Much has changed since we launched our Covid-19 campaign in April, during the early weeks of the pandemic, and there is much to reflect on as we begin to emerge from almost ten weeks of lockdown towards a “new normal”.
For the profession it's been a hugely challenging time and while many of you have successfully navigated to online working, it's been a hugely worrying time for so many members, as referrals have plummeted, and many private practitioners have experienced financial difficulties requiring the need to access the government’s support packages, sometimes without success, despite our best efforts.
We're also aware many of you have faced your own health challenges and bereavement of family members, as well as the challenges of home-schooling.
These challenges continue to affect so many, and it's strengthened our resolve to do everything within our gift as your professional body to support you through this crisis.
As well as the extensive work we've done to help members with the practical realities of ensuring you have the information and resources to help transform your businesses through an enhanced range of online tools and guidance, we've stepped up our policy work to champion the profession with policy makers across each of the four nations.
With our partners, we've also recently strengthened our core campaign asks to reflect the very real challenges which have emerged through the pandemic, and to ensure they support those communities most affected as well as ensuring Government does all it can to support therapists to help tackle the growing demand that will undoubtedly follow the crisis.
We've established a powerful coalition of professional bodies, service providers, trainers and individual therapists to collaborate on a high-profile campaign to maximise the role of counselling and psychotherapy in supporting the nation through the coronavirus crisis.
I would like to thank the many thousands of you that have signed our petition and the 25 partners who have joined us to fight to secure meaningful change.
Through our campaign we've already secured excellent support and buy-in from politicians across the parliaments of the four nations.
Just this week we were invited by the Education Secretary to speak to senior officials in his Department about counselling support for children and young people.
We also met with Labour’s Shadow Mental Health Minister, Rosena Allin-Khan MP, who pledged to champion our campaign asks in her discussions with Government.
We now need you to help further strengthen our hand by taking an active role in the campaign by writing to your Member of Parliament or devolved representatives, using our online letter tool.
We all have our individual story to tell about how the pandemic is impacting mental health and counselling provision locally, adding a personal message will help ensure that MPs understand how this is affecting their communities and gain support and recognition for the role you, as counsellors and psychotherapists, can play in helping the country rebuild.
This small task will have a massive impact on strengthening our voice in our ongoing discussions with Government and the opposition parties.
We hope you’re able to take a few minutes to contact your representative and we remain grateful for your ongoing support.