Wednesday 13 July 2016
A psychology student from the University of Northampton is to launch a unique counselling service, offering users access to professional counsellors and therapists via online video calls.
The service, Resile, is the brainchild of recent Psychology and Counselling graduate Megan Partridge. The online platform allows anyone to speak to a registered counsellor or therapist via an online video link from the comfort of their own home, with the same level of confidentiality and support as meeting face to face.
All of Resile’s counsellors are registered with either the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) , United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), or Universities Counselling and Psychotherapies Association (UCPA ).
Megan explained: “Accepting that occasionally you may need to ask for a little help is a difficult step. I founded Resile with the hope of improving access to therapy, by reducing the barriers that prevent people from seeking the help they need.
“My interest and experience in psychology, counselling and the mental health sector opened my eyes to the horrifying statistics surrounding mental health and willingness to seek help, and it made me want to do something that could impact this in a positive way. I designed the service around the need to break down as many barriers that stop people approaching counselling services as possible, and make it as close to the face-to-face counselling experience as you can get – but virtual! There’s even an online waiting room where users go before their appointment.”
The service allows individuals to self-refer rather than waiting for a GP referral, ensuring that mental health support is available when needed the most. Users can choose from a selection of counsellors to select the one that best suits them and their needs – without limitations to location and availability in their area. Users also receive a free consultation with their counsellor of choice to ensure compatibility before making any financial commitment. The service uses encrypted video-call software to ensure a high standard of confidentiality and which is compatible with all mobile and desktop devices.
Megan founded Resile with the help of the University of Northampton’s Enterprise Club, which awarded her £5,000 to get her business off the ground. “I cannot express my gratitude to the University enough for how they have not only guided me, helped me and offered me opportunities I would’ve never have got without them, but for having patience with me, and for wholeheartedly believing in my capabilities,” explained Megan. “When I speak to a lot of people who went to University, all they can say they got out it was a degree, but I can honestly say I got so much more. I found a passion for Social Enterprise – something that before University I didn’t even know the meaning of! The Enterprise Club helped me to turn my idea into reality; I got the constructive feedback I needed to direct me on the right path, heaps of advice when needed and a boost of confidence that I could actually make my idea a reality.”
Dr Hiten Vyas, Enterprise Club Business Advisor, commented: “Megan is a driven individual who has a strong commercial outlook, and is dedicated to assisting people through remote counselling. These are perfect ingredients for success as a social entrepreneur. I’m thrilled that Megan has set up her business. She’s already secured investment (both through grants and privately) and is ready to launch her exciting platform.”
Rachel Evenden, Lecturer in Psychology and one of Megan’s lecturers, commented: “I have found Megan to be a highly driven, passionate and enthusiastic individual. I have been impressed with Megan’s ability to come up with innovative creative ideas and wish her every success in the role within the project.
As well as supporting people to receive the very best mental health support, Resile aims to give back to the counselling sector. Megan explained: “A percentage of profits made by Resile will be used to fund a number of master’s degrees for aspiring counsellors. The service will be generating a cycle of hiring counsellors, funding the training of counsellors and delivering counselling to those who need it. I hope that eventually Resile can not only create employment and help students with master’s fees but improve the availability and perception of counselling as a whole.”
Long term, Megan hopes that Resile will be expanded into different countries. “I hope that Resile will eventually be implemented worldwide by hiring counsellors from other countries that speak various languages and furthermore work in different time zones which will overall create a versatile service that can appeal to all around the clock and overcome potential language barriers.”
The Resile website is now live at www.resile.co.uk. Resile will offer counselling sessions from 18 July. You can keep up to date with news from Resile via social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.