Care for Carers

4 April 2017

Mental health of counsellors and therapists also demands attention.

A research from the Middlesex University reveals an interesting issue: whereas public awareness around mental health is growing thanks to the efforts of many charities and policies, stigma still exists for those working in mental healthcare themselves. According to Ruth Allen, Chief Executive of the British Association of Social Workers, “it is widely assumed that workers in the sector will be less susceptible to trauma and are somehow desensitised to the emotionally difficult work they carry out”.

“Even when I was working in a psychiatric hospital and suffering from mental health issues, I didn’t feel I could trust my supervisor to get beyond the notion that I was just being ‘a bit anxious’,” a social worker who works in adult and child care told The Guardian. “I was working with suicidal people all day every day, but I was told to be less emotive.”

Other occurrences can also aggravate the issue, such as the increasingly common funding cuts in the NHS, which may disrupt internal support infrastructure and make workers care even more precarious or inviable. According to a survey from the British Psychoanalytic Council and UK Council for Psychotherapy, many therapists feel spent and distressed because of their work, while not receiving adequate supervision and care themselves.