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We support people with experience of homelessness to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

We have three parts to our Health + Wellbeing service:

  • One to one counselling service
  • Psychological wellbeing therapists
  • First steps project

*During restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have adapted our service to deliver our work through phone and video conferencing, and have continued to deliver face-to-face interventions when we are able to do so safely.*

Counselling Service

Our one to one counselling service aims to promote good mental health and wellbeing by providing a high quality service in a confidential and safe setting. The service is free of charge for all or our homeless residents, and we also take referrals from selected external partners including Crisis, St Giles and Thames Reach.

Counselling is based on the building of a close and trusting relationship between the counsellor and the client through regular weekly meetings. These 50 minute meetings are offered on the same day, at the same time and with the same counsellor each week, to ensure consistency for the person receiving the counselling. Counselling can help people to talk about their experiences, make sense of them and provide a space that allows people to express difficult thoughts and feelings, and learn how to manage them in a more constructive way.

Our counsellors do not offer advice or tell clients what to do, nor do they represent or advocate on their client’s behalf to other organisations or individuals. We offer 12 sessions to each client, though they are able to re-refer in the future if they would like to undergo a further course.

Counselling can be useful in helping people to cope with various issues they may be facing, which may include:

  • Mild to moderate depression
  • Anxiety, stress and panic attacks
  • Substance use (alcohol and/or drugs)
  • Anger and irritability
  • Relationship and family difficulties
  • Low self-esteem and confidence issues
  • Loss, bereavement and separation
  • Workplace or educational difficulties
  • Issues around sex, sexuality and gender identity
  • Difficult emotions or memories about past events and experiences

Our counsellors are either qualified or are completing their counselling training and are well-supported in their placement by regular contact with the counselling coordinator, fortnightly clinical supervision and training opportunities. Many of our counsellors work in an ‘integrative’ way – meaning that they can adapt different approaches and methods to suit the different needs of each individual client.

We pride ourselves on being able to deliver a service that is:

  • Geographically accessible to our homeless residents by allocating a counsellor to as many of our accommodation services as we can
  • Flexible to the needs of our client base and understanding that some people need extra support to attend, and multiple tries before they are able to undertake a full course of sessions
  • Rapid in communicating with clients and referrers as there is a single point of contact for the service
  • Long-lasting and has significant impact on our homeless residents, as each person is offered a follow-up after the conclusion of their sessions, and the possibility of re-referral in future

The City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust, has funded this project for 5 years, which includes a Counselling Coordinator post to oversee the work.

Please get in touch if you would like more information about;

  • The benefits of counselling for your clients and how to become an external partner of the service
  • Becoming a volunteer counsellor with our service
  • Supporting us to continue offering this service to homeless people

 

This counselling will help me in the future because I’ve been challenged and I need to start challenging and questioning myself about things.

I need to communicate more, with myself and those around me, instead of letting it bottle up.

Jane, 2020

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