2020 has been a particularly challenging year for us and our members. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our lives in many ways, and as an Association we’ve taken significant steps to protect your interests during these difficult times.
As we move into a new year, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of our key successes and statistics from the past 12 months, and to highlight the ways in which we’ve worked with you to provide the best possible experience during what has been a particularly challenging year.
Events and CPD
We’ve worked hard this year to continue to bring value to you in new, exciting and innovative ways. We recognise that many of you need our guidance now more than ever, and that it’s important that we continue to maintain a sense of community and provide you with opportunities for networking and peer support.
In spite of the challenges introduced by COVID-19, our events team has successfully held 94 events in the past 12 months, most of which have been delivered virtually. These were attended – online or in person - by over 16,500 people.
Similarly, we’ve seen a huge annual growth in the popularity of our CPD hub with over 13,000 of you now benefitting from over 250 hours of content, 72 of which have been newly added in the last year.
Our vital campaign work has been more important than ever this year. In July our policy team launched an open-letter campaign to the government on behalf of our members, reiterating the vital role of therapy in supporting the nation through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
This brought over 11,900 signatures to the petition supporting our campaign, and we successfully secured 27 organisational campaign partners.
Similarly, our school counselling campaign webpages – which called for a paid counsellor in every secondary school, academy and FE college in England - have been viewed over 13,000 times, generating nearly 4,200 letters to local MPs calling for support.
We’re absolutely committed to improving the way we communicate with and listen to you in 2021, so that we can offer the best possible experience for all.
During 2020, we’ve sent over 140 emails to our members, and on average every email we send is read by over 50% of you.
Similarly, our reach across social media continues to grow, with our tweets being shown over 3,200,000 times and Facebook posts reaching 1,000,000 in the past 12 months alone. We know social media is an important channel for many of you, and we hope to continue to build on this success in the coming months with several important initiatives.
Our website remains one of our most important points of support for our members, as reflected in over 20,000,000 page views in 2020, with over 630,000 attributed to our award-shortlisted COVID-19 guidance pages and 480,000 to our public support sections. We’re planning to revisit and refresh our website in 2021, so that we can be sure it continues to meet and exceed your evolving needs.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health has received more national media coverage than ever before, with research showing that an increased number of people have struggled with their wellbeing since March.
We’ve seen this reflected in our own media visibility, with us and our members mentioned over 1,200 times in national and regional titles this year. These articles have been seen over 160,000,000 times in total and have delivered the equivalent value of £9,900,000 of media spend.
In 2021 we’re hoping to take our media activity a step further, with a dedicated ‘Counselling changes lives’ campaign designed to champion the profession, highlight the important role of therapy and signpost the public to our members.
During what has been a particularly difficult year for many of our members, our customer services team has been on hand to support at every step, answering in excess of 30,000 calls and responding to over 24,000 emails in past 12 months.
Growing our membership
We’re also very proud to have welcomed many new members in the past 12 months, processing over 8,000 applications and growing our total membership to a little over 56,000.
2020 was a particularly successful year for the Counselling and Psychotherapy Research (CPR) journal.
In the last 12 months articles were downloaded over 120,000 times (an increase of 45% on the previous year), and we received 170 submissions to the journal from a total of 32 countries.
The readership of CPR is also more international than ever before. While 34% are based in the UK, we’ve seen this decrease since 2019 as our international readership increases. We’re very proud to have readers in USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Norway and many more countries.
We’ve also sent over 70 surveys to you in 2020 and received almost 22,000 responses in return - the results of which have been absolutely vital in understanding how we continue to best support you all.
It’s been fantastic to see so many of our members engaging with our research so positively in 2020, and we look forward to bringing you more engaging research content in the coming months.
Our ethics officers have dealt with over 3,000 member queries since the start of the year, and our Ethical Framework and Good Practice in Action resources have been downloaded over 100,000 times.
The Private practice toolkit (launched in June) has been reviewed in excess of 25,000 times, with further improvements to these pages planned in the new year.
Since January, we’ve seen over 2,000,000 visits to our Therapist directory, where members of the public can choose from over 9,000 registered BACP members.
We’ve welcomed over 17,000 new member subscriptions to our free online divisional journals, and these have been viewed over 570,000 times - two and a half times more than 2019.
2020 has been our busiest ever year on our member-only jobs board, advertising over 500 employment opportunities to our members across the UK.
In October 2019 we launched our Therapy Today podcast, which has proved particularly popular with over 10,000 plays and downloads. We hope to continue to build on this early success as we develop the platform throughout 2021.
And in the same month, we partnered with the EBSCO research journal database to bring members access to over 480 psychology journals. Since January of this year, members have used the platform almost 3,800 times, saving an estimated minimum of £140,000 in equivalent journal access fees.
2020 has proven an exceptional challenge for us and so many of our members, but we’ve collectively responded in a way of which we can all be immensely proud.
While we’ll undoubtedly continue to face the consequences of COVID-19 for some time to come, we’re committed to continuing to work with you to offer the best possible support and help you to work through the difficulties ahead.
Thank you to all of you, and we wish you the very best in 2021.