Update From Our Founder
My name is Declan and I am the Founder of SMILE Counselling. For over 20 years I have worked in multiple mental health services for children and young people in various sectors, Public, Private and the Third Sector both in Ireland and Scotland.
The one thing that became very clear over these 20 years is that young people struggle to access mental health services when they need it most. As a result S.M.I.L.E Counselling was born in 2015. We are very proud to say that we have worked with 350 children and young people delivering one-to-one counselling. We have delivered workshops that have seen 1500 young people take part and we have delivered around 3500 sessions in total.
So a HUGE thank you to our funders, our staff, trainees, volunteers Board and supporters without whom none of this would be possible.
We are coming through very unprecedented times on the back of Covid-19, and we have had to adjust our service delivery shifting to online. We have had a transition from face-to-face to Zoom, telephone and e-mail sessions. Thankfully, clients have adapted really well to it, as have our Counsellors. As we push forward we have worked hard to make our premises a safe place for our clients to return by introducing hands free temperature gages at the entrance and hands free sanitiser dispensers throughout. We will also be replacing our furniture so that it is not fabric and will be able to be wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes before and after all visitors. Floor marking swill be in place to ensure appropriate distances and we will still provide our warm welcomes with cups of tea or coffees but in disposable cups J We want everyone returning to feel as safe as possible and enjoy their return to face to face therapy …
On the back of this we need to up the ante on our digital approach. We are upgrading our website to look at YouTube channels, podcasts and interactive question and answer sessions with staff on the issues that you choose. We want to hear from you about what you need to know about – from parents, carers, teachers and the young people themselves.
This is a very exciting time for S.M.I.L.E in relation to the digital side, and we hope to see our children and young people stepping over the door again soon.
Until then I want to say a huge thank you to all of you for your continued support.
We celebrated our 5th birthday on 15th June, 2020. Here’s too many more.