A Red Deer woman wants to help empower children who have alcoholic parents.
Shelley Friss is set to open Lions and Butterflies Support Services Inc. in North Red Deer, which provides one-on-one coaching, “play therapy” and a safe space to children and youths.
“I grew up as the kid of an alcoholic,” said Friss. “My father was an alcoholic and both my grandparents were too … and I never got any help and I never had anyone to talk to.”
Friss said she hopes to acquire enough corporate sponsorships and donations to make services completely free for families. In the meantime, families will have to pay for services.
“Family alcoholism is very seldom talked about,” she said. “The kids are the ones who suffer because they hold it inside. They see, hear and feel things, but they can’t share them.”
Alcoholic parents can impact children in a number of ways, Friss added.
“It leads to anxiety, it leads to health issues, it affects how they trust people, it affects how they build long-lasting relationships, it affects how they look at themselves and the world,” she said.
Lions and Butterflies Support Services Inc. is located above Rob’s Gym (7727 50 Ave.) – children in the program will have access to the gym.
Friss said she wants children to know they aren’t defined by their environment.
“A lot of times these kids don’t know how they’re feeling,” she said. “Part of the program will be about empowering the kids and helping them realize their gifts and talents and what they can offer the world.”
An open house is scheduled Oct. 13.
For more information, visit www.lionsandbutterflies.com.