Local mental health agencies in Waterloo Region will begin offering weekend walk-in counselling services to children and young people, as the demand for those services continue to increase.
Front Door, a joint program between Lutherwood and Carizon, has been offering walk-in services four days a week, but only on weekdays.
"It turns out families tend to be busy during those hours, whether it's work or school," Aaron Stauch, who manages the program, told CBC News in an interview. "So, what we really wanted to do was to increase the accessibility of our service, to moving at least some access hours to a weekend, when families tend to have less commitments."
Starting April 9, Front Door will staff a walk-in counselling clinic every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1770 King St. E. in Kitchener.
The walk-in clinic will continue to operate during the week on the following days:
- Tuesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 35 Dickson St. in Cambridge
- Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 1770 King St. E. in Kitchener
- Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1145 Concession Rd. in Cambridge
Stauch said the demand for children's counselling continues to increase in Waterloo Region.
"Even a year ago, when we were offering two days of walk-in a week, we were seeing much, much less," he said. "We were probably seeing 10 to 15 people a week, and I don't think we see a week that is less than 25 at this point in time."
The increase has counsellors putting in a lot of hours and Stauch said the agencies would consider adding additional staff if the walk-in clinic ever reached capacity.