We’ve launched an advertising campaign in GPs surgeries across the country to highlight how counselling changes lives and to direct people looking for counsellors to our members.

The campaign features leaflets and posters in 3,000 practices,  which can be picked up by patients and anyone else visiting surgeries between now and November.

Our leaflets introduce what counselling is, what a counsellor can help with and how to access counselling.

They also explain the importance of choosing a counsellor who is listed on a Professional Standards Authority accredited register – such as BACP’s – and link to a dedicated Change your life page on our website.

It’s part of our national Counselling changes lives campaign that focuses on raising awareness of BACP, promoting the role of counselling and psychotherapy and directing the public to our members for support.

Adam Pollard, our Head of Marketing and Engagement, said: “We’re excited to launch this campaign and believe it’s an important step in our continued push to ensure members of the public are aware of counselling, how it can help them and how to access a registered, BACP therapist.

“As GPs surgeries’ receptions begin opening their doors to more patients following COVID-19 restrictions, we think this is an important space in which to feature.  Our 2021 Public Perception survey carried out by YouGov found that 50% of people who had seen a counsellor or psychotherapist were referred by their GP.

“We hope these posters and leaflets will catch the eye of patients and their loved ones in GP surgeries who may be struggling with their mental health and not sure what to do, or who are considering accessing counselling.

Counselling changes lives  Find a counsellor who can help change your life  www.bacp.co.uk/changeyourlife  What is counselling? Counselling provides a safe, non-judgmental and confidential space for you to talk to a trained professional about your issues and concerns.  Your counsellor will help you explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours so you can develop a better understanding of yourself and of others. They will help you find your own solutions – whether that’s making effective changes in your life or finding ways of coping with your problems.  What counselling can help with People often choose to have counselling because they are experiencing difficulties and distress in their lives.  Counselling can help with a range of issues, including dealing with depression and anxiety, coping with traumatic experiences, and managing harmful emotions and behaviours. A counsellor can support you if the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected your mental health and wellbeing. You don’t have to be in crisis to seek counselling.  How to access therapy You may be able to see a counsellor for free through the NHS, from where you work or study, or through charities and voluntary services.  Or you can pay to see a private BACP counsellor. This gives you a wider choice and you may be able to see someone quicker.  Why choose a BACP member? Anyone can call themselves a counsellor or psychotherapist, so it’s important you choose a therapist who’s listed on a Professional Standards Authority-accredited register – such as the BACP register. Choosing a BACP-registered counsellor gives you an assurance that they meet the standards of proficiency, training and ethical practice you would expect.  Find a counsellor who can help change your life

“We want them to know that we have tens of thousands of qualified and experienced members working in a variety of settings – including the third sector, workplaces, employee assistance programmes and in private practice – who can support people with their mental health and wellbeing.

“We’re so pleased to be able to champion our members through this exciting campaign.”

Our ongoing Counselling changes lives campaign also includes our work with a PR agency to increase national and regional media coverage of BACP and our members and to ensure counselling and psychotherapy has a bigger role in the mental health media conversation.

We’ve secured a range of TV, radio and press coverage in the past few months and most recently saw our staff and members give a series of national and local radio interviews talking about our Mindometer report, which was released on 16 June.

This campaign is part of our body of work towards Goal 5 of our 2019 to 2022 strategy that states: “We will champion the skills, competence and contribution of our members to the public, employers, commissioners and policy-makers.”

We’ll be sharing more news on the success of our campaign so far in future updates.