New partnership champions counselling for bereaved people

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and Cruse Bereavement Care (Cruse) have formed a strategic partnership to promote the benefits of counselling for people who struggle to cope following the death of someone close to them.

The two organisations, inspired by a shared commitment to social justice, aim to improve access to quality counselling for bereaved people by raising standards and improving service delivery nationwide.

Debbie Kerslake, Chief Executive of Cruse, said, “Bereavement is the most common devastating experience anyone is ever likely to face in their lives. The death of someone close can have a profound impact on physical and mental health and yet far too often this fails to be recognised and people are left isolated and unsupported. Cruse and BACP share values and a strong commitment to ensuring access to the highest quality of care and support whenever and wherever that support is needed. 

“We believe that by bringing our understanding, knowledge and skills together we can enhance our capability to achieve shared interests including enhancing our influence. We look forward to working together to driving forward the rights of bereaved children, young people and adults, improving their access to those with counselling skills and setting standards so that all those delivering this support have the appropriate training and skills to practice.”   

A key aim of the new partnership is to align training and standards across the two organisations and to promote these standards to practitioners, employers and the public through joint campaigning. One element of this vital project will be the creation of resources and CPD to support counsellors and counselling skills users who work with bereaved people.

Dr Hadyn Williams, Chief Executive of BACP, said, “This pioneering collaboration will allow us to better promote the positive impact that counselling can have on the lives of those who have lost someone close to them and need extra support. As well as leading to a better understanding of how counselling can help, it will improve access to counselling for those who need it. In addition, the more consistent standards of practice we plan to introduce will give people confidence that the counselling professional they talk to has the training, skills and experience to be able to help them.

“Our partnership with Cruse has particular resonance for us at BACP because it also underlines our commitment to improving access to counselling for older people. Our research suggests that, while older people can benefit greatly from counselling and are eager to do so, they often find accessing counselling difficult. Alongside the broader benefits of our partnership with Cruse, this is a specific concern we hope to be able to address.”