Talk and support counselling service – Northern Ireland

Many adults affected by epilepsy and their carers go through difficult times in their lives. Talking to someone you can trust can make a real difference.

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Woman receiving counselling by talking to someone on her phone

Our counselling is…

  • Available to adults aged over 18 living in Northern Ireland affected by epilepsy including parents and carers
  • 8 weeks of counselling online or over the phone and online emotional support programmes in a group setting.
  • A totally free service. If you wish to make a donation, that is welcome but not obligatory. Your feedback at the end of the counselling process would be valuable.
  • a service you can contact for more information by telephone: Tel No: 028 9018 4015

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Need urgent support?

Epilepsy Action’s Talk and support counselling service is not a crisis service and if someone is in immediate risk of harm or is in crisis contact should be made with their GP (or the out of hours GP service) who can refer them to the mental health crisis team.

Lifeline 0808 808 8000 is a crisis response helpline available 24 hours a day seven days a week to people in Northern Ireland and offers immediate help over the telephone. The Samaritans also offer a 24 hour free telephone service 116 123 (UK and Ireland) or email

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the Talk and support counselling service?

    The service offers support through:

    • 8 sessions of online or telephone counselling
    • Online emotional support programmes in a group setting for adults who are affected by epilepsy, including parents and carers
  • How can counselling help?

    Many adults affected by epilepsy and their carers go through difficult times in their lives.

    Our online or telephone counselling is offered for up to 8 weekly sessions with each counselling session lasting approximately 50 minutes.

    Having this time set aside for you to talk to someone you trust can make a real difference.

  • Who can access the service?

    You can request access to the service if you are aged over 18, live in Northern Ireland and are affected by epilepsy, caring for someone affected by epilepsy, or the parent of someone affected by epilepsy.

    We cannot provide counselling to anyone currently under the care of mental health services.

    The Talk and support counselling service does not automatically accept all referrals that are received and reserves the right to consider if our service is appropriate for the kind of support you currently require.

  • How does online counselling work?

    Counselling will be provided online via video conferencing application Zoom. We will send you instructions on using Zoom when you register for counselling.

    You don’t need any special equipment – just a tablet, laptop or mobile phone with a camera and an internet connection. If you are unfamiliar or unsure of Zoom, please get in touch with us as we can provide you with support to get you started.

    If you do not have access to online technology, counselling can be provided via telephone.

  • How does telephone counselling work?

    Telephone counselling sessions will be arranged at a time that is convenient for you and will always be with the same counsellor.

    The calls are free as your counsellor will call you.

  • What are online emotional support programmes in a group setting?

    Our online emotional support programmes bring people with similar challenges together with a specially trained counsellor to share their experiences, fears or worries. Examples include our ‘Living well with epilepsy’ group for those with a new diagnosis a group for women and epilepsy and also groups for parents and carers.

    To get involved, you need access to a device with a webcam and a reliable internet connection. If you’re not feeling confident using Zoom, we can offer support in how to use it.

  • Is the Talk and support counselling service confidential?

    Yes, the sessions are confidential, however the counsellor has a duty of care to protect you. Therefore, in exceptional circumstances, the counsellor may take the decision to break confidentiality with or without your consent if necessary where in their professional judgment:

    • There is a risk of you harming yourself or being harmed
    • There is a risk of another person being harmed
    • There are safeguarding issues

    In such circumstances the counsellor will always seek to obtain your consent prior to disclosure.

  • Are the counsellors qualified?

    Yes all of the Epilepsy Action counselling service counsellors are qualified and understand the emotional effects of epilepsy.

Apply now

Complete the form below if you are interested in our Northern Ireland counselling and emotional support service.