Tuesday 23 March 2021

Online counselling service for people with mental health issues

LBL Charitable Foundation is a charity that provides counselling services to people in the broader community who are having mental health problems. With 50 staff across Australia – in South Australia as well as Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne – LBL Philanthropy offers clients counselling via Skype, Zoom, or Teams depending on beneficiary needs. The organisation can also, if required, do counselling via telephone. 

They deliver services in multiple languages. 

“We have over 30 beneficiaries per week,” Lily B. Luong told me in December last year via email. They hope to be soon operating in 14 Asian countries, taking over 14 beneficiaries per country.

LBL Charitable Foundation finds people direct and also takes referrals from other charities. “We find most beneficiaries through other charities,” Lily told me.

“I describe myself as ambitious, driven and helpful,” she told me in an email. “I have volunteered and worked for a number of [not-for-profit] organizations, with a passion to heal people both mentally and emotionally.”

Her mother lives with a mental illness, so it is personal for Lily.

“I have a mother that suffers from mental illness and poverty so I understand the hardship and pain. Thus, I started LBL Philanthropy to reach out to millions and millions of people.”

“My mother suffers from depression and delusional disorder. She is still capable of looking after herself and is on medication so she doesn’t show too many signs of hallucination. She is mainly withdrawn, has sleep difficulties, and is moody. She does have paranoid thoughts then acts in an unusual way.”

Lily also had a friend who committed suicide aged 18. “This experience makes me feel more motivated to help those suffering from a mental illness or who lose a loved one due to suicide.”

LBL Charitable Foundation reports to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. They raise funds from government as well as through donations and Lily is the only paid member of staff. All the rest are volunteers, who mainly offer to commit time to the organisation in order to gain experience to find paid jobs. “I have students volunteering to gain practical experience in teaching and counselling. We mainly do phone screening first then [face-to-face] interviews or Zoom [meetings] to find the right people. Qualifications are important mainly for counselling and teaching roles.” 

LBL Charitable Foundation is also looking for mentors. “We mainly find people who will act as good role models,” Lily told me.

Children living in rural areas mainly around Asia Pacific regions with lack of food and clean water are a priority, says Lily. “Children with a mental illness both overseas and in Australia are a growing concern so we try to aid them ASAP.”

LBL Charitable Foundation is setting up an emergency relief service. “We provide funding for low- and no-income families so they can use it to buy food and pay bills etcetera. There are certain criteria, for example you are unemployed or on Centrelink [benefits].”

A technology support program they are setting up aims to provide children and young people with laptops and computers to enable them to avail themselves of online counselling as well as use mentoring and teaching services. “I am trying to cooperate with tech companies to see if they are willing to donate computers and laptops to help people.” 

Lily says the government is not as important in her area of expertise as charities. “I think large charities such as Beyond Blue or Wesley Mission are doing much more than the government. We look to large charities hoping that one day we will be as successful as them.” 

LBL Charitable Foundation’s counselling and mentoring services can help the homeless improve their living conditions. “I don’t think homelessness is just about not having anything tangible such as money or a house. It is also an emotional trauma to be homeless so healing people through counselling and mentoring is just as good as giving them money.”

If you would like to volunteer to be a part of the LBL Charitable Foundation team, or if you’d like to donate equipment or money, or be a mentor, counsellor, or teacher you can contact LBL Charitable Foundation on www.lblcharitablefoundation.org.

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