Free phone counselling for Byron Shire residents

Phone counselling

In a previous post, we mentioned that we recently received generous financial support from Allygroup, a legal resourcing and management consultancy.

We are grateful for this incredible contribution because it enables us to continue and expand our essential community services during these challenging times when most of our usual income streams have ceased, and community members are heavily impacted by the current health crisis.

About the service

Thanks to the generous donation by Allygroup, we are able to offer free phone counselling for locals experiencing distress due to COVID-19 pressures. This service is carried out by a psychologist and 4 trained, experienced counsellors for the next 3 months.

A psychologist will initially triage and assess new calls and if appropriate, refer the caller to one of the counsellors. Counselling calls will last for 50 – 60 minutes and if needed, future support calls will be organised by each counsellor. All counsellors are qualified and covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance.

This service is available to Byron Shire residents during weekdays between 10am – 2pm. 

Get in touch

If you have concerns for your mental health during this difficult time, we encourage you to make use of our free phone counselling service.

Call 0415 322 064 from Monday – Friday between 10am – 2pm to make an appointment.

A generous donation of $30,000 from Allygroup

Today, we want to share some very exciting news with you. We just received generous financial support for our community programs which are currently impacted by COVID-19 and aimed at the most vulnerable members of the Byron community. 

Allygroup is a legal resourcing and management consultancy and they are generously donating $10,000 per month over the next three months to help us to expand our existing services to meet urgent additional demand caused by the Novel Coronavirus. 

The current health crisis has impacted many people in the community severely as work has stopped and businesses have closed. As a result of this, our community project workers have identified an increased demand for essential community services such as counselling or help with meals and groceries. 

Allygroup’s Chairman, Bruce Clarke is a Byron Shire resident and says “I was confronted directly by the hardship of so many people through the impacts of COVID-19. I know the Byron Community Centre has its finger on the pulse of what the needs of the community are and we are pleased to contribute towards helping the mental health physical health of those who most need support. I encourage other organisations to do the same“.

We are grateful for Allygroup’s financial support. This generous donation ensures vital community projects match demand and provide or expand much-needed employment so severely impacted by the health and economic situation,” says Louise O’Connell, General Manager of the Byron Community Centre.  

Thanks to the generous donation, we are able to deliver the following for the next three months:

  1. The Byron Emergency Pantry which is a Food Outreach Service available to anyone unable to financially or physically shop. Food boxes can be provided with vegan, vegetarian and meat options to all people in need.  
  2. Part-time social worker contract for 2 – 3 days per week for referrals and assessments of increased numbers of community members presenting with mental health issues exacerbated by COVID-19. 
  3. Additional counselling services for COVID-19 induced (and other factors) mental health issues. A Psychologist will be available by phone to assess calls from community members experiencing mental health difficulties and refer to local experienced counsellors.

In addition to these services, we deliver a range of other vital programs to vulnerable community members which also experience increased demand, e.g. the Women’s Shower Service, the Severe Wet Weather Shelter or the twice-weekly Homeless Breakfast. 

We are hopeful that Allygroup’s generosity will inspire other organisations and individuals to support other Byron Community Centre programs in need,” says Louise O’Connell. 

Background

The Byron Community Centre is an independent organisation that receives no ongoing government funding. The Byron Community Centre operates as a not-for-profit social enterprise which means funds raised through the Byron Markets (through stall holder fees) and the Byron Theatre (through ticket sales) are used for essential community services and projects, e.g. the Homeless Breakfast or the Homeless Showers. With the Byron Markets and the Byron Theatre currently paused, the two main income streams for the Byron Community Centre have ceased. 

Frontline workers at the Byron Community Centre predict an explosion in need of support services in the next two weeks. Early estimates suggest that demand will be increased 200% within two weeks. This is especially true for staffing and goods to meet current and future demand. 

If you are in a position to support the Byron Community Centre, please visit our website for options to donate https://byroncentre.com.au/safetynet/

If you would like to contact the Byron Emergency Pantry food delivery in the Byron Bay area, call 0482 787 552 from Monday to Thursday between 10am and 2pm to arrange delivery.  

If you have concerns for your mental health during this difficult time, call 0415 322 064 from Monday to Friday between 10am and 2pm. 

If you need to talk to someone now, call LifeLine 131114.

Women’s Counselling: For women needing extra support leave a message for Community Worker on (02) 6685 6807.