Safe Space - ׽ͼ: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity


What is Safe Space?

Safe Space is an in-house service established to offer support to staff who may benefit from a protected space to talk and reflect on their work experiences confidentially. Staff can choose to meet with a member of the team via a telephone or online session.

The service is led by trained counsellors and therapists from our SIS team and provides a safe, supportive, non-judgemental and protected space for staff. You may wish to use the space to reflect, to explore things you are finding rewarding or challenging in your role, or to make sense of things that are on your mind or causing difficulty for you. There may be times when you have something specific you want to talk through, or other times when you are unsure – that’s okay.

With the recent expansion of our health provision, Dr Helen Smith, Strategic Health Consultant at ׽ͼ, has joined the Safe Space service and will offer support to staff from our Safe Centre.

This space is flexible to your needs – it is YOUR SPACE and a TIME FOR YOU to reflect and gain insight.

Who is Involved?

The following ׽ͼ staff make up the Safe Space team.

  • Mhairi Gallacher, Therapeutic Practitioner
  • Amanda Jordan, Systemic Family Therapist
  • Dr Helen Smith, Strategic Health Consultant

What it’s Not

Safe Space has remained in place throughout the recent COVID-19 pandemic, but it is important to emphasise that the service is NOT simply about COVID-19 related concerns. If you feel that you could benefit from having a space to reflect confidentially in an otherwise busy work environment, then Safe Space is for you.

This service is not about giving psychological advice or guidance in relation to the children or young people – there are many existing forums in place for this already. The purpose of Safe Space is to be focussed on staff, allowing an opportunity to talk, reflect and be supported in your role.

Safe Space is also not designed to supersede or replace other existing supports that remain accessible to all staff, such as external counselling, GP/Occupational Health services, line management supervision or worker’s meetings to name a few. We recognise that everyone is different in terms of their preferences for support, and Safe Space is simply offered as another option to complement existing provisions and wellbeing initiatives that remain available. Depending on discussions, the Safe Space team may also signpost you to other supports that you may find beneficial.

It would also be important to note that in her role with Safe Space, Dr Smith would be unable to prescribe medication but may signpost staff to GP or Occupational Health services if deemed appropriate.

Is it Confidential?

Safe Space is a voluntary service and for staff to feel safe and at ease in utilising the service, confidentiality is of paramount importance. All discussions or reflections which take place in Safe Space sessions will be considered strictly private and confidential.

No feedback will be shared with management, HR or other parties – only names and dates of attendance can be requested for individual or service review purposes.

As with all services, the usual limits of confidentiality would apply – if there were concerns about risks to the safety of staff, children or young people then it would be a requirement for such concerns to be passed on, and this would be made clear to staff upon accessing the Safe Space service.

How to Access the Service

To arrange a session with the Safe Space team, please email

A member of the Safe Space team will then be in touch with you to arrange a session.  Let us know in your email if there is a day or time you might prefer to meet, and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Sessions can be arranged before or after shifts and can be scheduled on evenings or weekends by prior arrangement.  

Depending on preference, sessions may take place in the SIS building on our campus, in the Safe Centre, online or by telephone.

You may wish to inform your line manager of your attendance at Safe Space.  This is entirely optional and not a requirement, but your line manager may be able to arrange for time off to be accommodated during your shift or for TOIL to be provided for your attendance at sessions (at their discretion).