The harrowing news reports about the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing civil war in Syria have resonated with many of us within BACP. In recent years there has been increased recognition of the potential impact of displacement on mental health. The distressing stories and images of the last few weeks have led many of us to reflect on how we can use our unique skills to help those affected by this crisis.

Andrew Reeves, Chair of BACP, says:

“Our profession has a rich history of working with people who have suffered severe loss, displacement and emotional trauma. I’m reminded of the words of Jeffrey Kottler, keynote speaker at the BACP Social Justice conference last November, when he said, ‘There is no work more rewarding and challenging than efforts to reach out to those who are least likely to ever receive help’. As an Association, we value and support the remarkable work our members do to improve the lives of disadvantaged people and communities both in the UK and overseas.

“People in the UK are already making a difference to the lives of those affected by the crisis in Syria by joining the Citizens UK resettlement campaign and allied AVAAZ lobbying campaign. These proactive online communities allow counsellors to join with other volunteers from a wide range of professions. Contributors can donate time and resources through voluntary activities, community work and national action.

“As a BACP member, if you choose to volunteer in this way, you will have access to further specialist resources. These include our Good Practice Resources, specialist advice from our Policy Team on how to effectively lobby your local council or politician, and support with ethical dilemmas from our Ethics Officers.”

Our Media Team promotes the valuable work of our members to the public via the media. If you are involved in voluntary action of the kind we’ve outlined above, and are happy to share your story, please get in touch.