Relationship counselling service Interrelate is now providing free support to Cobar families, with counsellor Masti Adler recently commencing work full time in Cobar.
Funded through the Department of Social Services, Ms Adler and the Interrelate staff provide support and help to rural communities affected by drought.
Services include counselling for the whole family (either face to face or over the phone), and they can also offer educational and community workshops.
Interrelate staff offer support to people to help relieve stress, to show them how to communicate more effectively, give them advice on how they can strengthen their relationships and help them to deal with their emotions in a healthy way.
They can also help to boost confidence and increase a person’s self care.
“Interrelate is a company that has been going for a long time and we deal with family relationships, any relationships really,” Ms Adler told The Cobar Weekly.
“Basically we are open to provide counselling for individuals, for couples, for families.
“I do a lot of individual counselling and group programs for parenting, couple issues and for children.
“My role here is to provide free counselling for the community and I am based here.”
Since she moved to Cobar two weeks ago with her family, Ms Adler said she has done a lot of networking and meeting with other agencies and community groups, to let people know she’s here.
She said her role is funded until the end of June next year but is hoping the funding will be extended and that she will be here for at least two years.
“The good thing about this service is there is no cost, it is free.
“There is no requirement—basically anybody can say ‘I’m in trouble, my child is in trouble, my mum’s in trouble, my aunty is in trouble’.”
Ms Adler said she can help with anxiety, post traumatic stress, grief and loss or is there if people “just want to have a chat”.
“I can be a helping hand and can also refer to other services.”
Ms Adler is a multi skilled practitioner and has a masters degree in counselling.
She said Interrelate has received funding for her position because of the drought.
“Originally it got funded only for the farmers and then that got expanded for the whole community because they realised that there is a trickle down effect and everyone is affected.
“You don’t have to be a farmer to access the service,” Ms Adler said.
She said her first mission is to introduce herself everywhere and say “Hey I’m here, I’m available, you can utilise my services”.