About us

Our objectives as defined by our constitution are to:

--  Provide a free same-day crisis listening and counselling service for anyone in trouble or in need.
--  Offer follow-up counselling of initially 12 sessions if requested and suitable, and to make available other psychotherapy services. Further sessions of between 6-12 may be available dependent on service needs. (This is not guaranteed).
--  Provide placements for student counsellors who are completing a recognised diploma or post-graduate training course in counselling.
--  Offer volunteering opportunities with training and support to those interested in working at the reception area in welcoming and assisting clients, as well as members of the public who visit the Centre for information.

The centre is in Camden Town in North London. It was founded in 1998 as a free service for people in need of counselling and unable to afford the fees usually charged by counsellors. Unfortunately, today we charge for all counselling sessions. This will be discussed with you.

The Centre's uniqueness lies in the Open-Door policy whereby anyone who is in distress, trouble or in need.

Context

The Borough of Camden is the 11th most deprived in London and the 25th in England (DETR Index of Deprivation). It has a population of about 200,000 people, plus a large daily transient population who work there. Black and ethnic minority groups constitute over 25%.

According to the Mental Health Needs Index, Camden has one of the highest needs for mental health services in London (21% above the England average). Camden has the highest suicide rate in the country (Suicide Prevention Scrutiny Panel report, July 2004) - and one of the highest suicide rates in Western Europe (60% more than expected). This may be connected to a young population (72% under 45, compared to 60% nationally).

Camden has a high prevalence of drug use and dealing, street drinking, begging, homelessness, poverty, prostitution and street crime. Central Camden has been designated a Neighbourhood Renewal Area.

Additional information