We met the Welsh Government to highlight the important role our members are playing in supporting vulnerable people and communities.

Hadyn Williams, our CEO, and Steve Mulligan, our Four Nations Lead, held discussions with Lynne Neagle MS, the new Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Tracey Breheny, Deputy Director, Mental Health, Substance Misuse and Vulnerable Groups Division at Welsh Government.

Parity for counselling support

The discussions highlighted our members as a key asset in the mental health workforce across a range of areas including in education settings, in local communities through GP and third sector provision.

We made the case for the counselling profession to play an even greater role in helping deliver Programme of Government mental health priorities, in particular to support the recovery from the pandemic and to enhance their proposals to bring together GP services with mental health, therapy,  pharmacy, housing, social care, community and third sector support.

We also discussed the status of counselling within the mental health workforce, and the need to ensure greater parity with other mental health professions, which was understood by the Minister.

We’ve agreed to meet with officials to discuss this further.

We recognised the increased investment in school-based counselling and highlighted concerns from members around short-term contracting and the impact on recruitment, as well as the need to tackle gaps in workforce, particularly around language skills.

We’ve agreed to work with officials to find solutions to these issues.

Working together

Hadyn said: “The meeting provided an important opportunity to restate the critical role that our members are playing across Wales and to make the case to expand the counselling workforce to help deliver the Welsh Government’s important commitment to ‘a no wrong door’ approach to mental health support.

“We look forward to supporting the Minister in her new role and working together to ensure the people of Wales have improved access to life-changing counselling and psychotherapy services.”