BACP works to secure change across the UK through campaigning for improved access to talking therapies. We cannot do this alone, the voice and experiences of our members is also critical to the success of our public affairs work.
Through our various campaigns over the past few years you have helped to influence elected representatives and decision makers such as parliamentarians, committee members and commissioners, enabling a better understanding of the need for, and value of counselling, psychotherapy and therapeutic coaching, with many members signing up to petitions and email campaigns.
Many of our members are already engaged in local and national campaigns, as well as being involved with political parties and interest groups at all levels. Many directly engage with our Policy team, sharing their relevant experience through contributions to our policy briefings, political engagement and consultation responses.
BACP policy team update
Influencing and engagement ideas
Engage with us and our policy work:
- learn more about our policy work and what we are doing to influence decision makers through our website, X, Facebook and LinkedIn
- send us a short case study or example of best practice that highlights the impact your service is having in your local area. Case studies will inform our campaign activity and ability to respond to consultations and committee inquiries.
- attend BACP events - conferences, workshops and staying connected - and speak to members of the Policy team about our work
- complete our Workforce Mapping Survey, available when you renew your membership. This allows us to better represent the strengths of the counselling workforce and services, as well as deepening our understanding of the different challenges facing different sectors of the UK.
- get in touch with us about ideas for policy campaigns or to share issues that are impacting on your service by emailing email@example.com
Engage with elected representatives and decision makers:
- follow and engage with your local representatives on social media
- get in touch with your elected representative, particularly around local elections, via email, letter or post on social media to highlight issues that have an impact on the profession and your local community. This will ensure that counselling remains on the agenda.
- invite your elected representative to your service, in order to see first-hand the positive impacts delivered by counselling and psychotherapy
- post, and share with the Policy team, a short video or blog on your social media platforms showcasing the benefits of counselling and psychotherapy
- respond to relevant government consultations and inquiries and send the Policy team a copy of your response
Our key messages across the Four Nations
How to make an impact when writing to elected representatives
Make it personal
Elected representatives and their researchers have confirmed that an original letter sent by one committed, passionate constituent is far more powerful than a large number of identical letters or postcards.
Make it local
Elected parliamentarians are required to respond to correspondence from local constituents. Producing a letter or email highlighting an issue of local relevance is much more likely to grab the attention than one highlighting general concerns.
To keep your message local, you could focus on how you or your clients have been affected by a local or national issue, and what you would like your elected member to do about it. This way you can bring to their attention the problems you've faced and can encourage them to take action.
Make your representative or candidate an offer
Elected representatives and prospective candidates are often interested in meeting constituents or visiting a local service, group or event. Where appropriate, you could offer them the opportunity to visit your service to meet and hear directly from people with lived experience and those delivering the service.
The Policy team welcomes invitations to join these meetings if you think it appropriate.
Use statistics and figures to support your message
Using relevant and up-to-date facts and figures in your correspondence will strengthen your argument and highlight to your representative the need to take action – the more local the facts, the better!
Who is my elected representative?
You can find out who your MP, MSP, MS or MLA is, and all their contact details (including parliamentary and constituency offices) from the websites below:
- for MPs: findyourmp.parliament.uk
- for MSPs (Scotland): parliament.scot/msps.aspx
- for MSs (Wales): assembly.wales/en/memhome/Pages/memhome.aspx
- for MLAs (Northern Ireland): niassembly.gov.uk/your-mlas
You can find out who your local councillor is by going straight to your Council website. Alternatively, you can use:
- for all UK except Northern Ireland: gov.uk/find-your-local-councillors
- Northern Ireland: nidirect.gov.uk/services/online-register-local-councillors
You can also find, and write to, any of your elected representatives through writetothem.com
You can find out what your MP is saying about mental health and counselling on theyworkforyou.com