It’s OK To Say: New counsellors set to meet increased demand for more mental health support

PUBLISHED: 11:00 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:14 03 December 2018

Some of the new graduates from The Counselling Federation.

Some of the new graduates from The Counselling Federation.


With statistics for mental ill-health continuing to rise, so too is the demand for counselling support across the county.

The Herts Ad has been backing anxiety specialist Stacey Turner’s It’s OK To Say campaign, which encourages people of all ages to speak out about mental health concerns before they escalate and obtain the support needed for a healthy and happy life, as well as striving to break down the stigmas surrounding the subject.

The campaign has already won the support of St Albans and District Chamber of Commerce, council mental health champion Cllr Anthony Rowlands, and Radio Verulam presenter Danny Smith.

As part of the initiative, we have linked up with The Counselling Foundation, which focuses on training the next generation of counsellors to support a population increasingly affected by anxiety and depression. Earlier this month the Foundation hosted their annual trainee graduation at Aubrey Park Hotel, Redbourn, where staff celebrated the achievements of 130 trainees, along with family and friends.

The guest speaker at the event was Susan Howard a renowned psychotherapist, clinical psychologist and successful author, whose books ‘Skills in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy’ and ‘Counselling in a Nutshell’ credit the Foundation and are used as a core component on their counselling training course.

Noel Hargrave, head of counselling training and clinical director for The Counselling Foundation said: “Training to become a counsellor is no easy undertaking, it requires commitment, time, personal development, academic ability.

“Trainees studying at the Foundation play a fundamental role in providing counselling support as part of their clinical training.”

He added: “The changing face of mental health services in the UK demonstrates why The Counselling Foundation and organisations like ours are so important. The prevalence of mental health problems is increasing year on year for each mental health condition. There is an enormous need for counselling and psychotherapy.”

It’s OK To Say founder Stacey Turner said: “The Counselling Foundation plays a vital role in our community with their success driven by a team of dedicated experts.

“Inarguably inspired, it made me think I might like to go back and re-train. It’s wonderful to be collaborating and highlighting what help is available, and encouraging more people onto the training to benefit them personally and professionally, as well as supporting the charity. Even when imperfect and often with heartache, everyone has a story.

“With charities like the Counselling Foundation, you can feel supported and more in control of your story. Who knows, you might even begin a new chapter?”

Training the next generation of counsellors begins with the Foundation’s Certificate in Psychodynamic Counselling.

For anyone interested in embarking on a career as a counsellor, the application process for courses opens in spring 2019 for the next academic year which starts in September 2019.

Their 12 hour Introduction to Counselling course runs throughout the year in various locations, open to anyone looking to improve their active listening skills in the workplace or at home.

The Foundation are hosting a free Open Day on Saturday February 2 in St Albans, To find out more information and to register your free space visit

Follow the campaign on social media: Facebook: It’s OK To Say

Instagram: its_ok_to_say

Twitter: @ItsOKToSayUK

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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