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Year in Review

Now the somewhat damp festivities have past, it is time to return to normality, reflect on what has gone before and focus on what is to come. So, here is an update on all things Specialist Support Solutions (SSS) and Sue Smith Counselling related. Thank you for your support and taking the time to read.

Despite the lockdown early in 2020, Specialist Support Solutions re-registered as a Community Interest Company and began to explore options for mental health and wellbeing work within the local community. This will remain a priority piece of work in 2021 as we are keen to help as many people as possible to stay mentally well as this pandemic continues to disrupt normality for many.

2020 also saw our psychoeducational trauma work with police develop further. The existing input focused on victims along with considerations within the criminal justice system in cases where victims had trauma symptoms. Following conversations with Police Wellbeing and Police Training teams this trauma workshop has been updated to explore vicarious and direct trauma on officers themselves. This new presentation was well received by officers attending in November and December and compliments the work of Police wellbeing teams.


The vital work of support for specialists is another important focus for SSS as we move forward in 2021. Education, recognition, support and therapeutic work for front line workers is at the heart of SSS. All with a trauma focus. Too many professionals across sectors experience work related traumatic response to incidents and whilst the desire to get on may be strong, trauma symptoms have an uncanny knack of creeping up on people when they least expect it. Ensuring teams have access to professional specialist support is good business sense for all managers.

Despite mental health being a headline topic for discussion, delivery of Mental Health First Aid courses has been less successful in 2020. As a result of 1st lockdown two pre booked classroom-based sessions were cancelled. These sessions would have been the final step in full sign off for solo delivery from Mental Health First Aid England (MHFAE). Fortunately, MHFAE stepped up to the mark and offered upskilling to enable delivery of online Mental Health First Aid Training to its trainers. This was welcome news to us so we signed up and completed the online training during 2020. The online sessions also needed two co-delivered cohorts to enable us to ‘fly solo’. Thanks to Tabby @ #createmyhappy one of these sessions has been completed. We do however still need to complete one more online and two (when Covid finally allows) classroom based sessions. If you know of any groups or teams who would benefit from this then please do get in touch. Our need for sign off is an opportunity for someone to benefit from ‘at cost’ Mental Health First Aid training.


Sue Smith Counselling is its own entity for private clients and despite Covid pressures and restrictions continues to grow. Face to face work with Covid measures in place resumed in July and a range of options including remote working via Zoom and outdoor Walk and Talk Therapy have been made available.

The counselling work maintains trauma focus and I; Sue Smith, am now registered as a Rewind Practitioner and will be delivering EMDR in 2021. Both are recognised as effective tools for working with Post Traumatic Stress.

All that remains to be said is many thanks: To colleagues across a range of services who value our work and continue to support us; To the many clients who take the brave step into the world of self exploration and trauma taming, and finally, the board of directors

whose knowledge and passion to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities is a source of pride and enlightenment in tough times.

Looking forward to continued growth in 2021. Sue

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