A non-profit counselling centre that started in Judy Strickland’s Lakeside home 13 years ago now has three centres and 50 volunteers spread across Cape Town.
Hope House Counselling Centre has operations in Bergvliet, Kuils River and Table View. It runs off donations, giving trauma counselling to those who need it.
The Community Chest in the Western Cape gave Ms Strickland its Nation Building Cape Award recently to recognise her efforts, and in 2014, Hope House received a certificate of recognition from the City of Cape Town for services to the community.
Ms Strickland’s area of expertise is child counselling and play therapy. She said she had always had a passion for children and helping those in need.
“Years ago, my husband and I recognised the huge need for affordable counselling services,” she said. “We set about looking for welcoming houses, situated on public transport routes, from which we could offer counselling to anybody who asked for it.”
Ms Strickland said therapists could charge upwards of R450 an hour and those who could not afford it were left without adequate mental health services.
At Hope House, anyone who feels they need to talk to someone supportive can make an appointment to see a counsellor in a confidential and respectful environment. Whatever they can afford to donate helps with the organisation’s upkeep.
“Everyone experiences periods of grief, conflict and extreme stress at some point in their lifetime. We work with families going through divorce, children who have been abused, victims of crime and women with postnatal depression,” said Ms Strickland.
Hope House also runs substance-abuse programmes in schools and trains lay counsellors.
Visit Hope House Bergvliet at 14 Silverhurst Way or book an appointment at 021 715 0424, or email firstname.lastname@example.org