AN unique Scotland-wide counselling service is preparing its counsellors for an upsurge in calls about child sexual abuse.
Trauma Counselling Line Scotland (TCLS) is run by Scottish charity Health in Mind and team leader, Eileen Hone, knows from experience how media coverage can affect the victims of abuse who have tried to bury the memories of their own horrific experiences; sometimes for decades.
“Last year, the media highlighted the experiences of Jimmy Savile’s victims and for many people, the dreadful memories of their own childhood abuse came to the surface and they were finding them hard to deal with.
“Many called the TCLS telephone line, which is unique as it is the only case-managed telephone counselling service in Scotland for adult survivors of childhood abuse and means they will be allocated their own counsellor.
“As they always speak to the same person, they never have to repeat the details of what has happened to them and as the service is delivered by ‘phone, it means location is never a barrier to receiving help,” said Eileen.
Says a spokesperson: “TCLS was launched in January 2011 and is an unique Scotland-wide service which has an equalities and cultural awareness in its approach to helping adult survivors of childhood abuse. Childhood abuse can include sexual, emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual abuse or neglect.”
Eileen continued: “There are many people who’ve never told anyone what happened to them as a child and the media coverage brings terrible memories back which cast a shadow over their lives.
“Our clients decide what time of day or evening is best for them and as it is telephone counselling, it does not matter where they live and they are able to choose a place where they feel safe.
“Telephone counselling is effective for clients who do not feel they could cope with face to face counselling, or may have mobility problems, live in a remote location or suffer from a fear of leaving their home,” said Eileen.
The service is free and sessions are anonymous, totally confidential and can be allocated within a week of the enquiry with counselling able to commence the following week.
TCLS is available to clients who speak Polish, Urdu, Punjabi and French as well as English.
The service was extended near the end of 2012 as a result of funding from the Scottish Government’s National Strategy for survivors of childhood abuse, SurvivorScotland.
The two-year funding package from the SurvivorScotland Development Fund enabled the Trauma Counselling Line Scotland (TCLS) to increase the number of highly qualified and experienced counsellors it employs from four to ten.
Calling the TCLS number is free from both mobile ‘phones and landlines and the number is 08088 020406.
For further information contact Doreen Graham, Health in Mind Communications Manager on 0131 243 0137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes for editors:
SurvivorScotland was developed by the Scottish Government with the aims of raising awareness of childhood abuse and its long-term consequences, improving services and enhancing the health and wellbeing of survivors.
SurvivorScotland oversees the National Strategy for survivors of childhood abuse. Childhood abuse happens to women and men from all backgrounds and walks of life and most of us know someone who has been abused whether we realise it or not.
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