Doncaster residents can now access online counselling for mental health issues

A new ‘one stop shop’ for mental health is allowing people in Doncaster to book counselling at the click of a button and find the free mental health services in their area.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 10:08 am

Thanks to the new platform, Doncaster residents can also read expert advice and articles, on The Mind Map’s innovative new mental health platform

The platform is 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 Imperial College London and the NHS.

The Mind Map’s founder Phil Bridges said: “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.

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The Mind Map's founder Phil (centre left) with counsellors Tess, Charlotte and Alan

“With recurring lockdowns restricting people’s ability to receive in person support, we have recruited 20 associate counsellors experienced in delivering therapy online, to deliver across the UK.

“Clients can choose a qualified counsellor by location, gender and specialism.”

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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 said: “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 added: “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 counselor 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.”

Phil continued: “People are understandably anxious at the moment and need increased mental health support. They’re dealing with disrupted education, a depleted jobs market and distance from their friends.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.