A new counselling office in East Kildonan is hoping to make help accessible to those who need it.
Local resident Eugenia Lehmann has opened the doors of Eugenia Lehmann Counselling Services at 3-875 Gateway Rd., but she is available for more than just in-person appointments. She’ll also offer counselling over the phone, or through Skype or email.
"My idea is not only to provide services in Winnipeg and in North Kildonan, but expand beyond that, too," Lehmann said. "(I want to) offer it to individuals who are maybe not able to access service because of transportation, because of child care, or because of other barriers — access to location, bus routes, maybe they have a disability."
As well, Lehmann’s first language is Spanish, so she will be able to provide services to locals in that community who may not be as comfortable conversing in English. Lehmann said she realized the impact she could make when aiding a friend in Mexico.
"I was providing some support and services to someone that was living in Mexico, and it made me think ‘Why isn’t this a possibility for other people, and not just for a friend of mine that’s living abroad and having some difficulty?’" Lehmann said.
Lehmann said being able to open the business has only come together within the past couple of months, but after receiving support from family and friends, she was able to achieve a long-held goal.
"I’ve been thinking about doing this for years," Lehmann said. "This has always been my long-term goal. I’m happy to say that I’ve checked that off my bucket list of things I wanted to accomplish."
Lehmann added she is enthusiastic and eager to get going, as she feels she is made for the job.
"Being in the social services, being a social worker, it’s not only a job for us," Lehmann explained. "It’s part of who we are, part of our personality, our helpful, giving nature.
"My friends and family who know what I’m about say it’s a perfect fit."
In addition to providing one-on-one services, Lehmann is teaming with fellow social worker Barbara Balshaw-Dow for a six-week group session called "Women & Life Transitions: What’s Next?" which is slated to run Sundays from Nov. 10 to Dec. 15 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at her office.
"It essentially looks at ‘how do we as women manoeuvre through transitions in our lives, be it our children have moved out of the home, or we’re new moms, or we’re going through a separation or divorce,’" Lehmann explained. "There are often times when women feel a lot better about their situation when they get to chat with other women in similar situations. They get that sense of being more normal."
The group has 12 spots and costs $150 for the six weeks.
For more information on all of Lehmann’s services, visit www.eugenialehmann.ca or call 204-667-1091.