Free Counselling Services For Youth And Their Whānau

The Great Barrier Island local board will be hosting a free workshop titled 'Addiction 101' on Friday, March 1st, from 9am to 4:30pm at the Claris Conference Centre, 19 Whangaparapara Road.

The Aotea Family Support Group has taken a significant step towards supporting the mental well-being of young people and their whānau with the introduction of a new, free counselling service.

The service, spearheaded by experienced counsellor Sam Grimshaw, offers a much-needed resource for rangatahi aged 12-25, along with their family members. Grimshaw, who moved to the island in 2017 was born in Jersey in the Channel Islands and, brings extensive postgraduate qualifications and a deep understanding of island community unique needs.

Counselling is often misunderstood, but Grimshaw emphasizes its simple goal: “It’s a chance for you to talk about the harder things in life in a confidential and non-judgemental space,” he says.

Sessions are held in a comfortable, quiet space at Aotea Family Support Group beside the Old Schoolhouse or through remote means like phone or online if necessary. Each person can have up to six sessions free of charge, with further discussions on cost if more sessions are needed.

The service is geared to be as accessible as possible. “You can bring a parent/supervisor person with you,” explains Grimshaw, underlining the flexibility and openness of the service. The confidentiality of sessions is stressed, with the assurance that what’s said in the counselling room stays there, unless there’s a risk of harm to the individual or others.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

Grimshaw invites the community to reach out, “To have a chat about what’s going on for you and how counselling might help,”.

For those interested in learning more about the service or to arrange a session, Sam Grimshaw can be contacted directly on 021 02978608.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)
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