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In 2015, I took the initiative to establish Anxious Minds, a mental health charity using my War Pension, following my departure from the Armed Forces after 22 years of service. The reason behind this decision was the lack of early intervention, provisional mental health support, and long-term assistance that I experienced first-hand due to my own struggles with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. These personal experiences have provided me with a profound understanding of the realities of mental health issues and have fuelled my passionate desire to make a positive difference in this field. 

My commitment to improving the situation surrounding mental health is supported by my extensive qualifications and expertise. I hold a level 7 qualification in Leadership and Management, which equips me with the skills necessary to effectively lead and manage an organisation dedicated to mental health support. Additionally, I have obtained a diploma in Psychotherapy and Clinical Hypnotherapy, enabling me to provide therapeutic interventions and support to individuals facing mental health challenges.  Furthermore, I am a Master’s Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a powerful approach that helps individuals understand the connection between their thoughts, language, and behaviours.

This expertise allows me to employ effective communication techniques and facilitate positive change in the lives of those struggling with mental health issues.  In addition to my professional qualifications, I am also an expert by experience. This means that my personal journey and lived experiences with anxiety, depression, and PTSD contribute significantly to my understanding of mental health struggles.

It allows me to empathise with those who are going through similar challenges and ensures that the services provided by Anxious Minds are tailored to meet the unique needs of individuals seeking support. 

Through Anxious Minds, we aim to bridge the gaps in mental health care by providing early intervention, provisional support, and long-term assistance to individuals in need.

Our charity is driven by a deep-rooted passion to create a positive impact in the lives of those affected by mental health issues. With my diverse skill set, qualifications, and personal experiences, I am committed to leading Anxious Minds in its mission to improve the landscape of mental health support and ensure that individuals receive the care and understanding they deserve.

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After obtaining my counselling qualification in 2007, I embarked on a journey to further develop my skills and expertise in the field. In 2010, I achieved the position of Clinical Supervisor, which allowed me to provide guidance and support to other counsellors in our professional practice. This role enabled me to contribute to the growth and development of the counselling community, ensuring that high standards of care were maintained. 

In 2016, an important chapter began as both Shaun McCowie, who has sadly passed away, and I joined forces with Anxious Minds. Our shared vision was to establish and cultivate a comprehensive counselling and support service within the Anxious Minds. With our combined expertise and dedication, we worked tirelessly to develop a robust counselling team that currently consists of over 30 skilled and compassionate counsellors.  Within the charity, my current role encompasses overseeing all ongoing projects.

This responsibility allows me to ensure that the various initiatives and services provided by Anxious Minds are running smoothly and effectively. By actively managing and coordinating these projects, I strive to maintain a high standard of care and support for individuals seeking help with their mental health. 

These may include group therapy, workshops, educational programs, and community outreach initiatives. The establishment of this centre signifies our commitment to cater to the diverse needs of our community and ensure that mental health support is accessible to all.  In summary, my journey as a qualified counsellor and Clinical Supervisor has led me to play a vital role in the development and growth of Anxious Minds’ counselling service.

I am dedicated to enhancing the availability and quality of mental health support for people in the local area. I am honoured to contribute to the important work of Anxious Minds, as we strive to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals facing mental health challenges.

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Hello, during my pursuit of a career in counselling, I underwent comprehensive training at Tyneside Metropolitan College. It was at this esteemed institution that I embarked on my journey to become a Person-Centered Counsellor and Clinical Supervisor. Throughout my training, I delved into the principles and practices of Person-Centered Counselling, a humanistic approach that places the individual at the heart of the therapeutic process.

This approach recognises the inherent value and potential within each person, emphasizing their autonomy and capacity for self-growth. Studying Person-Centered Counselling provided me with a solid foundation in establishing empathetic and non-judgmental therapeutic relationships, fostering a safe space for clients to explore their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. In addition to my training as a Person-Centered Counsellor, I also pursued a specialization in Clinical Supervision.

This role involves providing guidance, support, and oversight to other counselors, ensuring the highest standards of professional practice and ethical conduct. As a Clinical Supervisor, I gained valuable skills in facilitating reflective practice, promoting self-awareness, and fostering ongoing professional development among counselors. This position allowed me to contribute to the growth and success of counseling professionals, while also promoting a culture of excellence within the field. My training at Tyneside Metropolitan College equipped me with the knowledge, skills, and ethical framework necessary to provide effective and person-centered counseling services. It instilled in me a deep understanding of the importance of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuine presence in the therapeutic relationship.

By integrating these principles into my practice, I strive to create a nurturing environment where individuals feel heard, validated, and supported on their journey toward improved mental well-being. The comprehensive training I received at Tyneside Metropolitan College has been instrumental in shaping my approach to counseling and clinical supervision. It has provided me with a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge and practical skills, enabling me to make a positive difference in the lives of those I have the privilege to support. I am grateful for the education and training I received at the college, as it has laid the groundwork for my professional journey in the field of mental health and counselling.

