The Story Behind Therapists For Covid

I set up Therapists For Covid because I wanted to get emotional support by professionals to anyone struggling with the lock-down and the unfolding corona virus crisis quickly. I am a UKCP registered attachment based psychoanalytic psychotherapist and have ongoing 8 years experience of working part of a multi-disciplinary team in an NHS personality disorders service. This experience informs the clinical direction of this support service, as well as a senior advisory team. I am also a Royal College of Art graduate where we are trained to make things happen fast.

 

I noticed that the support services usually available were struggling with capacity and with adapting quickly to the social distancing rules or were simply unaffordable to many people at this time.

 

I also wanted to get help out through channels that are easily accessible, to find you where you're at. That is why I and some design / artists friends decided to set the service up on Facebook to start with (thank you Julian and Barney).

 

London went into lock-down on the evening of 23 March and we provided our first support call two days later.

 

Within a week we managed to sign up 80 UK registered psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists, all willing to give up their time for free. Our team continues to grow, and we all are very invested in helping to make things a little more bearable.

 

The Facebook platform has also been a really useful presence; people said they felt supported by knowing that we are there if needed. They could post and comment and reach out to us, return to the page for helpful resources or to request a session.

 

Facebook has also been a useful platform for us the practitioners, because it facilitates working as a team and running things collaboratively.

 

As things progressed and we saw that the system was working we started thinking about offering the option of asking for sessions confidentially as opposed to having to do this via public post. We also started working on this website and when major companies saw we we were doing, Wix, IONOS, Airtable (thank you Zach!) and Zapier all offered us their pro plans for free. We are very grateful for their help and their recognition of the value of what we are doing.

 

We are very happy about the outcome which allows us volunteers to collaboratively make positive contributions to people's lives.

 

We are also proud to have got this service running in a very short space of time, without any backing and at no cost at all, available to anyone who might need a bit of support. Since I have worked hard to set this up to run without any overhead costs we do not have to ask for donations and don't want to either.

 

We will make it through these difficult times together. Please get in touch.

Silke Steidinger

Founder of Therapists For Covid