An event in Manchester aims to put counselling at the heart of the city’s health and social care strategy.

BACP is working with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP) to bring together counsellors, community organisations and NHS commissioners on Monday, 10 December, to discuss the important role our members can play in improving Greater Manchester’s mental health.

The event – the first of its kind to be held in the city - will put those who commission NHS services in touch with counsellors from across the region who can give a first-hand account of their experiences as well as demonstrate the value of counselling.

It will explore the needs of the area’s population and health services, how counsellors can help, what challenges exist to accessing counselling and how these can be tackled.

Two local headteachers will share their experience of counselling within a school environment, and representatives from several community organisations that offer counselling will also speak.

Target root causes

Greater Manchester’s Health and Social Care Partnership has a £134 million action plan to transform mental health services and target the root causes of mental illness at an earlier stage.

It’s the biggest and most ambitious investment of its kind in the country and forms a central plank of Greater Manchester’s unique devolved health and social care offer.

It is the only metropolitan area in the UK to have control of its own health and social care budget, which allows it to join up services to work better for individuals and communities across its 10 boroughs.

A survey of BACP’s members in Manchester found that three quarters of those who responded had capacity for more client work.

Steve Mulligan, Four Nations Policy and Engagement Lead at BACP, said:

“We want counselling to be plugged into the heart of Greater Manchester’s health care strategy. This is a great chance to work with the partnership and our members to better connect the people who need counselling with the counsellors on the ground who can provide a wider range of therapies.

Create opportunities

“We hope it will help break down barriers and create opportunities so that counselling can be a force for good for all ages in the region. Working together with organisations in the region makes us all stronger, including our members.”

The event will be introduced and concluded by BACP Chair Andrew Reeves and Sandy Bering, Strategic Lead Clinical Commissioner, Mental Health & Disabilities at GMHSCP.

Sandy said:

“We welcome the opportunity to work with BACP and its members to ensure Greater Manchester is effectively utilising the counselling services available across our ten localities.

"The joint event with BACP will allow us to identify potential areas of collaborative working, which is at the heart of the philosophy espoused by the Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership."

Read more about our work with GMHSCP.