Free counselling for older people in Knowle West

With Mental Health Awareness Week coming up in May – a new project is being launched in Knowle West next month offering six sessions of free counselling for older people.

Oasis-Talk, a non-profit provider of counselling and therapy, has teamed up with Carers Support Centre to improve the mental health of local older people.

As well as face-to-face counselling sessions taking place at Knowle West Media Centre in Leinster Avenue, Carers Support Centre can also provide telephone counselling for older people who care for a friend or relative.

The project is funded by Bristol Ageing Better and is open to anyone aged 50 plus living in Bristol – with sessions also being run in St Pauls.

One in five older people are affected by depression, and this number doubles among older people living with a long term health condition such as diabetes or arthritis.

NHS studies have shown older people who access psychological therapies are not only more likely to complete their treatment but have higher rates of recovery from depression. But despite this, the take up is much lower for older people compared to those of working age.

Deputy CEO of Oasis-Talk, Ruth Richardson says: “For many people, later life can be a time of big change and upheaval that can affect our mental wellbeing and ability to enjoy life.

“Bereavement, retirement and poor physical health can all contribute to feelings of loneliness and depression. Through this project we hope to make counselling more widely available to any older person in Bristol who may benefit from having someone to talk to.”

The free project starts in May and will run until November 2019. Sessions will take place at Knowle West Media Centre on Fridays and in St Pauls on Thursdays. For more information or to take part contact Zuleika Gregory on 0117 927 7577 or email zuleika.gregory@oasis-talk.org