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During my professional career, I dedicated 22 years of service to the Armed Forces, where I reached the esteemed rank of Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2). This extensive experience within the military provided me with valuable skills, a strong work ethic, and a deep sense of discipline, which have shaped my approach to various roles and responsibilities I have undertaken.

Following my tenure in the Armed Forces, I transitioned into the field of education and became an ex university lecturer. As a lecturer, I had the privilege of sharing my knowledge, expertise, and experiences with eager learners. This role allowed me to contribute to the academic and personal development of students, fostering a love for learning and critical thinking within the classroom. It also enabled me to effectively communicate complex ideas, facilitate discussions, and guide students on their educational journey.

In addition to my experience in education, I also had the opportunity to work for North Tyneside Council as the veteran lead. In this capacity, I played a pivotal role in supporting and advocating for the welfare of veterans within the community. I worked closely with local authorities, organizations, and community groups to ensure that the specific needs of veterans were understood and met. This included coordinating services, providing resources, and raising awareness about the challenges faced by veterans as they transitioned into civilian life. Throughout my various roles and experiences, I have consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to serving others and making a positive impact in my community.

The 22 years I spent in the Armed Forces fostered in me a deep sense of duty, teamwork, and dedication to a greater cause. This mindset carried over into my work as a university lecturer, where I strived to empower and inspire students to reach their full potential. Moreover, my position as the veteran lead at North Tyneside Council allowed me to continue supporting a community that I deeply care about. The diverse experiences I have gained throughout my career in the Armed Forces, as a university lecturer, and as a veteran lead have equipped me with a unique skill set, adaptability, and a strong sense of empathy. These experiences have shaped my perspective on leadership, teamwork, and the importance of community engagement. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to serve and contribute in various capacities, and I remain dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and communities I encounter.

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Russell is a highly skilled and fully qualified counsellor who is deeply passionate about providing support to individuals in need. Drawing upon his extensive training and expertise, he has taken on a significant responsibility as the driving force behind the operations of the Drop In and Recovery Centre in Wallsend.

Having completed rigorous training and education in the field of counselling, Russell has acquired the necessary knowledge and practical skills to guide individuals through their personal challenges. He is well-versed in a variety of therapeutic modalities and approaches, allowing him to tailor his support to meet the unique needs of each person he encounters.

As the leader of the Drop In and Recovery Centre, Russell assumes a vital role in the management and organization of the facility. His commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment is reflected in the compassionate and non-judgmental atmosphere that the center embodies. Russell understands the importance of providing a space where individuals feel heard, valued, and supported throughout their journey of recovery and personal growth. Russell’s genuine care and dedication extend beyond the counseling room.

He recognises the value of fostering a sense of community and belonging among the visitors of the Drop In and Recovery Centre. Through his efforts, he ensures that the center serves as a hub for social interaction, mutual support, and the development of meaningful connections. By nurturing a supportive network, Russell helps individuals build resilience, combat isolation, and cultivate a sense of empowerment.

Beyond his professional qualifications, Russell’s innate ability to connect with others and empathise with their struggles is a testament to his genuine desire to make a positive impact. He actively listens, validates emotions, and provides a safe space for individuals to explore their thoughts and feelings openly. This empathetic approach helps create a strong therapeutic alliance between Russell and those he supports, fostering an environment conducive to healing and personal transformation. Through his role at the Drop In and Recovery Centre, Russell plays a pivotal role in the lives of countless individuals.

His dedication to helping people navigate their personal challenges, find inner strength, and discover their resilience is both admirable and impactful. With his expertise and unwavering commitment to supporting others, Russell is making a profound difference in the lives of those who seek solace, guidance, and personal growth within the walls of the center he leads.

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Hello, I am thrilled to share my journey with you. After a fulfilling career in the field of Education, I made the decision to embark on a new path as a Counsellor. To equip myself with the necessary skills and knowledge, I pursued re-training at Sunderland University. Since 2008, I have been working diligently as a dedicated and compassionate Counsellor, making a positive impact on the lives of individuals. Throughout my counselling career, I have had the privilege of working in diverse community settings, providing support to both young people and adults.

This breadth of experience has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by individuals in different stages of life. It has further reinforced my belief in the importance of accessible and inclusive mental health services for all members of the community. 


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Before transitioning into the field of counselling, I had a fulfilling career in Education. However, driven by a deep passion for supporting others in their emotional well-being, I decided to retrain and embark on a new professional journey. In 2019, I enrolled in a diploma program at Gosforth with Newcastle City Learning, where I acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to become a counsellor.

