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 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 the past 45 years, the Women’s Centre has offered support and programs on many issues that affect women’s lives, including social isolation, mental health, violence, marginalisation, 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.
Right here, right now drop-in counselling program for women
What: Right here, right now drop-in counselling is a program that provides single session therapy to women in St John’s area.
When: Tuesdays between 12-7 p.m. and Wednesdays from 12-5 p.m.
Where: The Women’s Centre – 170 Cashin Avenue Extension
What should I expect? No appointment or referral is necessary. A woman can show up during drop-in hours and, after some simple intake information is collected, she can receive service. The sessions can vary in length. It could be as long as one hour. We will take women on a first come-first serve basis and we will do everything we can to accommodate everyone who comes.
Why: Overall, there are long wait lists and a shortage of mental health professionals in this area. Particularly there is a lack of appropriate women-centred mental health services that can be accessed when they are most needed. It is our hope that this drop-in counselling program will be useful for women either as a stand-alone service or as a stopgap service while women connect to the other services they need and/or are requiring support during the long wait times.
This closed, eight-week support group is designed specifically for women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Women can self-refer or come from physicians, social workers, government and/or community agencies. Led by experienced facilitators, this group is offered in the spring, fall, and winter of each year. These sessions begin the important conversations about intimate partner violence and it’s effects on women, as well as provide an opportunity for women to build community and seek support on this critical issue. When funding is available women receive often crucial transportation and childcare stipends.
Helping Mothers Thrive
Helping Mothers Thrive supports mothers leaving intimate partner violence to become stronger and more effective parents. This 12-week skill-based group helps mothers understand how intimate partner violence has undermined their parenting and offers alternative skills and strategies in a safe and supportive environment. Through strengthening the skill set of mothers after abuse we hope to strengthen families and stop the cycle of intergenerational violence.
Rebuilding Ourselves After Abusive Relationships (ROAAR)
This new 16-week therapy group is for women who have experienced intimate partner violence and have had prior support through individual or group counselling. Claudette Morris MSW, RSW co-facilitates this closed group with Women Centre staff. For more information contact Sheila by calling 709-753-0220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note the current group is full.
Thursday Tea Time
The Thursday afternoon Drop-In Lunch & Information session has changed its name to Tea Time. 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. There will be a Department of Advanced Education and Skills (AES) and Mental Health and Addictions worker (Eastern Health) still available should you wish to meet with them during this program to get assistance with system navigation right on site.
Information Sessions and Workshops
Information sessions and activities on a range of topics, including healthy living, mindfulness, sexual assault awareness and cervical screening awareness, heart health, diabetes, healthy relationships and consent will be held throughout the year to provide opportunity to engage in a variety of topics.
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 Tuesdays and Thursdays. 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 650 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.
This program will not be offered until further notice.
The Women’s Centre is a true believer in nurturing new mastery and/or skill building through a variety of crafting and creative sessions. We invite different community members and local artists to come share their skill or talent with us throughout the year. These sessions are promoted on The Women’s Centre monthly calendar and Facebook page.
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.
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.
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), canvasing crafts, drumming circles, creative writing classes, container gardening, violence awareness, music programs, healthy living series, 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.