Counselling Services

bcap logoThe Telephone Counselling Service (TCS) was launched in 2010 to address the obstacles of attending face to face sessions offered by other agencies, including disabilities; lack of access to suitable transport or childcare; difficult working patterns; chaotic lifestyles or social shame and anxiety.

Mental health issues often run alongside substance misuse, including Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bi-Polar Disorder and Schizophrenia. This often precludes people from accessing substance misuse services, which can lead to being marginalised and vulnerable within our communities.  TCS will work with mental health disorders or struggles and substance misuse (dual diagnosis).

We offer people with substance misuse dependencies and their families a structured and individually tailored programme of 12 weekly counselling sessions. The service is free of charge to clients, although there is an opportunity to donate towards sessions. Referrals can be made directly by calling the SDAC Helpline or through health, treatment and other social agencies. Counselling sessions take place at a time that suits, for example during a lunch break without taking time off work or of an evening or at a weekend.

Once referred, a Counsellor will be in contact within 3 working days and treatment often starts within 5 days. The sooner treatment commences the greater the level of success.

All TCS Counsellors are registered with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and are trained in working with substance misuse. Our Counsellors have specialisms in a wide variety of areas including: domestic violence, end of life counselling, disabilities, suicidal ideation, abuse and complex family dynamics.

Click here to complete our online Self Referral Counselling form

I work in Mental Health for one of the largest Mental Health charities in the country, The Recovery Focus Group. I have been with them for five years now, and I work as a support worker in their Peer Service.

Back in May 2020 my own mental health took a sudden and unexpected dive for the worst and I found myself experiencing my fifth serious mental breakdown of my life accompanied by very real thoughts of suicide. This was a disaster both personally and also meant that I was no longer able to do my job for nearly 3 months whilst I recovered. So in addition to being very unwell, I was also unable to provide the support that I usually give to others with whom I am working. Step in the Mother of one of my colleagues and then Surrey Drug and Alcohol Care. I contacted my work colleague’s mother who I knew was a qualified counsellor and asked her if there was anyone she knew who could provide me with therapy either without charge or for a very low fee. Without hesitation, she suggested that I contact SDAC by phone, and she reassured me that I didn’t need to have a drug or alcohol problem (which thankfully I do not) as they also provide counselling for mental health issues too. She said that I would receive a call back within 3 days and that my counselling would very likely start within a week or two subject to the assigned counsellors workload. I was astonished by this, given how hard it can be to get any psychological therapy, as I only too well know from my own work.

True to form I made the call and the very next day a lovely lady called K (one of SDAC’s counsellors) phoned me and booked me in for the following Monday to start work with her. To say I was grateful would be probably the understatement of the decade! I am writing this now as my counselling provided by them is coming to an end and I have made a full recovery and I have been back at work with Recovery Focus for nearly two months now. But more than that, my life has been changed beyond recognition. I have made monumental changes to my thinking and behaviour that I couldn’t have made without K’s help, and I am content and at peace with myself for the first time in 57 years!

Now If SDAC had not stepped in and offered this service to me, I have no idea where I would be right now, indeed if I would even be here at all.

Read my story here:

Michael Bennett - 7 November 2020