A Paisley man has launched a "pay what you can" therapy service to support those who are suffering during the cost-of-living crisis.

Jamie Kinlochan has recently finished a year-long Master's course in Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Strathclyde and now wants to help people looking for someone to talk to about their mental health.

He said: "People's personal budgets are being squeezed because wealth is distributed so unevenly and because political decisions have led to just about everything that we need to live costing so much more.

"When you combine that with overly-long NHS waiting times, our recovery from the Covid pandemic and the unplanned difficulties that can happen in our life – it's a perfect storm for us to struggle with our mental health."

The "pay what you can" approach will see people receive counselling and determine for themselves how much they can afford to pay for it.

Unlike counselling available through the NHS and some charities, there will be no maximum number of sessions that people can access. 

Initially, sessions are being offered online, with Jamie hoping to open a therapy room in Paisley. 

He is reaching out to any local businesses or landlords who want to help him find a way to offer more people counselling in a way that is affordable to them.

Jamie said: "Online sessions are great – I build the same kind of relationship with people as I would in person and it can be a much more convenient way for people to get a little bit of time and space to themselves. 

"For others, meeting online is important so I'd love to be able to find somewhere in Paisley to create a positive and welcome space that people can come to.

"I feel really passionately that more investment is needed in the training of counsellors and that we should change the current model of NHS mental health provision so that people get help when they need it. I think that's what will lead to the changes we all need. 

"In the meantime, I'm doing what I can to help out and I would encourage anyone who is thinking about therapy to check out my website and get in touch."

For more information, visit jamiekinlochan.com/counselling.