Serendipity Counselling York

Serendipity helps individuals, employers and charities access therapeutic services for themselves or those they work with, to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

We believe everyone should have access to counselling when they need it. We aim to offer appointments within a week. We work with a wide and diverse range of clients and issues. Our counselling team have experience in working with children, young people and adults. We also offer relationship counselling.

All our counsellors are members of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). We are work to an ethical framework. We are all supervised and insured.

We work with charities who trust us to deliver the therapeutic work as part of their suicide prevention plans. We support those working on the front line with these clients through clinical supervision to ensure their mental health wellbeing.

Serendipity works to meet the mental health needs within our community.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

Serendipity works with children, adolescents and adults who are experiencing issues that are affecting their mental health. Every week we see over 60 clients at our counselling practice in psychological distress. Often, these are clients who have struggled to access NHS services.

We work with all members of our community through our private work, our affordable counselling offer and through the fully funded charity pathways. Each client is risk assessed to ensure we are the right service for them and we provide onward referrals where the risk threshold is active.

We work with those experiencing suicidal ideation, clients who have come through suicide and those bereaved by suicide.

We attend and contribute to events aimed at promoting suicide prevention. We believe that working in and being seen in the community reduces the stigma and barriers to accessing counselling. We support the York annual Time to Remember Service and deliver talks at our charity partners events on a regular basis.

As the demand for our service grows, so does our practice. We are flexible in our working approach and have excellent links within our community to foster growth.

What are your current priorities?

As a growing practice we focus on meeting the needs of our existing clients and collaborations. Moving forward we recognise the need to review and meet the needs of our collaborations through safer referral processes and risk assessments to ensure the quality of service to all.

As we continue to meet the growing needs of our community through future collaborations, we invite those we work with to contribute to our working policy on Suicide Prevention. We take learning from reports and practice evaluations to ensure best practice for all areas of our work. We are proud of the work we do and by joining the NSPA we aim to embed best practice in our service and our service level agreements.

What challenges are you currently facing?

Our priority is working with clients who are experiencing psychological distress. It can be challenging working with clients who are experiencing suicidal thoughts, and we have a robust safeguarding policy with clear procedures in place. Our team are clear on their roles and responsibilities when working with clients presenting with high risk.

Working with our partners in the community we know the impact on front line workers of the threat of suicide from their clients. Providing a safe, empathic and non judgemental space, we encourage them to learn and grow from their experiences. We continue to work with them to inform best practice. We work in collaboration to support the identification of individuals and groups in high risk categories. We offer advice and guidance on how to manage risk within the groups and how to reduce the impact of risk on both volunteers and other clients. We offer a safe space to charity workers to come together and receive both 1:1 and group supervision through our qualified counsellors and supervisors.

Reducing the stigma in talking about mental health issues and suicide prevention is a key challenge for us and one we continue to work with.