People and organisations can now book online counselling, mental health first aid training, find free mental health services, and read expert advice and articles, on The Mind Map’s innovative new mental health platform.
It’s the result of a groundbreaking research project carried out between The Mind Map and leading organisations with mental health at the centre of their agenda, with contributions from Liverpool John Moores University, Imperial College London, and the NHS.
Founder Phil Bridges, a lecturer in mental health innovation and mental health first aid instructor says: ‘Our research uncovered that people don’t feel they have access to the support they need, in a format that is accessible and relevant to their everyday lives. This was certainly the case for me personally when trying to find help for my anxiety and OCD.
‘With recurring lockdowns restricting people’s ability to receive in-person support, we have recruited 20 associate counsellors experienced in delivering therapy online. Clients can choose a qualified counsellor by location, gender, and specialism. We have sessions people can purchase, plus we are providing free counselling to healthcare workers and unemployed people in Liverpool’s L8 area.’
Smita Melling, HCPC, BACP, MSc, MBA, MBPsS, a counselling psychologist at The Mind Map, has been practicing for 17 years and sees the pandemic as a serious threat to people’s mental health.
She says: ‘Unfortunately, anxiety has been through the roof since March. It’s like peeling an onion, you start with pandemic-induced anxiety – exacerbated by working from home and loneliness – and often find deeper-lying issues such as thinking errors.’
On The Mind Map’s new intervention, Smita says: ‘It can take an awful lot for a client to seek help and if they have to wait, it adds insult to injury. The Mind Map bridges the gap between counsellor and client, allowing them to find help immediately.
‘I decided to join The Mind Map as being paired with clients means I get to concentrate on delivery, as opposed to the business side – an achilles heel for many counsellors.’
In addition to offering tangible mental health support, the platform helps normalise mental health through engaging advice and articles from academic experts, writers, and public figures.
Browsing the immersive journal section leads you to international musicians and premier league footballers, talking about everything from anxiety to grief and how they have dealt with their respective life challenges and mental health issues.
This creates dialogue, reduces stigma and helps put mental health front-and-centre as an important issue to the young adults of the UK and their welfare.
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