This document sets out our role and includes some important information about when and how we are able to assist you. Please read this carefully and ensure you keep a copy on hand so that you can refer back to it if needed.

EHMF Only Provides Funding for Counselling
We only provide funding for counselling sessions with approved counsellors listed on our website. They are independent professionals, and EHMF does not provide any counselling itself.

All independent counsellors listed on our website are local members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapists (BACP), or National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS). The counselling contract is therefore with your counsellor directly.

Counsellors on our website accept funding from us and in return provide counselling sessions. These sessions are subject to funds being available, and available only if applied for using the referral form on our website. We cannot guarantee that the counsellors on our website can provide support for every issue.

We cannot fund referrals to specialist counselling, and we currently fund young people between 13-18 years old living in Gravesham or attending a school in Gravesham.

How Counselling Sessions Take Place
Once funding is confirmed and contact has been established with the counsellor, it will be agreed whether your sessions will take place online, by telephone or face-to-face.

The first session will be an assessment and, on the condition, counselling goes ahead the counsellor will request funding from EHMF for up to 6 sessions. If the counsellor believes you would benefit from more support, EHMF may decide to extend your funding for up to another 6 sessions (a maximum of 12 sessions in total).

Counselling sessions run for fifty (50) minutes and take place at a mutually agreed time with the counsellor.  The counsellor will need confirmation of attendance at least 24 hours before each session takes place.

If running late for a session, please contact the counsellor (by phone, WhatsApp, text or email) to let them know. Unfortunately, because they may have other sessions scheduled, there will be no extension and the session will end at the usual time.

Cancellations
If any two confirmed sessions are missed without letting the counsellor know, or without giving the counsellor at least 24 hours’ notice, funding will be revoked and all sessions cancelled.

You can appeal to us at support@ehmf.org.uk or re-apply via the website after a 3 month wait.

Confidentiality and Safeguarding
In certain circumstances, the counsellor may not need to speak to a legal guardian to gain consent for sessions. The counsellor can explain this more during the first session.

As a general rule, the counsellor will not share what is said in counselling sessions with anyone else.  However, it is important to understand that in certain circumstances, confidentiality may need to be broken. Exceptions would include:

  1. disclosure of abuse or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult that is currently at risk, or
  2. disclosure of serious danger to yourself or someone else, or
  3. a legal obligation to disclose (e.g. court subpoena, inferring of involvement in or knowledge of an act of terrorism or of money laundering, drugs trafficking or the knowledge for reasons of public interest of the area of public health).

The counsellor will try to make it known before making any report unless they believe this could increase risk. Concerns could be brought to either carers or other adults, such as the Police or Social Services. The counsellor will have a duty to put safety and wellbeing, and public safety, above any other concern.

The counsellor will try to make it known before making any report unless they believe this could increase risk. Concerns could be brought to either carers or other adults, such as the Police or Social Services. The counsellor will have a duty to put safety and wellbeing, and public safety, above any other concern.

Counsellor Supervision
As part of their qualifications, the counsellor must attend regular supervision to make sure they have a chance to reflect, learn and work to the best of their abilities, for the benefit of their clients. Any mention of their clients will be done respectfully and anonymously, so that privacy is protected.

Ethical Practice
All counsellors we work with are members of BACP or NCPS and work within their Code of Ethics. This is to ensure a professional service, also it means that they are held accountable and must work within their guidelines. The BACP have their own complaints procedure which can be found on the BACP website at: www.bacp.co.uk.  The NCPS have their own complaints procedure which can be found on the NCPS website at www.ncps.org.

Contact Between Sessions
The counsellor will not have any contact outside of scheduled sessions, other than confirmation of attendance or any change in time or date for sessions. This includes not accepting friend requests on social media, as a way of protecting privacy. The counsellor will discuss what happens if you meet in person outside of your sessions, and they will respect your wishes.

Urgent Help
Counselling is not an emergency service. If you need to speak to someone urgently, please reach out to someone who is able to help, such as:

  1. ChildLine (for under 19’s) on 0800 1111 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
  2. Samaritans, on 116 123 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
  3. Hopeline UK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org (24 hours, 7 days a week)

These are free to contact and you can even contact them if you don’t have credit on your phone.  These organisations are able to deal with urgent situations, which a counsellor cannot do.

Termination of Sessions (Ending Sessions)
When ready to end counselling sessions please let the counsellor know as soon as possible.  They can talk through any unexpected feelings that may come up. If the counsellor has to stop providing their services, EHMF will re-allocate an alternative counsellor subject to EHMF funding requirements.

Complaints
If you have concerns about therapy, please try speaking to the counsellor first to try to sort out the issue directly with them. If you are not happy with the response you get, you can reach out to their governing body, BACP or NCPS and tell them how you have tried to resolve the issue, or explain why this has not been possible, when you make your complaint.

Feedback
After counselling has ended you will be asked for feedback on your counselling experience. If we ask you for a testimonial for marketing purposes, your personal identity will be anonymised and your identity will not be revealed.