Alumni Counselling company reaches 1,000 session milestone
A local counselling support service run by two former learners at Eastleigh College has recently hit a landmark 1,000 sessions within two years of operating.
Mind.Body.Me is a Community Interest Company designed to bridge the gap between free counselling and private counselling, providing a compromise between long wait times and expensive session fees. It was established in Spring 2020, shortly after Eastleigh College learners Gaynor May and Emma O’Sullivan completed their qualification in Gestalt Counselling. Since then they haven’t looked back and have now conducted a total of 1,068 sessions, supporting 168 people through a range of short-term and long-term services.
Co-founder of Mind.Body.Me Gaynor said: “With the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbating mental health problems for many people, we saw a need to provide affordable and timely support to those in the local area. Our organisation considers the need for individuals to access counselling support for as long as they need to and as a result we have some clients who access our services for as little as 6 weeks and for as long as 8 months.”
A study by Mental Health Charity Mind found that anxiety levels and demand for mental health support has risen nationwide since the onset of the pandemic. Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of Young Minds said: “Our research highlights significant barriers to getting mental health support. Professionals in the NHS, schools and charities deserve enormous credit for the work they have done to improve and adapt services but it is clear that many young people are going without the help they need.”
With the increased demand for strong counselling provisions so evident, Eastleigh College has recognised the importance of ensuring our counselling programs are thorough and engaging in setting learners up for a career in the industry. 75% of our Level 6 graduates achieved a First-Class Honours degree in the past academic year, while our ongoing close partnership with the University of Portsmouth has expanded the facilities, resources and mentors that we can offer learners. With application numbers having doubled over the past academic year, plans are in place to design a Masters degree and provide all relevant staff with BACP accreditation.
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