Counselling rising as employees deal with work stress

Shirley Baxter, left, and Karin Davidson of Portsmouth Therapy Partnership  with Pete Outen, the centre manager at Portsmouth Technopole
Shirley Baxter, left, and Karin Davidson of Portsmouth Therapy Partnership with Pete Outen, the centre manager at Portsmouth Technopole
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A PRIVATE counselling service in Portsmouth is seeing a rise in referrals relating to work-related issues, it has emerged.

Portsmouth Therapy Partnership, co-founded by counsellors Shirley Baxter and Karin Davidson, helps individuals to overcome a range of problems.

The service, which was launched last year and has just marked its first anniversary at Portsmouth Technopole, has recorded an increase in appointments from struggling employees.

Shirley said: ‘We’re counselling an increasing number of clients who, among other things, are experiencing stress as a result of their increasing workload and Britain’s ‘always-on’ smartphone culture.

‘It’s difficult to mentally switch off if the phone is pinging with notifications and more so if your smartphone is used for both work and home, with all the social media channels that come with it.

‘We’re also helping clients with other issues which impact upon mental wellbeing, such as bullying, anger management, anxiety, depression, trauma, lack of self-confidence and relationship problems, both work and personal.’

Shirley and Karin counsel individuals and couples at Portsmouth Technopole, the serviced offices centre opposite the ferry port by the M275.

Pete Outen, the centre manager at Portsmouth Technopole, which provides serviced office space to 37 businesses, said: ‘Shirley and Karin set up here 12 months ago and are helping people overcome a number of difficulties in their personal and work lives.

‘According to latest government figures, 11.7m days were lost in the UK to work-related ill health. The average days lost per case, for stress, depression or anxiety, were 24.

‘It is against this kind of backdrop that Shirley and Karin, now in their second year here, are making the process to recovery as comfortable as possible for clients in a warm and supportive space.’