Birmingham Counselling Charity Launches Campaign In Its 50th Year

Birmingham Counselling Charity Launches Campaign In Its 50th Year

As statistics around mental health reveal a growing need for more counselling , a 50 year old charity, Open Door Counselling, has announced a campaign to gain more funds to support the increasing number of teenagers who will need help in 2018.

In the last year, Open Door Counselling received just under 1,500 referrals from Forward Thinking Birmingham and GP’s with three quarters of these going on to attend counselling with the charity.

One of the longest established mental health counselling provisions in the City, Open Door Counselling was established in 1967 in Sparkbrook by a group of visionary counsellors and psychiatrists.

The charity provides one to one Person Centred counselling to young people aged 12 to 25 years experiencing mental health problems and emotional distress.

Carmel Mullan-Hartley, Chief Executive, who has worked for the service for 27 years, has seen an increasing need for services like Open Door. She said:

“Sadly young people are under increasing pressure and are having to cope with more complex issues which is resorting to maladaptive ways of coping such as self- harming, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and feelings and becoming increasingly isolated. In the fast- paced world we live in and the pressures on the lives of young people, talking therapy is becoming increasingly important. For some people their counsellor is the first person who listens to them and wants to know how they feel.  At Open Door they are offered a safe and non-judgemental space where they can talk.”

Open Door receives referrals and is commissioned by Forward Thinking Birmingham. However, additional financial support is needed to help develop the service and meet the changing and growing needs of children and young people across the city. Additional funding would help the charity develop self- help groups, parental support sessions, workshops and seminars that are planned for 2018.

This is the time of year when companies look at adopting a charity for their 2018 corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts and people look at how they can make a real difference, so the new campaign aims to raise the profile of Open Door in the coming year.

Earlier this year, Carmel was invited  because of her contribution to mental health in the UK to the “Head’s Together “ Reception at Buckingham Palace by HRH Prince William, HRH Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge where Open Door was recognised as a key charity as part of their campaign to raise mental health issues and promote Mental Health Week.

For those referred to Open Door , counselling is delivered free at the point of access to children and young people aged 12-25. They also offer a low- cost counselling service for people aged 26 years and over, at £20 per session.

Calthorpe Estates is encouraging companies in Edgbaston that are part of the Calthorpe Business Community and across the city to get behind Open Door’s campaign.

Nicki Gibberson, Head of Marketing for Calthorpe Estates said;

“Open Door provides an invaluable service and can really make a positive difference to people’s lives. With mental health issues on the increase, it is time to promote Open Door and help the charity to build on its 50 years of success. Today, more than ever, children and people of all ages need help. We hope the charity receives the support it needs and businesses adopt it as part of their 2018 corporate social responsibility programme.”

The charity is accredited by its professional body BACP, The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, which demonstrates a benchmark of excellence.

For more information on Open Door and how you can support the charity in its vital work, please visit


10% of children and young people aged 5-16 have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a significantly early age.

20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in a given year.

50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24

These statistics come from the Mental Health Foundation.