, essential service workers such as grocery store employees, health care, law enforcement and emergency medical services professionals; and “final responders” such as palliative care teams, hospice and funeral service workers.

The centre is also offering free counselling sessions via its Virtual Walk-in Counselling Clinic, funded by United Way.

“Whether you are working on site, from home or caring for a loved one, we know it is more stressful than ever with the challenges of COVID-19 added to the job,” said Adrian McKenzie, senior manager at the centre.

Individuals can call during regular business hours to book a phone or video appointment.

“We will do our best to accommodate your schedule,” McKenzie added.

The family counselling centre has therapists trained in critical incident debriefing, trauma informed counselling, domestic violence and family counselling.

For further information on the virtual counselling sessions and the new Helping the Helpers program, call 905-937-7731 ext. 3345 or visit