MOVING FORWARD: Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling's new business development manager Sherry Smith with chief executive officer Graeme Kerkin.
MOVING FORWARD: Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling's new business development manager Sherry Smith with chief executive officer Graeme Kerkin. Jessica Lamb

Expanding to build safer community

THINGS are moving forward at Whitsunday Counselling and Support but that does not mean their core operations of providing domestic and family violence services through counselling and homelessness services will change.

The job of recently-appointed business development manager Sherry Smith is to ensure that not only is the business sustainable in it's current form but also to expand their outreach for an all round safer community.

Coming from an extensive background in the finance sector and more recently working with the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Ms Smith is focusing on diversifying WCS's income revenues by implementing a new business plan and offering new services.

One such advancement is the Employee Assistance Counselling and critical incident counselling on a fee for service model.

WCS is also now able to provide counselling for eligible individuals covered by NDIS funding as well.

Ms Smith said the health of employees was critical to the business practices, which included their mental health.

"This is an opportunity for local businesses to prioritise their employees' mental health and provide support on an on-going basis or in reaction to an event such as the recent helicopter crash on the reef or Cyclone Debbie,” she said.

"Our organisation's vision is to aim for a holistically healthier and safer community and to make sure we are sustainable we need to support and grow our other core services.

"By providing additional services it also alleviates pressure points for service providers; for example if people are eligible for counselling through the NDIS and come through us then their spot in line for other services can be given to someone else and stop a bottle neck and wait time for services.

"By diversifying our revenue streams and becoming more robust and resilient financially we will also be able to address local gaps in services and improve the overall mental health in the region.”


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