Low-Cost Counselling: supporting individuals on low income, couples on low income and NHS staff through tailored counselling sessions

Posted 12th of May 2021 by Bay Whitaker

It is estimated that 1 in 4 people will experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in their life, whilst 1 in 6 people report experience of a common mental health problem in any given week. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly contributed to increasing demand for mental health support, as 63% of people report worrying about the future and 56% of people report feeling stressed or anxious as a result of the pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, a study aiming to identify barriers to accessing mental health support among young adults revealed over 66% of participants reported affordability as being a barrier to seeking mental health support. 

Not only has the pandemic resulted in an increase in mental health issues, it could exacerbate the financial implications of accessing mental health support. A recent study considering the correlation between the pandemic and increase in demand for mental health services claims the economic downturn caused by the pandemic will lead to financial insecurity, unemployment and poverty. This could become a factor that hinders access to health services, and is likely to disproportionately affect socially disadvantaged patients. 

At Sheffield Central Counselling, we recognise the need for accessible counselling services. We offer accessible counselling to support individuals and couples on a low income. As of January 2021, the offer expanded to include NHS staff.

Our ‘Low Cost Counselling’ initiative, aimed at individuals and couples on an income of no more than £12,000 per annum, in addition to NHS staff, provides sessions hosted by counsellors in training who are gaining counselling hours towards becoming qualified therapists. The sessions cost £20 for individuals and £30 for couples.

Sheffield Central Counselling’s commitment to supporting, investing in and developing fellow counsellors means the team can make our counselling services more accessible and inclusive for individuals and couples on a low income. We hope this will contribute to breaking down potential barriers to accessing counselling services and reduce the possibility of income acting as a restriction to accessing mental health support. 

Our individual counselling sessions aim to help individuals make positive change in their lives. Taz Pasha, our counsellor in training, provides a safe environment for individuals to discuss their concerns and realise their potential. She applies a Person Centred Approach to her sessions to ensure individuals remain at the core of their therapy sessions. You can find out more about Taz’s experience and journey into counselling here.

Our couples counselling sessions focus on helping couples make positive changes in their relationships. Ellie Pollard, our couples counsellor in training, has experience in peer to peer counselling and domestic abuse charity support, and tailors her approach to her clients. She aims to help couples with improving their communication and supports clients with issues including anxiety, depression and work-related stress. To find out more about Ellie’s experience and how she tailors her sessions, click here.

COVID-19 restrictions have not deterred us from offering our Low-Cost sessions; all counselling sessions can be conducted remotely via telephone or video call, using Zoom or another online video platform, in a capacity that suits the preferences and needs of individual patients and their circumstances.

If Low Cost Counselling is something you are interested in pursuing, either as an individual or a couple, contact 07504492224 or email info@sheffieldcentralcounselling.co.uk to arrange a short telephone assessment. 

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