Interested in counselling skills? Courses & volunteering at SMILE West Lothian


Smile Counselling logo

A local charity specialising in counselling for children and young people is looking to get more people trained, and raise funds for the service at the same time, by running professional counselling training courses open to everyone interested in gaining counselling skills.


“There are not many courses that specifically cover working with children and young people,” explains Tracy-Ann Clusker, Counselling Team Leader at SMILE Counselling. “We work with young people ages 11 to 24, and are looking for counsellors for our own service, but our courses are available for anyone who interacts with young people and would like tools and confidence for how to listen and talk to them.”


Covering a comprehensive range of mental well-being and health issues, the course is about raising awareness of issues specifically as they affect children and young people, and how you can help. It’s invaluable if you’re considering a career in counselling, or are a parent, guidance worker, group leader or anyone else who wants to improve the way they interact with young people. “Young people will confide in anyone they trust,” explains Tracy, “and it’s an excellent skill to know how to positively interact and help them.”


By signing up for a course with SMILE, you’re not only developing your own skills in a way that will be invaluable to the young people you interact with, you’re also helping raise money for SMILE to deliver their counselling services locally.


By signing up for a course with SMILE, you’re not only developing your own skills in a way that will be invaluable to the young people you interact with, you’re also helping raise money for SMILE to deliver their counselling services locally.

The MWAH (Mental Wellbeing and Health) Course

This course is step 1 on your counselling journey. Accredited by the SQA, it includes nine modules covering depression and mood, stress and anxiety, self harm, suicide awareness, online safety, relationships and bereavement. It runs for eight half-days, in the evenings.

10% early bird offer are available for next training commencing in November and a 15% discount for anyone working in the 3rd sector.

Please see https://smilecounselling.org.uk/training/ for more information on this and other courses, or email info@smilecounselling.org.uk


Other courses available are ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills, SafeTalk and Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid.

Volunteering

SMILE is also looking for diploma-trained volunteers who can work with young people under the age of 16. Whatever time input you can manage, from just a couple of hours a week, will make a big difference as the charity has a waiting list of young people who have been referred, or have self-referred, for counselling.


Young person receiving counselling, with "It helps to talk" strapline

About SMILE’s services

SMILE is a West Lothian charity offering counselling services to young people aged 11 to 24.


For young people who are struggling with how they feel, being able to talk to someone who understands can make a huge difference to the direction their problems take.

Anyone from 16-24 can self-refer if they feel they need help of any kind with their mental health, and of course other services can refer too. There are counselling rooms and a sensory room at their premises in Bathgate. They also offer phone/video support, as well as a unique outreach service throughout West Lothian to reach under 16s where and when they need it.


For young people who are struggling with how they feel, being able to talk to someone who understands can make a huge difference to the direction their problems take.

Sponsor a room!

Businesses can help by sponsoring a room at SMILE’s Bathgate premises. You can sponsor one of the four counselling rooms, the sensory room, the board room or the training space. It’s £50 per week. Please email info@smilecounselling.org.uk for information.

 

Published in Konect October 2021

Author: Helen-Jane Gisbourne