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Scholarships launched to support a more diverse psychological therapies workforce

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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 : https://myhub.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/Form.aspx?id=1190755

Increased support for school children in Calderdale

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Last year Northpoint was successful in its bid to run a Mental Health Support Team (MHST) to complement its existing children’s services in Calderdale.  We began recruiting during the summer. The team are now all in place and work is well underway.

The MHST provides evidence-based mental health support for children and young people, as well as, support and training to schools to develop their whole-school approach to emotional wellbeing.

The team works with school-aged children and young people experiencing mild to moderate emotional/mental health problems. Referrals are made by trained members of school staff who act as wellbeing leads. They refer directly to Education Mental Health Team practitioners who are based within school. The service has been commissioned by the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group which receives funding from NHS England and the Department of Education.

The team will provide direct, ongoing support to schools around mental health and wellbeing. This will include:

  • providing direct interventions to pupils with mild to moderate mental health conditions, such as anxiety, low mood or behavioural difficulties.
  • where young people require specialist support, making onward referrals for pupils to local services, such as child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
  • providing training, education and advice to school staff to help them better support their pupils around mental and emotional wellbeing.
  • championing mental wellbeing and resilience across the whole school community, providing guidance around issues such as bullying and coping with exam stress.

The MHST programme is part of the Government’s plans for expanding access to mental health care for children and young people, following consultation on its Green Paper Transforming children and young people’s mental health.

The team is managed by Ian Wood, so for more info contact  ian.wood@calderdalemhst.org.uk