The Listening Place offers help for kids
The Listening Place will open in Dolores on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
Rick Carpenter, director of The Listening Place, said it is a place where children and teens who are hurting can be heard.
The Listening Place is a free, confidential service staffed by volunteers who have been trained in the art of effective listening.
The idea is based on a successful program that is being used in Colorado Springs and other cities in which young people have the opportunity to freely express their concerns such as loss, death of a family member or friend, dealing with parents who are separating or divorcing, self-image concerns, bullying issues, emotional or physical neglect, family alcohol abuse, loss of faith and hope; or whatever other concerns the child may have.
Carpenter said, "Experts say children and teens often try to protect their parents by not sharing their true feelings. But they will talk to other adults who are willing to listen to their concerns. This can happen at The Listening Place, where the volunteers have been trained in a specific manner of listening, so that children and teens can feel safe in sharing their concerns and they can grow to understand that they have the God-given strength within themselves to deal with their issues and concerns."
Carpenter said listeners will not promote any religious perspective, will not provide answers, and will not serve as counselors. Instead, they will listen in a way that lets the children or teens know that they are cared about and being taken seriously.
The expectation is that, through this process, the child or teen will be able to figure out how he or she can live with the issue or concern in the future.
Confidentiality is an important part of the program, and it will be maintained unless a child talks about abuse or plausible threats which, by law, must be reported to the proper authorities.
The service is free for the participant. The program has been funded through a grant provided by the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church, with additional support from Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church of Dolores.
Appointments can be made by calling 882-7780 and leaving call-back information, including name, telephone number and desired appointment time. Appointments will normally be scheduled between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Dolores Methodist Church, 105 N. 8th St., Dolores.