A Time for Counsellors

The Covid pandemic was unique for counsellors in our shared lived history.  There has been no other event that has been so bluntly experienced by almost every human alive. The shared trauma of our experiences is something that will leave its mark for years if not decades to come.

But for the children and young people of 2020, the coming of Covid was something worse.  While for most adults these years were an anomaly in the larger span of our lives, for children they became normality.  Masks on faces, social distancing rules and lockdowns trapped at home became life as they knew it. In this way, without a better frame of reference for what normal looked like, in many ways the pandemic was more damaging for children.

Now that the world has almost completely opened up again, the scars of this terrible time need tending to.  And for the children of the pandemic, these scars run deep.  Years of education, growth and personal development have been stunted and even lost in the battle against the virus.

Picking up the Pieces

Mental health in general has been a growing sector of concern for healthcare professionals.  For children and young people, the issue had been acute even before the arrival of Covid 19 in our societies.  Unsurprisingly the pandemic was little help in this regard.  The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) published research that found up to 1 in 6 children were suffering from some form of mental health problem in 2021, an increase from 1 in 9 in pre-pandemic 2017.

This isn’t helped by a lack of mental health professionals in general.  The British Medical Association (BMA) reported in 2020 that the number of people seeking help for mental health problems had grown by 21% since 2016.  At the time, the number of trained specialists in the field had not grown appreciably over the previous decade.

In short, there has been a growing need for mental health services without a commensurate increase in the specialists needed to deal with it.

A Call for Counsellors. 

Many different healthcare professionals will be needed to meet the challenges of a traumatised population recovering from the Pandemic.  This includes psychiatrists and specialist nurses in other roles.  Of particular note is a greater need for counsellors.

As with many other forms of medical care, taking care of a problem when it is minor can stop it from degrading into a major issue.  In this way, Counsellors are a valuable part of the greater health system. They help their clients to grasp the difficulties in their lives before they become unmanageable.  Such help may prevent the need for need specialist intervention.

All sorts of counsellors will be needed in the future.  From those with a specialization in youth care to others who can help their clients overcome anger issues.   It is a role especially suited to older candidates who can bring the great benefit of their lifetimes of experience and the wisdom gained in advising their clients.




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