Archive for the ‘Ask Rhonda’ Category

Social Counsellor Rhonda Discusses ÇA MARCHE 2015

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rhonda, ca marche

Over 330 youth accessed free and ongoing mental health support through Head & Hands (H&H) during the past year. The success of this amazing social counselling program can in large part be attributed to social counselor Rhonda, H&H’s very own “mother hen.” Rhonda has dedicated fourteen years of her life to the organization and loves every minute of it. We recently sat down with Rhonda to discuss Ça Marche and her work.

H&H: What do you enjoy the most about working for H&H?

Rhonda: This is a very special place; our services are very important and they make a difference. I’m really privileged to work here. My favorite part is working with the clients. I love to be invited on their journeys of self-discovery, and to be able to help them through these journeys. My work allows me to explore the many ways in which we impact one another.

H&H: Why is participating in Ça Marche important to you?

Rhonda: I guess, it’s always been what I have considered my personal project…like in terms of fundraising at Head and Hands, it’s a campaign I really get on. We’re so lucky that the Farha Foundation organizes this great fundraiser that allows us to raise money for our programs and services. I also have some personal history with the Farha family: “Ronnie” Farha and I shared backyards, he was just a bit younger than me, and adorable, just adorable. His mother (Evelyn) was just so lovely, and they moved away but my mother kept in contact. Sadly, Ronnie passed away from AIDS.

H&H: So for you participating is like paying tribute to Ron?

Rhonda: Yeah, as a tribute to “Ronnie” and his mom, because to lose a child is so devastating,and also because Ron contracted HIV in the early years, and we’ve come so far now. So yeah, I walk and I tell people about how important Ça Marche is to raise money for Head and Hands’ services, including our medical services which provide HIV/AIDS education and screening to Montreal youth. Not everybody can join us the day of the march, so I say I will walk for you (donors). I strongly belive in the work we do. I carry a heart with me on the day of  Ça Marche. This year I will invite donors for a tea party at my apartment, and make cakes. So this year the tea party will be at my house!

H&H: Any word of advice for people fundraising this year?

Rhonda: Look at it as an opportunity to contribute. The attitude is important, this is my big time of the year. I really push for this one.

There you have it — some great words of wisdom from Rhonda, who passionately invests herself in Ça Marche every year to raise money for the organization that is the closest to her heart.

To join our team or support our efforts, click here!

 

Social Counsellor Rhonda talks youth mental health

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Social counsellor Rhonda in her cozy Sherbrooke St. office.

Social counsellor Rhonda in her cozy Sherbrooke St. office.

Accessing affordable, ongoing, and non-judgemental mental health support is notoriously challenging in Montreal, even for youth who are struggling with acute or ongoing mental illness. Head & Hands counselling services aim to fill this gap by offering free individual, couple, and family counselling. In the last year alone, Social Counsellor Rhonda supported 196 clients, in 645 visits.

Here, Rhonda shares a bit about her work!

 H&H: Why do youth come to you for support?

Rhonda: Every client has different needs. Many youth feel like the decisions they make at this point in their lives are very permanent and critical to their life path. They’re dealing with issues of relationships, career, where to live, gender identity, or decisions about how they want to break away from family patterns that they now feel detached from.

Some come in crisis over the end of important, powerful intimate relationships.  Self-identity issues are very common and having a neutral ear to listen and help sort them out can make a big difference. Many youth need a safe, confidential place to talk and explore what these issues really mean to them.

What a privilege to have someone say to me, “I have never, ever told anyone else this deep secret I have but…”  I am very careful to honor that trust.

H&H: What do you find most motivating about working with youth?

Rhonda: I feel very clear about the fact that I can make a difference—not all the time, but often.

I have developed models that really work with the client holistically.  We talk about the food they eat, the physical activity they engage in. I use the Native Medicine Wheel to help us look at the balance in their physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual selves. It is so inspiring to see them have a small epiphany, and say: “Oh, ya…This is so true.  This really makes sense. I can do this.”

Recently, in a couples counseling situation, one the partners said that the biggest learning for her was when I told them they were both personally responsible for their own happiness…that they could support the other partner’s happiness but they each needed to create their own and not expect the other partner to create it for them.  This blew her away.  It turned the relationship around for her.

Clients, give us feedback!

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As part of our strategic planning process, we’re seeking information from clients who currently use our services or have used our services within the last year. If you have a few minutes to fill out this short survey, please help us out! We would really appreciate your input so we can consider you as we plan our future!