Counselling project offers carers emotional support

Last changed: Monday 11 July, 2022

A new counselling project is making a real difference to the lives of unpaid carers in Bradford, Harrogate, Craven and Selby districts.

Carers’ Resource is offering six to eight sessions of face to face, phone or video counselling, with student counsellors, to carers who are registered with the charity.

The project is funded by the Barclays 100×100 UK Covid-19 Community Relief Programme and since its launch in January 2022 has helped 32 carers.

A carer is someone who is looking after – unpaid – a family member, friend or neighbour who, due to disability, physical or mental health condition, illness, frailty, or addiction, cannot cope without their support.

Gurchehn Singh, Counselling Therapeutic Coordinator at Carers’ Resource, said: “If you are a carer struggling with depression, stress, anxiety, self-esteem, anger, relationships, grief, health, or more, counselling can help you explore your feelings around these issues.

“All sessions are confidential allowing carers the opportunity to discuss their personal issues.

“Many unpaid carers are under immense mental strain. In supporting a carer to cope better, we can have a positive impact on their lives, and the person they care for.”

Feedback from carers so far has been very positive. One carer said: “The sessions have allowed me to focus on myself. I am in a much better place and coping well. It’s a fantastic service.”

Another said: “I really felt I could trust my counsellor and felt I wasn’t being judged.”

The student counsellors who deliver the sessions are on placements from Leeds Beckett University and University of Salford, and are working towards their counselling qualifications.

Counselling sessions are offered to carers who are registered with Carers’ Resource and have been referred to the service.

Karen Swainston, Barclays Head of Corporate Relations, Northern Region said: “With the long-term impacts of the crisis still being felt, Barclays continues to play a positive role in society. By working with charities like Carers’ Resource who best understand the needs of their communities in Yorkshire we can ensure help is getting right into the heart of society. We hope that by partnering with incredible local charities up and down the country, we can continue to help people in need as they emerge from the crisis.”

Please call 01274 449 660 or email gsingh@carersresource.org for more information.

Case study

Mandy* was referred to the counselling service due to stress and anxiety. Her husband has had a stroke and has memory issues as well as physical issues.

Mandy was suffering with grief for the loss of the life she knew. She had vivid nightmares, anxiety and low mood. She received eight online counselling sessions with a student counsellor. Through these sessions she developed a better understanding of her experience and realised that it was okay to grieve for things she has lost.

The counselling helped Mandy to realise the benefits of talking about her feelings instead of repressing them. Her sleep improved and she felt less weighed down by her problems.

*The carer’s name has been changed to protect confidentiality.