COVID-19 wellbeing counselling service launched for Birmingham’s LGBT+ community
A new counselling service for LGBTQ+ people has been launched in the city to help individuals with their mental health and wellbeing during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The service aims to offer free counselling assistance to people who have or are suffering from difficulties around mental health, isolation and financial hardship.
The Birmingham LGBT Centre has announced the new free therapeutic counselling service, adding it to its range of wellbeing and sexual health services, as part of the recovery from the effects of COVID-19.
The centre already offers counselling services for members of the trans community which launched in late 2019, and these new funds – provided by Comic Relief’s COVID-19 recovery fund – will enable the organisation to offer counselling to all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Enabling the charity to offer free counselling sessions for six months to support people during the recovery from the current coronavirus pandemic, the organisation is thrilled to be able to offer this new service, particularly in the light of the impact that COVID-19 has had on the mental health of the LGBT community.
Isolation, financial hardship and a lack of family support are just a few of the many issues impacting the community, many of whom relied on community groups the LGBT centre and the bars and clubs in Birmingham’s Gay Village to provide much needed social activity.
Steph Keeble, Director of Birmingham LGBT said, “I am delighted that Comic Relief have decided to support this application which will enable us to offer free therapeutic counselling to members of the LGBT community for the next 6 months, many of whom have experienced poor mental health and isolation as a result of the pandemic.”
The centre has two fully qualified and BACP registered counsellors available, who will be offering person-centred LGBT affirmative therapy. Due to the current situation with COVID-19, Birmingham LGBT is not open to the public, however appointments are being held online via Zoom, Skype, or telephone.
As well as enabling the organisation to offer the counselling services over the next 6 months, the fresh funding will also contribute towards essential core costs of running and staffing the centre.
Like all charities, Birmingham LGBT has been hit hard by the pandemic, losing income from training, room hire and events, and is welcoming donations to the centre and the valuable work it does for the LGBT community.
Birmingham LGBT, based in Holloway Circus, serves a diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community in the city, helping individuals can realise their full potential and have equal access to what the city has to offer.
The registered charity’s objectives are “to raise awareness of the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people in Birmingham and beyond, to advocate for their needs to the wider community and to promote opportunities to LGBT people in Birmingham and beyond to enable them to fully participate in the lives of their community.”