If you’re stressed about money, groceries, relationships, parenting or you just need to talk, call us at 780-464-4044.
Family and Community Services staff will support you and connect you to free resources in the County. The call line is open seven days a week.
Please note: Family and Community Services will be closed on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
If you require immediate assistance during this time, please call the Distress Line 1-800-232-7288 or in the case of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
Monday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Effective June 27, 2020 Family and Community Services will no longer be open on the weekend.
Need help now? Crisis support numbers
Family and Community Services (FCS) is offering both virtual and telephone counselling in its efforts to help residents feel safe, supported and connected. At this time, residents are invited to phone FCS at 780-464-4044 to access supports, including phone or virtual counselling.
We are all impacted by COVID-19. Many of us are experiencing the impacts of financial stress, job loss, domestic violence, restrictions on seeing loved ones and friends or major changes to daily routines. People may feel uncertain, anxious, isolated, irritable, lonely or even have a sense of grief and loss.
Counsellors are available on Mondays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
No appointment is needed. Call and you will be connected to the next available counsellor.
For resources and activities that support your mental health, visit strathcona.ca/wellbeing
Many people benefit from accessing the perspective of a trained professional who can help you get information and explore an area of your life you would like to change. Counselling can help you improve your mental wellness and learn new coping strategies for day to day stressors. Our counselling focuses on your strengths, what is important to you and you gaining a deeper understanding about the changes you want to make for yourself. You end with an action plan based on the next steps you that you want to take.
How does FCS counselling work?
It is simple - call our phone line at 780-464-4044. Counsellors are available to speak with you over the phone or online video (Microsoft Teams) on Monday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 8:30 – 4:30pm. and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12:00 – 8:00 pm. Consent for service, basic demographic and information about your situation will be collected.
After your return the paperwork, your counsellor(s) will converse with you for approximately 30 to 50 minutes to explore your concern, understand your goals and how you’ve coped. After this discussion, the counsellor(s) may then take a quick break to consult with others on the counselling team and propose an action plan that recognizes and builds on your strengths, ideas and abilities. After the break, the counsellor will rejoin you to discuss your strengths, suggestions and your next steps.
You will take away a plan tailored to you. You may also be given information about resources including apps, websites, workshops and more.
Plan 60 to 90 minutes for your session from start to finish.
How do I download Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is an online video conferencing software that will be used for FCS video counselling. Follow the instructions to access MS Teams here
4. What do I need to do for a video counselling session?Permanent link to What do I need to do for a video counselling session?
The counsellor will send you a link to join them on Microsoft Teams to your email. You will need to have Microsoft Teams downloaded to your device (see question 3). Take your device to a confidential, quiet, comfortable space for your session. The counsellor will go through some forms with you before you begin.
Plan 60 to 90 minutes for your session from start to finish.
What does counselling cost?
Our fees are “pay what you can afford.” This means your session fee can be anything between free ($0) and $90. On average, people pay $32 per session.
The counselling team consists of regulated professionals who are qualified and trained to provide counselling services. Our team includes psychologists, clinical social workers, certified counsellors..
Is counselling confidential?
Yes. Your information is kept confidential and is only accessed on a need-to-know basis. We strictly adhere to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP).
It is required by law to report identified abuse/harm to a child under the age of 18 or if there is a reason to believe that a person’s life may be in danger.
Our counsellors are legally obligated to comply if court-ordered by a judge to appear in court through a subpoena.
If you have questions or concerns about these limits to confidentiality, please bring them forward to your counsellor or ask to speak with the program manager.
8. Do I see the same counsellor each time?Permanent link to Do I see the same counsellor each time?
Our counselling model is designed so that it is not necessary to see the same counsellor and yet you continue to receive the benefit from each counselling session. There is no need to worry about "starting from the beginning" or retelling your story because we have access to detailed notes from your last visit. Besides the reason you may be coming this time may be different from the last time.
Consistently, our participants tell us they are surprised that seeing different counsellors each time didn’t end up mattering – they got the support they needed regardless of if they saw the same counsellor as last time or not. Some even tell us it is great getting different perspectives.
9. Why does Family and Community Services not offer appointments for counselling?Permanent link to Why does Family and Community Services not offer appointments for counselling?
Our counselling model allows people to access counselling when they need it without experiencing the long delays that are often associated with appointments. If today’s the day you want to make a change, give us a call.
Do you offer counselling to children?
Research has shown the benefits of including the children’s parents / caregivers in the action plan increases the likelihood of making positive difference for the child. As such, it is our practice to include parents in finding a solution and co-creating an action plan to address the challenges experienced their children.
If your child is under the age of 16 and you have a joint custody agreement, the other parent must consent for the child/youth to attend counselling unless explicitly stated otherwise in the parenting agreement.
Please email us at email@example.com or call our office (780-464-4044) with any questions.
11. Can I visit counselling more than once?Permanent link to Can I visit counselling more than once?
Yes. You are welcome back to continue your progress or with new challenges.
Address: Family and Community Services
Second Floor, East Wing Community Centre
401 Festival Lane
Sherwood Park, AB T8A 5P7