How does this impact on Community Wellbeing? Qualified and trainee counsellors are seeing people turned away by the NHS. Counsellors spend thousands on training and years qualifying and are being expected to volunteer for charities to provide the mental health support that the NHS is failing to do. The Scottish government has a lot to say about companies failing to pay minimum wage or people have to work trial shifts for free or be put on zero hour contracts but see no issue with leaving it up to unpaid individuals to support the NHS and sometimes at a cost. Some counsellors have to pay up to or over £100 a month for travel and supervision, also training on top of that. Some are having to use foodbanks and work other jobs to remain practicing. If they all quit you would have quite a dilemma on your hands. Why should the Committee focus on this as part of their future work? If you care about mental health then put the money in to the needed professionals who are available to do the job but deserve a wage for it.
It raises an important point. There are rules governing what qualifies as volunteering which need to be adhered to. Everybody deserves to be paid for their contribution to society. It is an individuals' right to give time for free if they are in a position to do so but to expect them to do this is immoral.
Because you have a qualified bstchnif counsellors readyvand available. We have paid for our iwn training, training that we completed in our own time. That shows the dedication and commitment counsellors have. We have had personal therapy and continue to do so when we feel the need. Supporting another's mental health is such a challenge and it requires self awareness beyond the obvious, it tequires us to offer a unique relational appriach, not a prescribed format of intervention.
Access to mental health services is increasingly important however I think the 3rd sector has a key role to play and they can often be more responsive and creative than statutory services who can get embroiled in bureaucracy and systems The problem is 3rd sector funding is often tenuous and hand to mouth so recognise the immense contribution of 3rd sector and fund them properly.
Many of the government’s policies are about improving mental health in our society. There seems to be an idea that mass training needs to occur in order to put people into counselling roles. This demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the counselling profession. There are hundreds of qualified Counsellors able to step into roles but unfortunately there are little to no paid posts for us to work in. These leads to us seeking employment in charities (unpaid) or private practice.
Education & awareness. There seems to be an assumption that counselling is provided free by the NHS and so people don’t expect to pay. This is born out through charity provision where it’s free or donation based. People seem unaware of the training and dedication required to be a relational therapist.
There is a mental health crisis, but quite a few qualified therapists who are working for free, and that means that alot of people will drop out of training. We need to be recoconised for the work we do, have done and will do.
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