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Referral Criteria

Get in touch

We carefully triage all referrals to CCIWBS to ascertain our suitability

for each client for an initial assessment with our service.  

Please use the information on this page

to ensure your client meets the referral criteria. 

What we offer

We are commissioned by the NHS to offer short-term bereavement counselling for clients who are registered with a Camden or Islington GP or who live in the boroughs of Camden or Islington. Bereavement counselling sessions are offered either face-to-face in our offices in Kentish Town or remotely. The waiting time from referral to assessment is six to eight weeks. Assessment determines whether CCIWBS (Camden City Islington & Westminster Bereavement Service) can offer a suitable service for each client. If our service is suitable, clients will be assigned a counsellor after a short wait; dependant on client and counsellor availability; or, if our service is unsuitable for a client an onward referral to a more suitable service may be suggested. People who come for bereavement counselling often do so because their grieving process has been complicated, for example by the circumstances of the death, the client’s relationship to the deceased or the continuing impact of the bereavement on the client’s daily life. Bereavement counselling is most beneficial when clients feel ready and have time to talk about their loss for several sessions. This can often be some time afterwards. In the initial stages of bereavement people are not emotionally ready or able to benefit from bereavement counselling yet and need six to twelve months to process their loss first. Whilst clients can apply for our service at any stage in their bereavement journey, we do not generally accept referrals until clients have processed the first six months of grief following their most recent bereavement.

When our service is not suitable 

Clients with complex needs require specialist services tailored to their circumstances, usually for longer than 10 sessions. We are not clinically set-up to provide support for clients in crisis. Clients in crisis may be experiencing one or more of the following: 1) Psychosis 2) Street homelessness or an immediate and unstable housing crisis 3) Chaotic drug or alcohol use 4) An attempted suicide in the last 6 months or active suicidal ideations which require urgent intervention 5) An admission to the crisis house in the last 6 months For 1,2 and 3 above, clients need to have been stable for 6 months at the time of referral. N.B. Camden clients with a mental health diagnosis of Personality Disorders; Bi-Polar and/or other Psychotic illnesses such as Schizophrenia cannot be seen under our current funding agreements.

CCIWBS is unable to accept referrals for

  • Clients currently receiving counselling support through another service. 

  • Clients living in a care home who are unable to access our service autonomously. 

Service for clients outside Camden or Islington

& Camden Clients with a Mental Health Diagnosis 

Residents of boroughs other than Camden or Islington can access our service at low-cost. Fees are between £15 and £60 per session. This service is also a possibility for clients from Camden with a Mental Health diagnosis who cannot be seen through our funded provision. Each client’s contribution is assessed according to their means. This is discussed and agreed at their assessment. CCIWBS has a limited number of free counselling places which are covered by the service's hardship fund - this is funded by donations to CCIWBS.

Clients who have already been seen by our service need to wait at least 6 months before re-referring for further support. 

We do not have funding for interpreters. We can offer counselling in some other languages.

I have read the referral criteria and want to refer the client.

If you have any questions,

please don't hesitate to contact us

Call us on 020 7284 0090 or email us at


Our office hours are Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 4:30 pm.


Outside these hours, you can leave a message on our voicemail

and we will aim to return your call the next working day.

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