The Multi Ethnic Counselling Service

In line with the Government’s approach to the Coronavirus pandemic, from the 18th March 2020 Waterloo Community Counselling has made the decision to close.

Our first priority must be the health and safety of all our staff and clients, our current clients will receive telephone sessions. We know that you have been waiting to start your counselling sessions / for an initial assessment appointment we apologise for the delay seeing you, however the management and trustees of Waterloo Community Counselling feel that it is necessary for us to close our service until further government advice is given. Therefore we will contact you as soon as we are offering new appointments.

If you are feeling unwell please be sure to contact either your GP, dial 111 or contact emergency services.


The Multi-Ethnic Counselling Service (MECS) was set up in 2004 to provide mother-tongue counselling to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers at no cost to the clients.  Many of our referrals have complex psychological and emotional problems arising from traumatic experiences in their countries of origin such as torture and persecution as a consequence of civil warfare and conflict. From our centre we provide service users with individual, mother tongue counselling and group support as well as signposting to other organisations to address their pragmatic and practical difficulties.

100 refugees and asylum seekers will be offered individual counselling during the course of a year. MECS offer an initial assessment to all refugee and asylum seeker referrals in order to understand their needs, expectations and whether we are. Clients are usually offered mother-tongue counselling for up to 12 sessions. We have the capacity to work in many different languages. Mother tongue counselling can be provided in the following languages: Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Farsi, Farsi (Dari), French, Hindi, Italian, Kurdish, Mandarin, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Twi and Urdu.

Counselling provides a forum and thinking space for clients to explore some of their emotional responses related to their past and present. The therapeutic relationship creates a safe space for clients to explore their presenting problems and to feel more stable in their emotional and cognitive understanding of what has happened and what is happening to them now.

Referral to MECS:

If you are living in Lambeth or Southwark and want to access our language service you must be referred via your GP / local IAPT service. Ask your GP for more information.

If you are a Refugee or Asylum-seeker living anywhere in London you can be referred to MECS using the online referral form.

Please note we currently only have the capacity to work with service users who are / above the age of 18.