Break the Silence: Supporting survivors through Covid-19

By 2nd June 2020 Project Stories

Break the Silence are concerned about people who may be struggling with past trauma whilst being at home during the coronavirus pandemic.  They hope that by joining in the #SameStormDifferentBoat conversation, they’ll encourage those who need it to reach out for support.

Supporting Survivors through Covid-19

Break The Silence provide professional support for Survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse age 13+ across East and North Ayrshire.  We are delighted to be able to continue to offer our vital services during the pandemic, whilst also keeping our Clients and our Team safe. As organisational members of BACP, we are doing so within BACP guidelines and disseminating the special resources created by BACP to all our clinical staff.  We’ve also developed a special support resource page for Clients on our website, providing useful self-help booklets, articles, audios, videos, relaxation techniques and more.

Our support is tailored to the individual’s need, including counselling – integrative, person-centred, cognitive behavioural therapy; eye movement de-sensitisation and re-processing (EMDR); complementary therapies; group activities; advocacy support; peer support and volunteering.  The purpose of which is to improve the emotional, psychological and physical health of Survivors, their Partners and their Family members; enabling them to live healthier, better lives.

Throughout the pandemic, Break The Silence have worked within government, public health and BACP guidelines in order to continue to provide our vital services.

“As an organisation that has supported Survivors for 15 years, we are not going to stop now.  We have successfully transitioned to remote working and are providing: telephone check-ins, telephone counselling where appropriate, telephone befriending, asynchronous counselling, and video counselling using the NHS Near Me/Attend Anywhere platform used by GPs and tele-health professionals. Using this platform, we have also been able to continue offering EMDR therapy.  Client feedback on our adapted range of services has been really positive and we are grateful to be able to offer support at this challenging time with many Clients experienced heightened anxiety, stress and feelings of isolation.”
Chief Executive Sharon Belshaw, MSc.

Clients are grateful that they are still able to access support and have provided quotes of support:

“Thank you so much to you all for still offering this alternative, I’m really grateful for the support you all offer me.”

“Can’t thank you all enough for everything you are all doing just now. I can’t put in to words how much it means to still be able to speak to my Counsellor and to be able to refocus and not feel so lost just now. Having the posts on Facebook saying that the counsellors are working that day is really reassuring, and the extra resources on the client area have been really useful to me and if they weren’t signposted on Facebook, I wouldn’t remember they are there. I’m even using the recipes from the old cooking group to get the kids away from their screens and in to the kitchen.”

Our Co-CEO model has been invaluable during the pandemic ensuring both operational and clinical focus at the highest level to plan and deploy Covid-19 emergency response measures.

Break The Silence are here for Survivors and we’re in this together.  If you need support, call us on 01563 559558, email us: or refer online at

Lesley Craig, CEO-Operations
Break The Silence


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