Washington Mind offers 1-1 Person Centred Counselling which is a Humanistic Approach, based upon the view that everyone has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change given the right conditions.

We aim to provide quality mental health services in a non-stigmatising environment for adults who are experiencing, or who are at risk of, developing mental ill health and emotional distress.

Adult Counselling Service

1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem each year but too many of us don’t know where to reach out for support, or how to share what we’re going through. In order to support people to access appropriate support at the right time, we work with NHS Sunderland Talking Therapies in order to provide a single point of access for local adult mental health Services. This means that your initial referral and assessment will be through NHS Sunderland Talking Therapies who, after your initial assessment, will look at most appropriate ways forward and how that can be arranged. Should it be most appropriate for you to access counselling with Washington Mind, they will pass your details onto us and we will be in touch with you when an appointment is available.

How do I refer?

You can refer to the single point of access yourself, you do not need to go through your GP or another professional. You can make your initial referral over the telephone by calling NHS Sunderland Talking Therapies on: 01915665454 or via their website’s online referral form here.

What happens after my initial referral?

After you have made your initial referral to NHS Sunderland Talking Therapies, they will arrange for you to have an initial assessment (triage) appointment. If you have made your referral via their website, they will be in touch with you over the phone (sometimes via an unknown number) to arrange this appointment.

What happens at the assessment/triage?

The telephone triage will take approximately 30 minutes. It is important that you are in a quiet and confidential place where you can talk freely.

The therapist will ask you some questions about how you are currently feeling and this will help to work out if NHS Sunderland Talking Therapies is the right service for you and if so which treatment may be most helpful e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Groups or Counselling. They will then refer you to the most appropriate service to support you at this time, this may be with themselves, back to us here at Washington Mind, or to another service.

After the Triage Appointment

​Sunderland Psychological Wellbeing Service follow the ’matched care model’, which means we will offer you an evidence based treatment (as per NICE guidelines) that is recommended for the difficulties you are experiencing.

There are a range of different treatments for people with mild to moderate common mental health problems as described here

They may refer you for counselling – depending on your GP you will see one of our partners

While you are deciding or waiting for an appointment you may want to start looking at what you can do yourself. Click here for a range of self help materials.

If you are referred back to Washington Mind for counselling, you will be placed on our waiting list. While you are on the waiting list we will also give you a call to check your availability and preferences for counselling, during this call we can also provide you with an approximate length of time you may be waiting until your first counselling appointment.

Where counselling takes place

Washington Mind counsellors work in various places in the Washington and Coalfield areas. We try to be as accessible as possible and include venues such as; GP Surgeries, local charities and organisations as well as the Washington Mind office in Columbia. Please note that we are unable to offer home visits.

How Confidential is Counselling?

The content of counselling sessions is confidential unless something is shared with the counsellor that he/she cannot keep confidentiality about. Here are the most usual reasons:

  • Where you give permission to share information
  • Where a practitioner is compelled by a court of law
  • Where the information is of such a gravity that confidentiality cannot be maintained, this includes where:
  • It is felt there is a real possibility of harm to yourself or others
  • In cases of fraud or crime

The counsellor contracts and discusses this conditional confidentiality with you at the first appointment.

Also as all counsellors have a clinical counselling supervision, they share how they work with a counselling supervisor.

Need help now?

If you feel you are struggling while waiting for your appointment and need help immediately then there are services available, such as:

Useful Links

Washington Mind works in partnership with NHS Sunderland Talking Therapies to offer a Single Point of Access to adult mental health services in Sunderland. In order to make a referral, you can do so by yourself on the Sunderland Psychological Wellbeing service here, or by giving them a call on: 01915665454. For young people’s referrals and support, click here to visit our Young People’s Project page.

If you are unsure about any part of this referral process, please give us a call on: 01914178043.

Booking and Cancellation Policy

Whilst there is no payment taken at the time of booking your fully funded space via our online booking system Washington Mind reserves the right to charge a £50.00 fee as agreed with funders for the following:

  • Cancellation of attendance within 0 - 7 days before the training session
  • None attendance on the day of the training session ( DNA)
  • None completion of all sessions that apply to delivery of the course in full.
  • An alternative delegate may be substituted by an organisation without charge for the whole course. Delegates can NOT be substituted partway through the training course.
  • The delegate is aware that Washington Mind’s mental health training programme covers emotive subjects such as suicide, self-harm, death and dying.
  • By submitting the booking form, the delegate agrees to the dates, times and the subsequent charge referenced
  • The delegate must be able to attend the training session in FULL
  • Washington Mind reserve the right to cancel a training session for operational reasons at any time
  • Please contact Washington Mind if you wish to discuss or clarify anything further before making a booking

How we use your information

We take your privacy seriously and promise to never sell your data. You can find out more about your rights, how we use your personal information and how we keep your details safe and secure by reading our Privacy Policy. For more information, to update your choices or to stop us sending you updates contact jemma@washingtonmind.org.uk or 0191 4178043

Data is stored on our secured servers; these systems are only accessible to Washington Mind and authorised third party support personnel. If we retain a hardcopy of your information, it will be kept in a secure place

By opting in to be contacted by email and telephone, you are consenting to Washington Mind contacting you in regards to cancellation of training, feedback on our training or to let you know about any other training opportunities that you may be interested in.

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