Looking back over the year

As we reached the end of our financial year, we also look back on the number of clients we’ve been able to support and what this means to them. In 2023/24 we supported 184 clients with 1,251 counselling sessions and assessments. 90% of these services were provided heavily subsidised or free of charge, as only 28% of our clients are in full-time employment.

Our data shows we reduced levels of anxiety and depression for our clients, improved their emotional well-being and helped them to be able to cope with their problems. When taking into consideration the work we do, and that many of the people we see are living with a life-threatening condition, we think this is a remarkable achievement. 

The Harbour received self-referrals from clients, as well as referrals from GPs, other health providers and charities. We offered our clients individual, couples and group counselling, providing an in-depth service that is unique in our city. We work psychodynamically, helping our clients deal with their grief. We know our work makes a difference to the community, creating a ripple effect that goes far beyond our immediate work with the client. 

If grief goes unprocessed, it shows up in mental and physical ill-health, loneliness and poverty, with knock on effects in employment and long-term economic outcomes (Bereavement Commission, 2021). 

Our work prevents complex and severe health problems, reduces health inequalities, and creates less demand on the NHS/statutory services. It reduces anxiety and depression, making people better equipped to cope and thrive in their lives e.g. being better parents, being able to get back to work; and more able to contribute positively to their communities.  

 We assess the journey our clients take through standard assessment tools and capture qualitative feedback that gives meaning to the statistics we gather. We use standard measures of anxiety (GAD7) and depression (PHQ9) at the beginning, middle and end of counselling. These include questions about sleeping and eating issues, concentration, feeling depressed or bad about yourself, not being able to stop worrying, feeling anxious, having suicidal thoughts.   

During the year the average PHQ and GAD scores for clients reduced from 13 to 7 and 11 to 6 respectively. This equates to a shift from moderate to mild depression; and from moderately severe to moderate anxiety.

In qualitative feedback 92% of clients felt they were ‘much better’ or ‘a little better’ at dealing with their problems after their counselling.  

85% rated their emotional well-being ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’ before counselling, compared to 11% after counselling 

only 4% rated their emotional well-being ‘good’ before counselling, compared to 60% who rated their emotional well-being ‘good’ or ‘very good’ after counselling 

100% rated their relationship with their counsellor as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’  

94% were ‘very satisfied’ with the service