This post is carried over from my collaboration with my 2021-2022 collaboration with Lucy Farr where we provided low cost counselling for NHS workers. If you are an NHS worker seeking counselling or psychotherapy, please contact me here.
Why a new service?
Many NHS trusts provide in-house psychological support for staff. But 2020 has heaped considerable extra stress on NHS workers. This means frontline workers, whether porters, cleaners, therapists, nurses or doctors. And it means scientific staff, technical staff, managers and other roles less visible to the public.
In October 2020, in the wake of the on-going pandemic, the NHS announced an extra £15 million for mental health support for staff. This is also part of the forward plan in Our NHS People Promise.
The NHS provides free staff support, including bereavement support. Charities have stepped up to provide brief counselling. Psychologists and therapists in private practice have also sprung into action to widen the pool of support available. We have heard great stories of how helpful this has been. So why are we offering low cost counselling to NHS workers?
Staff support or counselling?
Ww know that not everyone who wants it is getting the longer term support they need at affordable rates. Also missing is the opportunity to properly work through personal issues that can’t be addressed by employer support or brief therapy.
A particular problem is that clients are reporting that difficulties from earlier in their lives are resurfacing or being triggered by the additional stresses that have faced this year. You would not expect any employer support to be able to systematically address this. That is not its role.
We can’t gauge exactly the unmet need, but we are still receiving enquiries about counselling for NHS workers. Anecdotally, there is still a shortage of affordable counselling lasting longer than 6-10 sessions.
Extended, low-cost counselling for NHS staff
We have therefore decided to provide low-cost counselling for up to 20 sessions for NHS workers. The first 4-5 days after our launch are confirming the need for this. We will review how this works depending on demand.
Counsellors too are impacted by the psychological and financial pressures of the pandemic. Nonetheless, it is part of our social commitment at JuLu Counselling to make some contribution to supporting NHS workers.
Please have a look at our service details [now ended] to see if our services are right for you or someone you know!