Bundaberg woman Jess Pick has always had a passion for supporting children and now she is able to offer her services at new business, Brighter Minds Counselling.
Located at Zara Place on Woongarra Street, Jess said the safe space provided children and their families with a range of mental health support services.
The new business is a long time coming for the Bundaberg local, who said she had always wanted to establish a place that would help to “fill the gap”.
“Growing up in the local area, and with family members needing access to mental health support, I quickly found that there is a major gap in services for young people in our community,” she said.
“In particular, children aged between five and twelve years of age.
“My heart has been set on supporting children and youth for as long as I can remember and being able to sit in my own office now and realise that I can be the support that so many have needed over the years, makes me beam.”
Jess said Brighter Minds Counselling offered mental health support to children and youth aged up to seventeen years.
She said young people could access three different forms of support; individual sessions, play therapy sessions and group sessions.
“Individual sessions are one-on-one support for children to help manage any concerns or achieve goals they or their families have identified,” Jess said.
“Play therapy is an excellent form of therapy designed for children utilising their most important and incredible form of imagination, development, and communication; play!
“We have games, kinetic sand, books, Lego, Mobilo, Duplo, teddies, fidget things, imaginative play and more.
“Group sessions are designed to help children in small group settings build and improve their social skills, find new ways of navigating life, relationships and challenges they may face over the years.”
Jess said she began working with young people as a teenager before she moved on to studying at university to be able to pursue her passion even more.
“I began working with kids as a babysitter and assistant dance teacher as a teen,” she said.
“I then went on to complete tertiary studies with a Bachelor of Psychological Science, Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma of Counselling.
“In my first year of university, I completed work experience with a local child psychologist, without whom I would have not been given such an amazing, education and eye-opening start to this type of work.”
Jess provides important role in mental health journey for children
Jess said having access to counselling was important for young children, who were in their prime developmental years.
“During this time, they may need support managing concerns or symptoms of a mental health diagnosis that they can no longer manage on their own,” she said.
“Therapy helps kids talk about, understand, and manage their feelings and emotions and give them the tools they may need to navigate certain aspects of their lives.”
As for why she has such a passion for her role, Jess said there was one stand-out moment in her career that she always looked back on.
“The background on my computer has three words that state ‘Good thanks Jess',” she said.
“The story behind this is from when I was working with a young person many years ago who had only ever spoken to a very small group of people and no one else.
“A number of weeks into working with this child, I opened the door and began with the same thing I did each week prior, ‘Good morning, how are you today?' and was absolutely blown away when I heard that three-word response, ‘Good thanks Jess'.
“In that moment then, I was completely sold and there was no going back.”
Brighter Minds Counselling is now open at Shop 2, 74 Woongarra Street, ground floor of Zara Place.
Jess is accepting referrals from GPs, schools, support services, families and clients.
To find out more check out the Facebook page here or call 0478 076 860.