“Why did you do it?”
That's the question I asked Simon Clarke, our AIPC Director, recently regarding our large investment in Lert, AIPC’s new Social Responsibility Program.
The answer surprised me. Here it is…
"Partly social conscience, partly frustration and partly belief.
Each year the need for counsellors gets greater. This reflects demand in the community and accords with statistics that reflect a decline in the mental health of Australians.
As an educator, every day we deal with hundreds of compassionate people from around Australia (and the world) who pursue a career in counselling because they want to make a difference.
Yet the demand continues to outstrip supply, and the gap is widening.
All the while we see governments channelling funds into programs that are motivated by political expedience above efficacy. And resultantly the community suffers.
I believe we’re at a tipping point. If we stand back and wait any longer for others to find the solution, the problem will become irrecoverable. We need to fill the gap. As individuals that care for our loved ones, our communities and our country, we need to act.
The Lert initiative is in some ways counterintuitive. If we succeed, we’re reducing demand for counsellors and hence our product. But we started AIPC with the objective of making a difference. And the heart wrenching personal stories we hear each and every day reinforces to us the impact mental illness has across the country. We just had to do something.
We see the greatest risk to Lert succeeding is complacency. Too often we look at a big problem and think as an individual we can’t make a difference. Lert is about empowering individuals and communities to take local action. Each Lert is a pebble thrown into the pond. If enough people, with enough compassion, join the cause then the ripples will spread across the country.”
And of course, we’d love you to join us on this exciting journey.
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors.