Leeds Beckett University forms partnership with mental health charity for diverse scholarships

Leeds Beckett University has joined forces with a charity to support people traditionally under-represented in mental health professions.

By Daniel Sheridan
Monday, 24th January 2022, 4:30 pm

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The university and Northpoint Wellbeing, a local mental health charity, are working together to provide a number of scholarships to encourage Black, Asian, and other people of colour to train become a qualified practising therapeutic counsellor on the MA Integrative Counselling in Leeds Beckett’s School of Health.

The new partnership is providing a number of scholarships to encourage Black, Asian, and other people of colour to train become a qualified practising therapeutic counsellor on the MA Integrative Counselling in Leeds Beckett’s School of Health.

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Maryam Riaz, a Lecturer in Counselling and Mental Health in the School of Health

Northpoint Wellbeing is also providing access to additional mentorship for scholarship-holders.

The aim of the scholarship fund and its mentorship is to support the development of a more diverse psychological therapies workforce.

Maryam Riaz, a Lecturer in Counselling and Mental Health in the School of Health and a registered Psychotherapist said it’s about getting the right approach: “Working with and targeting particular communities, we may need to take a targeted approach, for example, like the Northpoint Scholarship programme that we’ve introduced this year.

"It is specifically targeted to a community where counsellors and therapists are lacking, so we can improve the number of therapists available in the service.”

“I think the pandemic has really highlighted the need for mental health services to represent diverse communities.

"Those communities that are disproportionately impacted by severe mental health then have people representing their communities, their cultural heritage, ethnicity, background and gender, so that they feel comfortable accessing services and support to meet their needs.

“If it wasn’t for the scholarship, then these students wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enter the profession and that’s what we want.

"We want to be able to offer opportunities where otherwise students and people from disadvantaged backgrounds may never have had the opportunity to pursue and MA in Integrative Counselling and become a qualified practitioner.”

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