By Leentje Deleuil, MSc, BBA, Executive Director
Did You Know ?
- That According to Statistics Canada (2012), mental illness affects 221,230 people in New Brunswick excluding those younger than 15 years old, Indigenous populations and members of the Canadian Forces (these three categories account for 28.5% of provincial population)?
- That only 4.9% of New Brunswick’s total healthcare budget of $2.9 billion (2020-2021) is allocated to mental health services, compared to 7.2% on a national average?
- That researchers estimate the impact of mental health problems and illnesses to be more than one-and-a-half times that of all cancers, when taking into account years of life lost due to premature death and years of reduced functioning?
- That average wait times to access public mental health support is over 12 months compared to 7 business days at Family Enrichment & Counselling Service Inc.?
Family Enrichment & Counselling Service Inc. (FECS) is a non-profit charitable agency offering a client-centered approach and counselling services to the community for over 47 years.
Our Mission: To enrich individuals, families, and communities through counselling, education and advocacy.
Our Vision: A healthy community where every person feels valued, connected, empowered and competent.
What We Offer:
- Counselling – FECS’ core service is counselling individuals, children, couples, and families. With the help of United Way New Brunswick, FECS offers subsidized counselling for those who may be experiencing financial barriers in accessing mental health support.
- Family Violence Counselling – For over four decades, FECS has provided free family violence counselling through NB Social Development funding – receiving referrals from Public Safety, Family Services and other agencies.
- Psycho-Educational Groups – FECS hosts a number of psycho-educational groups which run periodically throughout the year with NB Social Development’s assistance. The most well-known groups are Changing Tides, supporting victims of family violence, and Changing Ways, which is aimed at perpetrators of family violence. Other FECS support groups include but are not limited to anger management, healthy eating strategies, grief, parenting, and support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – An EAP is a great benefit for employers to offer their employees. FECS’ therapists are registered with a number of EAP providers offering confidential counselling services.
- Workplace Wellness – FECS offers tailored services for businesses and organizations based on their staff needs like volunteer development and workplace wellness. A broad range of programs can be delivered on-site.
- Substance Abuse Counselling – Helps individuals on their road to recovery from substance abuse, as well as helping employers with return-to-work strategies and plans.
Where You Can Help:
As a Non-Profit Organization, we rely on grants to operate, and are grateful for NB Social Development and United Way Central as they help FECS support so many people in need.
As employers, the business community has an important role to play in mental health promotion to help reduce stigmas and ensure employee access to mental health support services (i.e. EAP).
In terms of advocacy, ongoing mental health support and investment provincially and federally is especially pertinent now more than ever given that the pandemic has had a significant impact on peoples’ mental health.
We strongly believe that together we can make a change and offer a healthier future to our young population and community at-large.