Local counselling services have come together to provide specialist bereavement support for families in Bradford district and Craven during the coronavirus pandemic.
The group of organisations, known as the Bradford Counselling Collaborative, have been given funding by NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to help people who are grieving the loss of family or friends, as a result of coronavirus. The service also offers support for other types of loss, such as income or a job.
Professional counsellors from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) will offer grief and loss counselling. Training will also be given to 50 support volunteers to help with signposting and the management of loss.
People who need support will be able to contact a special helpline where they can discuss the help this need. After an assessment they will be put in touch with a support volunteer.
Dr Angela Moulson, GP with special interest in mental health and wellbeing, said: “It is so important that people get the help and support they need for grief and loss. This is especially important during this difficult time when we know that more people and families will be experiencing loss. Whether that is a loved one, the loss of a job or income, or even the loss of freedoms which helped to maintain positive mental health and wellbeing, counselling services are here to help.
“The Bradford Counselling Collaborative is available for everyone who lives in Bradford District and Craven. This includes people of all ages and faiths, who may have different experiences or approaches to grief and loss.”
Jo Holmes, children, young people and families lead at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy said: “The Counselling Collaboration in Bradford is a great example of counselling networks coming together with a shared vision to look at how to best meet the needs of local communities.
“Providing a joined-up approach to plan for the grief and loss experienced by Covid-19 demonstrates a true collaborative approach, ensuring standards and equality of access to much needed community support.”
Pauline Mullarkey at Step 2 children and young people’s counselling service, part of the Bradford Counselling Collaborative, added: “It’s wonderful that the NHS recognises how counselling can support the Covid-19 response.
“This is an exciting opportunity to work in an innovative way with such a diverse, talented group of voluntary and community sector counselling providers who share the same ethos as a collective, with each partner also supporting with our own specialisms.
“This joined-up approach enables us to mobilise quickly and effectively, responding to the needs of local people.”
If you or somebody you know needs to get in touch with the Bradford Counselling Collaborative, call the Mind in Bradford Guide Line service on 01274 594 594.
For information about mental health and wellbeing support and local services, visit the Healthy Minds website: www.healthyminds.services (opens in a new window).