A four nations approach is at the heart of our work. We aim to understand the needs of our members in each nations and reflect these in the services we offer and in our work to promote the counselling profession to decision makers.
We're working with key partners, including the Northern Ireland Counselling Forum, to improve the standing of counselling in the province, particularly in the civil service and health boards.
Together, we're undertaking a project to enhance the evidence base for counselling which we hope will improve our ability to fight for increased support and resources.
In 2019, we'll be holding our flagship Research Conference in the province for the first time, in partnership with the University of Ulster and others.
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Our focus in Wales is working with the Welsh Government to shape the delayed implementation of the changes to the Mental Health Measure following the duty to review. We work through the All Party Group on Mental Health to hold the Government to account and secure positive change.
We're also continuing to make the case for Talking Therapies, building on We Need To Talk Wales initiative. And we're exploring opportunities for lobbying on families, adverse childhood experiences (ACE policy) and older people agendas.
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We were the first organisation to meet the Mental Health Minister after publication of the Ten Year Mental Health Strategy. We're building on this relationship, and actively working across all political parties to secure positive change for our members in Scotland.
We're members of Holyrood's cross party mental health groups and sit on the SIGN Council and its advisory forum.
2018 is the Year of the Young Person, offering an important focal point to influence Scottish government and secure change. We're making a big push on school-based counselling and improved counselling across college settings.
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In England, we're working with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP) to help shape the delivery of the new Greater Manchester mental health strategy, a key element of the area's ground-breaking devolved health and social care model.
We're also engaging with London’s Mayor and London Assembly members to ensure counselling is reflected in the capital’s mental health policies.
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Updates - June 2013
Sharing the benefits of school-based counselling
In May, we took representatives from the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) to Northern Ireland to see how they've successfully applied school-based counselling.
Familyworks, the main provider of Northern Ireland’s school counselling programme, told us about their success and the obstacles they’ve overcome. Along with SAMH, we’ll use this learning to develop a more informed dialogue with the Scottish Government.
Northern Ireland Counselling Forum (NICF) Conference
We were pleased to speak at the NICF Conference in May, which opened with an inspirational keynote from NICF’s Patron, Baroness May Blood. Steve Mulligan, Four Nations Policy and Engagement Lead, spoke about the importance of our relationship with NICF and how we can campaign together for better recognition of the critical role counselling plays in Northern Ireland.