Diversity & Inclusion
Nilu joined Help! as a trainee counsellor in Integrative Psychotherapy in 2019 and is now also a Trustee of the charity. She has extensive experience in mental health working as an academic, community practitioner and freelance researcher.
As one of Help!’s Trustees, Nilu brings her areas of expertise which include social inequalities, ethnicity and race, migration, gender, ageing, and religion and spirituality to her role in increasing the diversity of the client and counsellor base of the charity, and delivering training on working with difference.
Nilu is committed to ensuring voices of marginalised groups are heard and works with a number of charities and refugee and asylum groups to help make this happen.
At Help! Counselling we have been taking stock of our position in relation to race and diversity. We deliberately delayed issuing a statement in response to the Black Lives Matter movement after the killing of George Floyd. Partly, we did not want to issue a rushed statement full of good intent but devoid of thoughtful and reflective content. We realise that no words can truly express the work that needs to happen, and we acknowledge that there is far to go. This statement expresses our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion that requires more than just good intentions; it needs active work from all of us.
What do we know?
- We know that our organisation is mainly staffed by White British counsellors and our clients are also mainly White British. Whilst this reflects counselling generally in the UK, we have listened to minority voices and understood this situation is perpetuated through a system of entrenched of racism. It is not the case that People of Colour and of different cultures, faiths, and other diversities do not want or need support, it is the simply that the support that is offered is tailored for White British, able-bodied and heterosexual communities.
- We have spent recent weeks learning about our own shortcomings and planning how we can become the inclusive organisation we have always wanted to be for our clients and our counsellors.
What we have done already
- We have appointed a new member to our Board of Trustees who is a counsellor in our organisation already, and will be working with the team to ensure that we engage with all diversities and work hard to make our organisation an inclusive space for clients and counsellors.
- We have appointed new ethnic minority counsellors to work with us.
- We have commissioned antiracism training for our next staff training day.
What we have committed to do
- We will be running training for all our counsellors that engages with race and antiracism in challenging and thought-provoking ways. We know that diversity training for counsellors and therapists is often not fit for purpose. Our training will be delivered by minority therapists who are professional educators and trainers, to enable our counsellors to be more confident in working with diversity
- We will amplify the voices of psychotherapists of colour and cultural difference through our social media pages
- We will be approaching communities across ethnically diverse areas of Bristol to raise awareness of our services to encourage uptake by different ethnic groups
- We are actively looking to recruit new counsellors from different racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds to join our team of therapists.
We would like to invite you to join us
If you have any ideas or contribution you would like to make to support us in making Help! Counselling a more inclusive organisation for clients, counsellors, and the community, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We will be delighted to hear from you.