We’ve written to Nadine Dorries MP, the Minister for Mental Health, highlighting our campaign urging the Government to maximise the role of counselling and psychotherapy in supporting the nation through the coronavirus crisis.

Ms Dorries was the first MP to be diagnosed with Covid-19 and has since recovered and returned to her post in Cabinet.

And she has spoken about the psychological impact being told she had Covid-19 had on her.

Anxious and scared

She said: “When I discovered I had coronavirus I felt anxious and scared. For those who already suffer with anxiety or other mental health issues this may present new and difficult challenges.

“It’s imperative that we stay home if we are to beat coronavirus and save lives. I know how important it is that people have support to look after their mental health and this guidance will be of huge value.”

We’ve written to Ms Dorries to impress the critical role that counsellors and psychotherapists need to play in helping to support people through the crisis, and afterwards as part of the rebuilding efforts.

Martin Bell, our Deputy Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said: “This is an unprecedented health and economic crisis that threatens to affect the mental health of many people.


“We were pleased to see the Minister recognise the significant impact on people’s mental health of the coronavirus and the recent additional measures to support people to look after their mental wellbeing. 

“As the crisis grows, the need for therapeutic support will only increase in the shorter term with the mental health impact of illness and bereavement; isolation and insecurity; and changing work and family circumstances.

“And, in the longer term, professional therapists will be vital in rebuilding the fabric of the nation and helping people to return to normality.”

Our campaign was launched last week with UKCP and BPC and has received more than 5,000 signatures.

Several professional bodies and membership groups including the National Counselling Society (NCS), Cosca and Northern Ireland Counselling Forum, as well as the Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in the National Health Service (APP), WPF Therapy, the PPR, Tavistock Relationships, the Association of Christian Counsellors and Association of Child Psychotherapists have also added their voices.

It calls on the Government to adopt three new policy proposals: 

  • Working with us to ensure there is a workforce to deliver a comprehensive mental health response to the crisis.
  • Tackling labour market barriers.
  • Signposting the public to the very best mental health support.

How you can help

We’re encouraging all counsellors, service providers, third sector partners and members of the public to show support by signing our letter as well as sharing with colleagues, employers, family members and friends.

We hope this will encourage all the Governments across the UK to help maximise the role of counselling and psychotherapy in helping tackle the growing mental health needs and to help the nation respond through this challenging crisis.

Sign our petition calling on Government to maximise the role of counselling and psychotherapy in helping to support people through the current crisis and beyond.