This comprehensive training program provided me with a solid foundation in counseling theory, techniques, and ethical practices. During my journey to becoming a qualified counsellor, I recognised the value of gaining practical experience in a supportive environment. To further enhance my skills and broaden my understanding of various therapeutic approaches, I dedicated two years as a volunteer at Cruse Bereavement.

Working with individuals who were coping with grief and loss, I witnessed firsthand the profound impact that compassionate counseling can have on helping individuals navigate through their pain and find healing. This experience deepened my empathy and reinforced my commitment to providing support to those facing emotional challenges.

My path then led me to Anxious Minds, where I completed a placement as part of my counselling training. The opportunity to work alongside the dedicated team at Anxious Minds was both enriching and transformative. Witnessing their commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of individuals experiencing mental health issues inspired me greatly. I was thrilled when I was offered a position at Anxious Minds, and I am immensely grateful to be a part of this remarkable charity.

Being a member of Anxious Minds allows me to contribute to their mission of improving mental health support and raising awareness about mental well-being. It is a privilege to work with a team that shares the same passion and dedication for helping others. The charity’s holistic and person-centered approach aligns perfectly with my own therapeutic values, as I believe in treating each individual with empathy, respect, and dignity. As a counselor at Anxious Minds, I am committed to providing a safe, non-judgmental, and compassionate space for individuals to explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. I strive to create a therapeutic relationship built on trust and mutual collaboration, empowering clients to embark on their journey of self-discovery and healing.

It is an honor to be entrusted with the responsibility of supporting individuals through their mental health challenges, and I am dedicated to making a positive impact in their lives. Being part of Anxious Minds allows me to contribute to a community of like-minded professionals who are passionate about mental health advocacy and support.

Together, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of those affected by mental health issues, offering hope, understanding, and a path toward improved well-being. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this amazing charity and look forward to the positive impact we can create together.

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Glen is an accomplished and dedicated professional who has earned his credentials as a fully qualified counsellor and addiction support worker. His passion lies in providing unwavering support to the veteran community, recognising the unique challenges they face as they navigate the complexities of life after military service. Currently, Glen plays a crucial role in the veteran project, where he actively works to enhance the well-being and quality of life for veterans. Glen’s extensive training and qualifications have equipped him with the expertise to make a meaningful impact.

He holds a Level 5 qualification in Counselling, which signifies his advanced knowledge and skills in the field. This comprehensive training has honed his ability to establish genuine connections with individuals, fostering trust and creating a safe space for veterans to share their experiences and seek support. In addition to his counseling qualifications, Glen has also received training as an addiction support worker.

This additional specialisation allows him to address the unique challenges that veterans may face when dealing with substance abuse or addiction. His comprehensive skill set ensures that he can provide holistic support, addressing both mental health concerns and addiction-related issues. Glen’s passion for supporting the veteran community is evident in his unwavering dedication and commitment. He recognises the sacrifices made by veterans and is driven by a deep sense of empathy and understanding.

His experience and training have equipped him with a nuanced understanding of the specific needs and challenges faced by veterans during their transition to civilian life. Within the veteran project, Glen plays a vital role in developing and implementing initiatives that promote mental health and well-being among veterans. He works closely with veterans, offering individual counseling sessions, group therapy, and tailored support services.

Through his compassionate approach, he helps veterans process their experiences, cope with challenges, and find a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their post-military lives. Glen’s expertise and commitment to the veteran community are invaluable assets to the project. His empathetic nature and ability to build strong therapeutic relationships enable him to create a safe and supportive environment for veterans to heal and grow. By providing them with the tools and resources they need, Glen empowers veterans to overcome obstacles, build resilience, and lead fulfilling lives beyond their military service. Glen’s work as a qualified counsellor and addiction support worker, combined with his passion for supporting the veteran community, make him an essential member of the team.

Through his efforts, he plays a vital role in improving the mental health and well-being of veterans, ensuring that they receive the care, understanding, and support they rightfully deserve.

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Shelly has achieved the highest level of professional competence as a counsellor, having completed all the necessary education, training, and certification requirements. Her journey to becoming a fully qualified counsellor has been marked by dedication, hard work, and a deep commitment to helping others navigate life’s challenges.

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Charlie’s journey towards becoming a highly skilled and fully qualified counsellor is a testament to her unwavering commitment to helping others. Her passion for providing support to individuals in need, whether they are children or adults, has been the driving force behind her career.

From an early age, Charlie showed a natural inclination towards understanding and empathising with people’s emotions and struggles. This innate ability to connect with others on a deep emotional level laid the foundation for their future in counselling. Recognising this gift, Charlie embarked on a rigorous educational journey to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become a counsellor.

Charlie pursued a degree in counselling, which provided her with a solid understanding of the human mind and behaviour. During their undergraduate years, they actively engaged in research projects and internships, gaining valuable hands-on experience in the field of mental health. This practical exposure allowed Charlie to witness first-hand the positive impact that counselling can have on individuals facing various challenges.

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