This charitable trust has good reason to celebrate. Founded in Auckland in 1980 by Nina Barry-Martin, it has branches throughout the country, providing telephone and face-to-face counselling 24/7.
The counsellors are fully trained to deal with the huge variety of clients seeking help. They do not assist with abortion requests, but try to offer good alternatives, and will also give post abortion counselling. The service has a comprehensive list of referral agencies.
Case histories make interesting reading. The following is an example of what a counsellor may be expected to deal with on the free phone number.
Recently PCS received a call from a young single mother, distressed to find, after separating from her violent partner, that she was pregnant again.
Suffering badly from morning sickness, living in a remote area without a car, and struggling to pay off large debts, she wondered how she could possibly cope with a third child.
Tearfully, Jane (not her real name) told the counsellor that her mother and sister thought she should have an abortion.
She had gone to an abortion clinic with her sister, but felt so uncomfortable that she came home and called PCS. The counsellor talked about the distress that abortion can cause, discussed the woman’s difficulties, recommended a good midwife, and promised to visit.
Two days later, counsellors provided food and literature about the unborn child, helping agencies, etc. After one and a half hours counselling, Jane felt excited about her third child, more confident about coping, and pleased we had found a midwife within walking distance – and determined to tell her family she is keeping this baby.
One of those counsellors will keep in touch and make sure this new little New Zealander will be well provided for.
PCS Wellington Branch is fully functioning at the present time, but counsellors need time off for a variety of reasons so new counsellors are always welcome.
Anyone with a real desire to help those in difficult pregnancies, and who have a pleasant and compassionate phone manner, can train to be a counsellor. Age is no barrier.
As PCS moves into the next 25 years they look forward to calls from people who can help with counselling, administration or financial assistance.
Phone 383 5524 or write to P O Box 2103, Wellington. firstname.lastname@example.org