Thankfully mental health is coming more and more to the forefront of our news and the stigma around it is slowly disappearing. I think this is vital in today's world. Growing up is so hard that young people, and even us adults, need all of the support we can get.
I have a number of years of experience working with children and young people. Through Kids Company I was afforded the opportunity to offer a counselling service to children in Primary Schools across economically deprived areas of London. I was able to use art, play and creativity as my medium, as though some clients are able to find their voice using words, others prefer to express themselves through painting, clay or role play.
In a secondary school in Buckinghamshire I was able to create a therapeutic suite of support services made available to over 2000 students and 400 staff. This allowed a seamless referral process so no one fell through the gaps and students and staff could refer themselves for counselling support. This made the service much more confidential, and, in turn, more accessible and well utilised. Following a comprehensive initial assessment, I offer 1:1 counselling provision, group workshops looking at building self esteem and controlling anger, online and text counselling support, as well as family support; depending on the needs of the young person. The structured assessment sessions introduced enable both short and long term therapy to be accessed.
I also employed a number of counsellors on their clinical placements to work with young people with lower level needs, thus enabling support to be offered in a much shorter time frame. I have worked alongside the Child and Adolescent Mental Health team (CAMHs) so if a young person doesn't meet their criteria or they are on a lengthy waiting list I have been able to offer crucial support in the interim. This can stop a young person spiralling downwards by letting them know someone is there to listen when they need it most or it can potentially stop them from needing an intervention from CAMHs entirely.
I have a BACP certified diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of East London. This follows on from my BSc Hons in Psychology from the University of Greenwich. I am registered with both the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and the BPS (British Psychological Society). In my work as a counsellor I work in accordance with the BACP ethical guidelines.