Equality, diversity & inclusion

Scholarships launched to support a more diverse psychological therapies workforce

By Equality, diversity & inclusion

Leeds Beckett University has partnered with local mental health charity, Northpoint Wellbeing, to support Black, Asian and other people of colour who are traditionally under-represented in the counselling and mental health professions.

The partnership will help candidates to become qualified therapeutic counsellors by offering a number of fee scholarships for the MA Integrative Counselling course.

In addition, Northpoint will provide additional mentorship for scholarship-holders to help with completion of the course and provide Student Membership of the Black African and Asian Therapy Network.

Maryam Riaz, Leeds Beckett University Lecturer for Counselling and Mental Health courses, said: “My personal experience of being the only person of colour as a trainee counsellor and subsequently working as a BAME practising counsellor highlighted the lack of qualified practising counsellors in the counselling and psychotherapy profession.”

“My journey has shown that lack of representation can be a barrier for people of a BAME background to access and gain the appropriate mental health support they need. Not accessing these services adds to disparities in the quality of counselling and psychotherapy care BAME communities receive. Therefore, this Northpoint partnership is timely and vital to provide opportunities for Black, Asian and other people of colour to train as practising therapeutic counsellor.”

“This opportunity brings hope and inspires to bridge the gap of inequality in counselling and psychotherapy services. I have faith this innovative project will develop the counselling and mental health care services for BAME communities and inspire a new generation of practising therapeutic counsellors.”

Andy Ward, Senior Operations Manager at Northpoint Wellbeing Limited said: “Northpoint wishes to encourage a more diverse therapy workforce and we are aware of challenges that Black, Asian and other people of colour can face accessing training to become qualified practising therapeutic counsellors and as such remain traditionally under-represented in the counselling and mental health professions.

“Northpoint acknowledges there are various ways in which diversity can be widened, and that this scholarship offered jointly with Leeds Beckett University is just one small way in which we are trying to redress the balance and are committed to doing so in a number of other areas in consultation with our employees and other stakeholders.”

The fund opened on 1 May 2021 and applications must be submitted and completed before 30 July 2021. To find out how to apply, please visit :