The Depelchin Children’s Centre, fueled by funding from the Valour Foundation, is transforming lives through accessible mental health services. From reducing waitlists to empowering children like Elise on their journey to healing, this article explores the profound impact of compassionate care in our communities

The Depelchin Children’s Centre is a beacon of hope and healing for children and families navigating mental health challenges. Through a holistic approach and evidence-based therapies, the centre remains committed to empowering children to thrive. 


The Valour Foundation funding has allowed the centre to offer free mental health services for children, families, and schools, including play therapy, which is instrumental in aiding children’s emotional development. Additionally, the centre provides navigation services to ensure families have access to the best possible care tailored to their needs.  


Thanks to this funding, Depelchin has been able to expand its reach and impact significantly. The centre is now fully staffed and has welcomed eight new clinicians. This means that, in just three short months, they’ve reduced the number of families on the waitlist from over 1,000 to 100 – an incredible achievement! This number continues to decrease as a result of the expansion.    


Highlighting the impact of the centre’s interventions is Elise’s story.  Elise (pseudonym) sought therapy due to symptoms of anxiety, including debilitating panic attacks in public settings. These symptoms were significantly affecting her relationships and academic performance, but with the support of a skilled clinician, Elise has embarked on a transformative journey toward healing. 


Utilizing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), the clinician guided Elise in unravelling unhelpful thoughts and identifying detrimental patterns. Throughout her sessions, Elise was encouraged to celebrate every small victory, recognising the progress towards her goals. As therapy progressed, Elise became more present in her classes, felt more confident in social situations, forged new friendships, and even conquered the once daunting task of shopping in public without succumbing to panic attacks. Elise’s success story not only underscores the effectiveness of therapy but also highlights the importance of a supportive environment in fostering growth and healing.  


Whilst we celebrate the successes stemming from Depelchin’s expansion, the staggering volume of 7,000 calls each month shows that there is still a dire need for accessible mental health services in our communities. The critical role of private sector support in funding initiatives that enhance resilience and wellbeing cannot be overstated.