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Associate feature: Online therapy lifeline for social care sector

Associate feature: Online therapy lifeline for social care sector

Alex Cochrane, MBACP Humanistic PCT Therapist, on finding new ways of working

I’ve been supporting people with complex needs, as a community justice mentor and counsellor, for over six years. Through my professional and personal journey, I’ve come to believe that if you get support in addressing the past you are more likely to lead a productive life by taking personal responsibility. The COVID-19 crisis means we’re living through a time where the future is uncertain, and for many in the social care system, traditional coping mechanisms may not be available or right for them at this time.

We’re seeing the impact of social isolation, changes in accessing statutory support services and loss of existing social structures in increasing drug use, drug over doses, suicides, self-medication and domestic abuse.

So, we created ReConnect CBT.

Funded by the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund, Re-Connect CBT is a programme of online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) sessions designed with people in the social care system in mind.

Using video/audio conferencing technology, we’ll provide a self-care toolkit to minimise escalation of mental ill health, improve wellbeing and reduce the impact of isolation resulting from the pandemic.

We will deliver five courses on a rolling programme for 12 weeks, covering anger, anxiety, depression, loss and domestic abuse. Our sessions are free and, with immediate access, will offer a lifeline to many as they navigate a changed society.

We wanted to make sure we support our social workers too, complementing the vital work they do at a time when face-to-face contact is not always possible.

Lockdown has shown that some prefer online and telephone support. Previous barriers like finding money to travel or territorial issues are no longer a problem and a number of people said they felt less anxious than in face to face work.

The Wise Group is uniquely placed to deliver this service, having supported people across Scotland with employment support, energy advice and person centred mentoring in community justice for over 30 years.

Find out more at www.thewisegroup.co.uk/re-connectCBT

This piece was sponsored by the Wise Group

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Society & Welfare

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