A local youth and family counselling centre which has supported hundreds of children and adolescents to create more positive futures is celebrating a milestone.
Carinity Youth and Families Narangba began providing its specialist counselling services 20 years ago.
The not-for-profit counselling service supports people across the Moreton Bay region, including from suburbs such as Narangba, Burpengary, Upper Caboolture, Dakabin and Deception Bay.
Program Coordinator and counsellor, Diana Clift, said Carinity Narangba helps children and young people to understand their behaviours, develop coping skills, strengthen their self-esteem, and grow into happy and healthy adults.
Counselling resources at the centre include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; art therapy; child-centred play therapy; and psychoeducation, providing information about how the brain works and building problem-solving, communication, and coping skills.
“We offer a variety of client-centred counselling which is tailored to the needs and age of each child. It can take a while to build trust and rapport, using tools such as games to create a safe environment where children can share their thoughts and fears,” Diana said.
Diana said services like Carinity Narangba are vital for many young people living in the Moreton Bay region.
“There is an increasing demand for counselling services in the district due to the rise in the cost of living, increase in homelessness, domestic and family violence, and mental illness. Services in the area are limited and are struggling to keep up with the demand,” Diana said.
The declining mental health of some young people – and their parents – have been exacerbated by pressures such as the rising cost of living and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While the children may not understand any of it, they’re picking up on their parents’ negative energy. Parents tend to not want to overload their children with adult issues, but it seeps into the child’s world and all of a sudden they can’t focus while at school or make friends,” Diana said.
“My goal is to make sure that we reach positive outcomes with each client so that when they’re ready to exit our service they’re in a better place mentally – and they have the strategies, skills and tools to be resilient.”
As well as its service in Narangba, Carinity also runs counselling services for young people in Beaudesert, Brisbane and Rockhampton.