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Resource: Online and phone counselling during coronavirus

The last few weeks have been hard for many people, but for anyone feeling anxious, stressed or depressed it has probably been very worrying.

We have been talking to the people who use our services about the help they need and how we can best provide it so that they stay as safe and healthy as possible.

Understandably, some people are worried about moving on to phone and video counselling as they are used to meeting face-to-face. We hope the following information will help to answer questions and ease any concerns.

In times like these it’s more important than ever to look after your mental health – please remember you’re not alone and that we’re here to help.

What will it be like?

Our aim is to make your phone or video session as easy as possible.

  • The time and date of your appointment will be confirmed by email
  • Depending on whether you’ve opted for video or phone calls, you’ll be sent an email address, or phone number and PIN for your counsellor
  • When it’s time for your appointment use the link or number provided to contact your counsellor (more information below)
  • You’ll start as you would normally, and they’ll talk to you and support you in the same way as your usual sessions
  • If you decide you would like to change from phone to video calls, or video to phone calls, you can do so at any time, just get in touch

What do I need for a phone call?

If you are having phone appointments you’ll be using your mobile or landline and it’s up to you which you use.

  • If you are using a mobile please try to use a space with good reception
  • When it’s time for your appointment call the phone number we have given you
  • Type in the PIN number to access the secure call
  • Your counsellor will answer and start your session

What do I need for a video call?

We are using Wire for video calls so you will either need a computer with a webcam, or a tablet or smart phone with a camera.

  • We will send you a link to sign up to Wire (it can be accessed through any internet browser)
  • You’ll be given a username for your counsellor.
  • You then just need to make sure you’re online and use the username to send a contact request at the time of your appointment.  Once that’s accepted by the counsellor, you can hit the video call icon to connect with them.

Which is better, phone or video?

It is completely up to you - both are very effective ways to have your counselling.

Phone benefits:

  • You don’t need to be on the internet or have access to a computer
  • You can do your session from a comfortable place of your choice

Video benefits:

  • You might prefer having a visual connection with your counsellor

What space do I need?

We would recommend that you find a quiet, comfortable place in your home, where you are unlikely to be disturbed.

  • Turn off music and the TV
  • Find somewhere to sit where you’ll be comfortable for a while
  • Have a glass of water ready

Do I need headphones?

You may find that headphones help you hear what the counsellor is saying better but you don’t need to use them.

Will it be recorded?

No, nothing will be recorded or kept, apart from the usual notes your counsellor makes.

Will other people be able to hear?

No. All our counsellors will be using private rooms to hold sessions and they have measures in place to ensure your privacy at all times.

The most important thing is that you get help when you need it. We’ll support you as much as we can through the transition to video or phone counselling.

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