Background
In the early 1970's many ideas abounded as to what was most needed to assist the community's social, welfare and mental health needs.  Under the able leadership of Douglas Olsen (the then Rector of Gore High School) a "Ways and means Committee" was elected to collate the community's proposals and explore the needs objectively.  Following extensive investigations this committee reported back that the Eastern Southland/West Otago area could benefit immensely from an organisation which could provide counselling and mental health promoting educational facilities, as well as a referral centre to services already available within the community.  So it was that Donald Fergus, a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor, was appointed the first Director of the Centre and the doors were opened in January 1977.
In 1986 the Counselling Centre Executive, with strong community backing, began moves to establish an alcohol treatment and educational programme in the community.  The Centre gained HEALTHMARK accreditation in Alcohol and Other Drugs assessment and counselling.
In 1989 in response to an identified need, a request from the Accident Compensation Corporation, an ACC counsellor was appointed to the Centre.
  Focus
Since the 1990's the centre has been recognised throughout Southland as a creative mental health service.  More recently the Counselling Centre introduced alcohol and other drug education groups as well as working collaboratively with other agencies regarding domestic violence, alcohol & other drug treatment and parenting education programmes.
The Centre is located in an attractive heritage home at Traford Street. The building, formerly a residence, provides a pleasant, welcoming environment to explore and learn about self and others.