Counselling and support service

Living with a long-term illness such as chronic kidney disease can turn anyone's world upside down. You’re not alone. Our Counselling Service offers FREE help and emotional support to kidney patients and their families.

At Kidney Care UK we understand the impact of chronic kidney disease (CKD). It can be exhausting and stressful for patients, carers, families, and loved ones. 

You may feel you could do with some support, information and guidance but find it difficult to know where to begin.

Whether you are worried about dialysis options, transplantation or simply managing everyday life with CKD, our counsellors are able to listen and offer free help and emotional support to those who are unable to access counselling services in their local kidney unit.

After my initial diagnosis I became quite depressed. I hid my feelings from friends and family, carrying on as if nothing had happened. Over time I felt worse and didn’t know where to turn until I found the Kidney Care UK website. Counselling has helped me turn a corner. Speaking openly and honestly, I feel renewed and refreshed. I have new strategies in place to support me and I am now ready to face whatever comes my way.

Book a free counselling appointment with Kidney Care UK

Our free Counselling Service is available to all patients and their families and carers. 

To book an appointment with a specialist renal counsellor:

  • Call the Kidney Care UK office on 01420 541 424, or email [email protected] with your telephone contact or email details so our team can get in touch.
  • We will arrange for an initial 30-minute chat with a counsellor, so we can understand what you are hoping to get from counselling and explain how we might be able to support you.
  • If you and the counsellor decide that the service is right for you, we will arrange a series of up to six 50-minute counselling sessions. The sessions are weekly and conducted on online platforms or by phone.

We are able to offer all our counselling sessions completely free of charge thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Find out how you can get involved.

Kidney Care UK Counselling team
The Kidney Care UK counselling team
It was an immediate relief to know I was speaking to someone who understood. The counsellor was very knowledgeable about CKD and its impact on families. I was asked open questions that helped me to recognise the overlapping concerns I had been carrying. Talking honestly gave me the confidence to look at myself and see that I had been making positive decisions for myself and my family before CKD and that would not change in the future. Saying 'thank you' does not express how grateful I feel.

"It's such a relief to talk to someone who understands"

We all go through times of worry, fear and uncertainty when facing changes in our lives – especially ones that involve our health.

At these difficult times, some people prefer to make use of their own support network, while others may prefer to speak with someone impartial and separate from friends and family.

I immediately received reassurance, confidence, and support, helping me every step of the way. The counsellor really understood my feelings and gave me great advice. She was honest, sympathetic, kind, and trustworthy. As the weeks went by, I was getting stronger. We even laughed together, which I thought I would not be able to. I will never forget this experience and could not have done this without the support and care from Kidney Care UK.

Get in touch for free emotional support to help you with:

  • Shock after diagnosis
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like it's all too much
  • Coming to terms with having kidney disease
  • Deciding which treatment options or medical procedures would be best for you
  • Worries about a particular type of treatment
  • Emotional or relationship difficulties brought about by illness or treatments
  • The stress of adjusting to new treatments – a transplant, for example
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Keeping to a treatment regime
  • Kidney donation and its implications
  • Feeling anxious or depressed

All our specialist counsellors are registered / accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

From my very first session with my counsellor I felt so comfortable. It was very emotional for me, but she was just so kind, and calm and gave me a coping tip which I now use regularly. Once I started talking to her, I couldn't stop, and it was so useful to speak out loud to someone who listened. I'm so glad I finally admitted to myself I needed some help and guidance, and that Kidney Care UK were there when I needed them.

Accessing crisis support

Kidney Care UK's free Counselling Service can offer emotional support and provide space to talk about the impact of chronic kidney disease in a confidential setting. 

This service cannot provide crisis support. If you need this, here are some useful contacts:

  • Contact your GP, or ring NHS 111 by dialling 111
  • Call the 24-hour Samaritans support line free on 116 123 (UK)
  • Side by Side is mental health charity Mind's online peer support community, available to all 24/7
I have recently had several counselling sessions and I can truly say it changed my life. I am no longer frightened of the future, and I have a better understanding of chronic kidney disease. Before counselling I was frightened to ask questions as I was fearful of the answers – I felt I was better not knowing. My counsellor’s advice always made such sense, and it allowed me to take small steps and learn how to handle difficult times when I was struggling. I believe I benefited from all her guidance and never felt she was telling me what to do. I had several ‘lightbulb’ moments when she would ask a question and the answer often ended with me ‘totally getting the whole situation’. I will be forever grateful and feel I have managed to change my whole outlook.

More emotional support

  • Young Adult Kidney Group (YAKG)

    Started in 2016 as a way for young people with kidney disease to come together, the Young Adult Kidney Group has grown into a safe place for young patients to support one another online.

  • Kidney Care UK online community

    At Kidney Care UK, we believe no one should have to face kidney disease alone. To connect with other people affected by CKD in the UK, join our friendly, supportive online community on Facebook.