Services for Young People

Who, Where, Why, and When?

Who? We are funded to work with anyone who is affected by their own or another’s substance use. There is no upper or lower threshold of severity. We will work with anyone who is troubled with issues relating to substance use.

A recent development is that we are also providing a service for young people experiencing other addictive behaviours and psychological disorders too (this is for high schools only – not primary school children).

Referrals come from mostly secondary schools, although it has been noted that we have had an increased demand from a number of primary schools in Fife.

Referrals additionally come from other professionals such as community education workers and the police. Further we also often receive referrals from family members too.

Where? Generally we see young people in schools. Where there is an issue with attendance we can see the individual outside of school and be part of the support for them to start engaging with the school again.

We have two permanent bases in Fife. Our head office is in Leven and we also have smaller premises in Kirkcaldy. Clients can be seen at any of these venues but we try to provide the service as close to the client’s local area as is possible. We use a variety of community buildings. The essential aspect of where the counselling takes place is the consideration of privacy. We seek to find a room that provides discrete access where conversation can’t be overheard. Young people need privacy as much as adults.

Why? Drugs, alcohol, solvents and addictions usually trigger the referral. The young person might not be the one using a substance. It might not even be someone in their family. We often work with young people who are struggling with their friend’s experimentation and use of substances.

Within the counselling session our work is more holistic and we are usually engaging with the issues which lie beneath for example the substance issues. This might include looking at: family, friends, relationships, mental health, physical health, school, studies, anger, offending, safety, sex, future plans, harm reduction, information giving, sign posting……….

When? We try to make our services as accessible as possible. School provides a convenient and safe place for most young people to access our service. This does have an impact on one period of their school timetable. We always try to avoid subjects that make school a positive experience for the young person. We also try to avoid colluding in getting out of less favourite subjects. Where possible we will regularly rotate the sessions to avoid continually missing the same subject.

The service is also available for young people out with school times.

I was advised to go to counselling by my GP due to my dependency on alcohol. At first, I was slightly sceptical because I wondered how someone who I had never met would possibly know why I was drinking so heavily or how I felt. Well I was in for a surprise!

Adult Service Client