The Tasha Foundation

Tasha: a free resource providing online counselling for mental health and addiction issues

25 July 2016    Carole Francis-Smith

The TASHA Foundation grew from an organisation that set up small self-help groups for people suffering addictions in the 1990’s, to the organisation it is today. Its ethos has stayed the same – to help vulnerable people find help.

About 3 years ago it transformed into its present form by developing a platform called – a free resource for mental health and addiction issues, delivering single session support through its dedicated instant messaging platform. The platform offers sessions from a trained counsellor via Instant Message, and is available 10am-10pm seven days a week. A client can access the service as many times as they like. They remain anonymous and there is no tangible assessment process.

As a client you go to the website and launch the counsellor service. You then get put through to a counsellor (who you might have to wait to become free) and start a 50 minute, one off counselling session.

At the end of the counselling clients are asked to fill in a 5 star rating of their experience (currently 4.2), and asked to fill in the customer satisfaction inventory (9 questions)– both are voluntary and a low percentage opt to fill in the latter.

TASHA have an interesting and brave approach to providing immediate help for those struggling with mental health issues (which may not fit with some therapists view of traditional therapy). They do not ask for any identifiable information from a user and have an implicit contract whereby counsellors are required to abide by the BACP ethical guidelines. All client material is confidential under this system, which, from another view, means it is difficult to provide evidence for the efficacy of the service. They rely on counsellors to make on the spot decisions on whether they are an appropriate service/ have the appropriate skills to work with the presenting client and have a system of referral/ supervision to aid this process.

If a counsellor is not available a client will get a screen with helpful information on. With this in mind, TASHA are always looking to recruit volunteer counsellors and it is a great way to get more experience in working online by instant message. If you are thinking about volunteering for TASHA their requirements are that; you have at least 200 hours experience as a counsellor, and they require a minimum commitment of 4 hours a week. The vetting process is understandably robust and, if successful, they supply a training and supervision package. Please contact for further information.