Created in 1973, the St. John’s Women’s Centre is the charitable non-profit arm of the St. John’s Status of Women Council. The Women’s Centre is dedicated to providing FREE women-centred, community-based programs delivered within a safe, non-judgemental, open, and caring environment. Throughout its long history, the Women’s Centre was instrumental in opening the first transition house for women fleeing domestic violence and was home to the first rape crisis centre in the province.
For more than 48 years, the Women’s Centre has offered support and programs on many issues that affect women’s lives, including social isolation, mental health, violence, marginalization, poverty, housing, trauma, and system navigation. All of our programs and services are women-focused and for women only and aim to provide opportunity for personal growth, empowerment, and social connection. All programs are offered free of charge.
MONTHLY PROGRAM CALANDER:
Right Here, Right Now Drop In or call in counselling program for women
What: Right Here, Right Now Call -In counselling is a program that provides single session therapy to women and women identified (18 and over) in the St. John’s area.
When: NEW EXTENDED HOURS on Tuesdays between 12pm-8:30p.m. and Wednesdays from 12pm-5p.m.
Where: The St. John’s Women’s Centre – 170 Cashin Avenue Extension. Our building is wheelchair accessible and parking is available.
What should I expect? No appointment or referral is required. Women can simply call during the above hours to receive counselling. The process usually takes about 1.5 hours. We see women on a first come-first serve basis and do our best to accommodate everyone who shows up.
What can I talk about? Women or women identified can talk about any issues that are impacting their daily lives. Women come with various concerns, for example: personal or job stress, emotional and mental health issues, grief and loss, the stresses of poverty, alcohol and drug use, separation and divorce, intimate partner violence/domestic violence, gendered/2SLGBTQ+ issues, and others.
Why: Overall, there are long wait lists and a shortage of mental health professionals available for women-centred mental health services that can be accessed when they are most needed. Our vision is to provide a program to women that is useful either as a stand-alone service or as a stopgap service while women wait to connect to other services in the community.
Using a feminist, strengths-based, trauma informed approach, our groups are designed to work with women who have experienced or are experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). Women can self-refer to any of our groups by calling the Women’s Centre or referrals can also come from social workers, government and/or community agencies. When funding is available women receive often crucial transportation and childcare stipends.
A Supportive Peer Group for Women Impacted by Intimate Partner Abuse
Empowered Together is an informal, drop-in peer group for women in the greater St. John’s area who are or have been impacted by an abusive partner. It is a safe space to give and receive support while navigating the challenges of intimate partner abuse.
Hosted by the St. John’s Women’s Centre, Empowered Together meetings take place in English online with video and audio via Zoom (instructions on how to use Zoom will be provided). We meet from 6:30 – 7:30pm every Monday except statuary holidays. The meetings are on a drop-in basis but limited to fifteen participants per session. Advance sign-up is required. Meetings are held in English.
When: Monday evenings from 6:30 – 7:30pm (with the exception of statutory holidays).
Where: Online via Zoom video/audio
For more information, or to sign-up for the next meeting, call the St. John’s Women’s Centre at 753-0220 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Empowering Ourselves: Exploring Intimate Partner Abuse
Funded by the provincial Department of Justice and Public Safety, this closed, eight-week support/psychoeducational group is designed specifically for women who have recently experienced or are currently experiencing intimate partner violence. Each session is specifically designed to embark on important conversations about IPV and its impact on women, while also providing an opportunity for women to build community and find supports and resources. This group is offered in the spring, fall, and winter of each year.
Helping Mothers Thrive
This closed, eight-week support group is designed to support mothers whose parenting has been impacted by intimate partner violence. Through facilitator and peer support, women will have the opportunity to rediscover their skills and strengths, explore new parenting skills, and identify the challenges IPV can have on family dynamics, whether women are currently in or out of the relationship. Women must have had prior support through individual or group counselling on the issue of intimate partner violence.
Clothing Boutique Program & Personal Care Pantry Program
Our Clothing Boutique Program is available to any woman in the community and appointments are available monthly on Thursdays 10:30am-4pm. All items are FREE! This program has been a great resource to women experiencing homelessness, living on fixed or low incomes, experiencing violence, or simply seeking something new to wear.
Distributed through the Clothing Boutique, the Personal Care Pantry Program provides an array of hygiene products for women and their families free of charge. On average, approximately 750 appointments are made annually, not including numerous emergency referrals. Gently used clothing and new personal care items are donated to the Centre regularly by the caring community and as-needed drives.
YOGA Program (Will return Spring 2021)
Weekly on Wednesday’s at 4pm we will have low flow yoga for all skill levels. This program is FREE and accessible. Registration is required. Please call 753-0220 for more information.
Thursday Tea Time (not currently offered)
It is offered year-round and serves tea/coffee with a nutritious snack. Participants are encouraged to network, socialize, with old and new friends as well as connect with staff and volunteers.
Let’s Talk Series: Information Sessions and Workshops
Presented via zoom, weekly on Friday’s from 12pm-1pm. See monthly calendar for schedule of session topics.
Information sessions and activities on a range of topics, including digital safety, stress & cultivating resilience, nurturing ourselves, healthy living, mindfulness, diet culture & body image, heart health, diabetes, relationships and consent, these workshops offer an opportunity to engage and connect on a variety of topics affecting women’s lives. Zoom link will be sent out through email once you have registered.
Prenatal Education/Yoga Classes
Easy yoga for all stages of pregnancy; No yoga experience needed!
Classes include: movement, breathing exercises, guided relaxation, and birth education to help you prepare for delivery.
Connect with other pregnant folks in the community.
All birthing people welcome
About the wonderful Doula Erin Law:
As a Doula and Prenatal Yoga Instructor, Erin is passionate about supporting people to have a positive birth experience. Her intention is to help you feel confident, encouraged, and prepared for your birth. From Los Angeles to St. John’s, Erin has enjoyed working in community for many years.
Please call 753-0220 to register
The St. John’s Women’s Centre offers a variety of free programs that encompass mind, body, and soul. Yoga and Meditation, for example, are open to all skill levels. Our holistic programs aim to build strength, tap into one’s personal energy, are designed to heal, uplift, and inspire, and leave participants feeling empowered. Our painting workshops encourage the opportunity to spark creativity, skill build and connect through with self through art and expression. These are held monthly throughout the year.
Pre-Release Program at the Newfoundland and Labrador Correctional Centre for Women
Every five weeks, a staff member visits the Correctional Centre in Clarenville, Newfoundland (140 km west of St. John’s) as part of their pre-release process to talk about programs in the community. The Clothing Boutique and Personal Care Pantry Program have been great resources for women transitioning back into the community from the Correctional Centre. In addition to providing much-needed clothing and personal items, visits to the Women’s Centre following release help prevent the isolation and loneliness that often result in recidivism.
We will continue to offer interesting and inspiring programs to all women in a safe, supportive women-only space. Some additional examples of the Women’s Centre’s recent programs and projects are:
Free massage clinics, mindfulness workshops, walking/running clubs (seasonal), crafts, floral arrangement workshops (twice a year), violence awareness, music programs, healthy living and mental health information sessions, menopause discussions, vision boarding workshops, and much more. There is always something new happening at the St. John’s Women’s Centre.