YMCA Bournemouth counselling service demand doubles over two years

YMCA Bournemouth has reported an all-time high demand for its counselling services as the charity delivered more than 450 sessions in the first quarter of 2023 alone – an increase from 217 sessions during the same period in 2021.

The charity also highlighted anxiety as the most prominent condition for clinical referral to its counselling services. Anxiety accounted for 40% of total referrals in the first quarter of 2023, with depression as the second most common referral condition at 26%.

Amanda Clark, Counselling Lead at YMCA Bournemouth commented: “Ongoing uncertainties, largely driven by the cost-of-living crisis, are feeding levels of anxiety among communities. If someone has a predisposition towards anxiety, an unstable environment makes their thoughts even harder to process and their fears difficult to overcome.

“Anxiety is the manifestation of the avoidance of fear. Fear is often the projected anticipation of a negative outcome. With so much uncertainty in the current climate, anxiety is on the rise. A person’s attempt to alleviate the anxiety only compounds the issue as the outcome remains uncertain.”

YMCA Bournemouth’s counselling services are continuing to expand, with the charity now offering clinical supervision to organisations whose workforce work with vulnerable clients. The new offering adds to YMCA’s existing service which supports its clients, volunteers, and YMCA employees for the past six years. Residents of Bournemouth and the surrounding area can also benefit from a low-cost counselling service, priced at £35 per 50-minute session.

Amanda added: “We believe everyone should be able to access high-quality support, which is why our counselling services are competitively priced and available in various locations around Dorset, virtually, and via phone to suit differing needs. Being accessible is key to encouraging more people to want to make a positive change. The more barriers there are, the more likely they are to compound their challenges and increase their severity.

“Although the increase in demand for our counselling services highlights the sheer volume of people impacted by mental health challenges, it also demonstrates that more people are willing to face those challenges. With many support resources out there, in addition to what we offer at YMCA Bournemouth, I encourage our community to consider the different options available. It’s important people know that support is always available to them, no matter what challenges they may be facing.”

YMCA Bournemouth’s Full Circle counselling service is available for adults, young people, and children (aged 11+) as a weekly face-to-face, online video, or telephone appointment.

More information can be found here: https://www.ymcabournemouth.org.uk/about/full-circle-counselling/

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