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Kernos Centre in Sudbury seeking new counsellors as referrals waiting list swells due to rising demand caused by pressures of Covid-19 pandemic

Mental health counselling demand is continuing to soar, due to the pressures of Covid-19, with a Sudbury charity seeking additional help to cope with the ever-growing number of referrals.

The Kernos Centre, which currently provides between 70 and 80 counselling sessions each week, confirmed its waiting list has now climbed above 60 people.

In additional to referrals by families, schools, GPs, social services and children’s centres, the organisation says it has also seen an increase in serious cases referred by the Integrated Delivery Team (IDT), which co-ordinates mental health services in the region.

Counsellor Stacey Cole and admin volunteer Janet Crawley outside the Kernos Centre in Friars Street, Sudbury.
Counsellor Stacey Cole and admin volunteer Janet Crawley outside the Kernos Centre in Friars Street, Sudbury.

To help meet this rising need, a new fully-qualified counsellor, experienced in working with children and young people, is being sought to join the Kernos counselling team.

The charity is also looking to recruit either a part-time or experienced fundraiser, to help with grant applications and raising funds in the community, and an administrative volunteer to help greet clients and book appointments.

Chris Boatwright, clinical director at the Kernos Centre, said filling these vacancies is needed to maintain a high level of counselling support for people in Sudbury and the surrounding villages.

She told Suffolk News they are keen to expand their team as soon as possible, to avoid having to close their books to new referrals.

“Supporting the emotional and mental health of adults, young people, children and their families can be critical in ensuring their issues do not escalate,” Chris said.

“Working through their problems enables vulnerable people to build their resilience, social and emotional skills, and self-esteem, leading to greater confidence and their ability to thrive, at home, work, school, and in the community.

“We have counsellors in private practice who also work part-time for us. They do it because they believe in what we are doing, and we are very lucky to have them on board.

“Our waiting list is now at 63 people, and if we have another counsellor, on board, we can increase the number of sessions we do and increase the number of people we can help.”

The Kernos Centre offers sessions either face-to-face at its facility in Friars Street, or remotely.

To find out more about the available roles and how to apply, email admin@kernos.org.

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