This week, BACP held a successful visit to Belfast to engage with BACP members as well as a number of our key partners in Northern Ireland to strengthen our focus and approach.

In particular, we were pleased to meet a delegation of BACP members from the Northern Ireland Counselling Forum, where we discussed the key workforce challenges facing the sector and our members in Northern Ireland. We have identified a number of areas of proactive joint working that we intend to focus on that seek to improve knowledge of the positive impact of counselling with both funders and decision makers.

The visit was also an excellent opportunity to strengthen relationships with some of our key partners. We held very productive discussions with representatives of Ulster University, where we have identified a number of opportunities for collaboration that we will be develop together. We met with MindWise, Northern Ireland’s leading mental health charity, where we discussed supporting their important work with the All Party Working Group on Mental Health in Stormont, as well as committing to undertake wider cross promotional activity.

BACP was also pleased to meet representatives of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY), where we talked through how we can support their welcomed review of mental health services for children and young people in Northern Ireland.

Steve Mulligan, Policy and Engagement Lead, Four Nations said: “Our visit to Belfast provided BACP with a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our partnerships and approach in Northern Ireland. We particularly welcomed the opportunity to listen to the concerns of our members and to identify opportunities to work together to secure positive change.”