In recent years we have seen an increase in the emotional needs families are presenting with, particularly parents who are struggling with stress and anxiety. This is supported by national evidence which suggests that 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.
In the last year, we received 30 referrals from professionals who identified that stress and anxiety were an issue within the family. In addition, the families themselves are emphasising mental health issues as a cause for concern and The Royal College of Psychiatrists suggests that 68% of women and 57% of men with a mental illness are parents. Children are often ashamed of their parent’s illness and worry about becoming ill themselves. They can be preoccupied with fears of ‘catching’ the illness and some children can show signs of a similar illness or severe emotional problems.
In response to this, and as part of our ongoing commitment to improving outcomes for children, we have established a Counselling Service for Home-Start parents. This provides parents with a professionally trained Counsellor to listen and support, to help feel more in control, and to make choices and decisions. This is offered in a safe, confidential place where parents can talk about anything which is painful, confusing or uncomfortable. A trained Counsellor provides 50 minutes, on a weekly basis, to explore difficult thoughts and feelings and enable parents to gain a deeper understanding of themselves. The therapy is offered on an open ended basis, free of charge to ensure accessibility for all families.
If you are parent currently waiting or receiving support from a home-visiting volunteer and you feel that things are difficult and overwhelming, or a situation is hard to cope with and you can’t sort out your thoughts and talk to others, our Counselling Service may be able to help. We provide counselling support to parents with:-
- Relationship issues
- Family and childhood difficulties
- Crisis at times of change
- Work related problems
- Confusion and life choices
Counselling offers time to talk to a professionally trained Counsellor who can listen and offer support. This can help you feel more in control and help you make decisions about your life.
What you need to do
To complete a referral contact the Home-Start Office on 01923 248010
All referrals taken are treated with discretion by all Home-Start staff. Any discussions you have with your Counsellor remain confidential, unless there are concerns about your welfare or the welfare of others.
Your Counsellor works closely with a Supervisor to ensure high standards of care are maintained. They also adhere to the Code of Ethics set by the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy. If your Counsellor feels you need further support from other professionals or agencies, they will discuss this with you.
We are delighted to work in partnership with Signpost Counselling to provide this Counselling Service. Signpost is a locally based charity that provides talking therapy to young people aged11 -25. For more details about Signpost, click here www.signpostcounselling.co.uk
Registered office: Home-Start Watford & Three Rivers, The Xchange, Wilmington Close, Watford, WD18 OFQ
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