emotional support

Discover how we can support your mental health


It’s natural for everyone to experience a range of emotions in response to life events, work pressures, circumstances, and relationships. Yet there’s a tendency for us to judge ourselves for how we feel. The emotions in the first list are known as ‘negative emotions’ and sometimes people feel shame or guilt when experiencing them and that might mean they hesitate to look for support. If you’re used to feeling independent, solving your own problems or being ‘the one in charge’, it can be a challenge to ask for help.

There are times in everyone’s life when an outside perspective, time to reflect or external advice can help them process and resolve how they feel so they can move on with confidence.

It’s okay to feel however you’re feeling.

“If you are feeling anxious, fed up or that others are asking the impossible of you, you should contact caba without delay. For me, it was the first step on the journey to getting better.”


caba client

self-help advice and resources

When you’re going through a difficult time or are struggling with how you feel, accessing the right information from a source that you can trust is important. Read our articles, written by caba experts for a different perspective on your situation, learn about mental health and discover what you can do to take care of yours. Articles cover how to cope with stress, information about depression and anxiety, how to manage burnout and practical advice for carers.


Mental health is tied to many other aspects of life, so depending on your own situation you might like to visit other topic areas like financial health which includes how to deal with debt, career advice, looking after your physical health or our legal advice factsheets.

access to Qwell

If you’re based in the UK, through caba you can access Qwell, an online counselling and mental health support service for adults. Talk about whatever is on your mind to a qualified professional, share your experience and get support from a community of anonymous peers as well learn more about good mental health.


need help now?

If you feel like you might seriously harm yourself or attempt suicide, you need urgent medical help. If you’re in the UK, the NHS also provide urgent local mental health helplines. You can also call Samiritans for free, 24 hours a day. Mental health emergencies are serious. You're not wasting anyone's time.

contact the Samaritans


talking therapy

Talking therapies give you a safe place to talk to a professional who won’t judge you. They can help you make sense of things and move through the problems you’re facing. Sometimes it can be easier to talk to a professional rather than friends or family.

Talking therapy can help you:

  • deal with difficult life events like bereavement or relationship problems
  • process and resolve emotions like guilt, grief, anger, or sadness
  • cope with a crisis
  • work through conflict
  • improve low self-esteem.

All our services are accessed in the strictest confidence, we won’t tell anyone, including the ICAEW or your employer.

telephone and video counselling

We provide counselling over the phone or by video call from professionally qualified counsellors. When you first get in contact with us, a specialist support officer will talk through your situation. Once you've been referred, you’ll complete a short assessment to make sure that counselling is suitable. If it’s not, then we’ll recommend other services that are more appropriate

There is only a short wait of around two weeks before you talk to your own counsellor. It’s important that you feel comfortable talking to your counsellor to get the best benefit from your sessions. There’s an option to switch counsellors if things don’t work out.

Counsellors draw on a wide range of techniques to help you move through whatever you’re facing. They can also direct you to other organisations for information, advice and support.

Woman smiling with a mobile phone


Relate counselling

We have a partnership with Relate which offer specialist counselling services by video call in the UK. After you’ve spoken to us, with your agreement, we’ll pass on your information to Relate. They’ll contact you within a few days to set up your first appointment where you’ll complete a short assessment to make sure that counselling is suitable. If it’s not, then we’ll recommend other services that are more appropriate. You’ll have up to five sessions. There is no limit to the number of times you can access our services, although we advise taking a break after the initial five sessions to reflect on what you’ve discussed.

If you’re based outside the UK, we’ll work with you to find the best support for your needs.

relationship counselling

Relate’s counsellors provide a caring, supportive and non-judgmental environment to help you find a way through any difficulties you may be facing in your relationship/s. Counselling may be able to ease a situation you’re facing in your relationship, even if your problems seem trivial. Relate counsellors have experience in counselling people from different backgrounds, including LGBT individuals and couples, so you'll find a counsellor to meet your needs.

children and young people’s counselling

Children and young people's counselling is for any young person who's having problems. Whether it's depression and mental health concerns or issues with parents or people at school. Counselling for children and young people from age 5 to 18.

family counselling

Family counselling can help the whole family to communicate better, and to understand and resolve differences. When families go through change, it can be difficult to learn to adapt. Counselling can help family members to support one another through these difficult times, to reduce conflict and arguments and grow stronger as a result.

psychosexual therapy

Psychosexual therapy can help you if you're experiencing difficulties in your love life and can help you to improve physical intimacy. Working with a Relate Psychosexual Therapist will help you to work out how to handle the problems you're having and find a way to move on from them.

support your mental health

If you're unsure where to start, call us on +44 (0) 1788 556 366 or email us at [email protected] and one of our specialist support officers will talk over your situation and recommend the best support.



We have a range of online courses focused on looking after and understanding mental health, including skills to relieve anxiety, navigating burnout, learning mindfulness and handling personal change.

your questions answered 

Who is eligible for support?

We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and the family and carers of members and students. 

  1. No matter where your career takes you, past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW) are eligible for caba’s services for life, even if you change your career and leave accountancy 
  2. ACA students (ICAEW Provisional Members) who are either an active student or have been an active student within the last three years are eligible for caba's services 
  3. Past and present staff members of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's services for life, even if you leave either organisation. Please note, for former employees, our financial support is only available to those who have had five years continuous employment with either organisation 
  4. Family members and carers of either an eligible past or present ICAEW member, ACA student or past or present employee of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's support. We define a family member as a: 
    1. spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner 
    2. widow, widower or surviving civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    3. divorced spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    4. child aged up to 25. Please note, children aged between 16 and 25 are not eligible for individual financial support 
    5. any other person who is dependent on the eligible individual supporting them financially or are reliant on the eligible individual’s care 
    6. any other person on whom the eligible individual is reliant, either financially or for care 

You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer  page. 

Will information I give to caba remain confidential?

We provide confidential and impartial advice and support. Everything you tell us stays with us in strict confidence. We won't disclose any of your details to a third party organisation without informing you first and we never share client information with ICAEW. For full details on how we process your data please refer to our privacy statement.

Can you diagnose specific mental health conditions?

No. You’ll need to visit your GP or medical doctor to diagnose specific mental health conditions.

Who provides counselling?

Our telephone and video counselling team are all fully-accredited with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and are based near Cardiff in Wales, UK.

Our specialist counselling is provided by Relate, the UK’s largest provider of relationship support.

How long will I have to wait to talk to a counsellor?

Many people are talking to their counsellor within two weeks, but this can depend on a number of things such as your availability, additional requirements etc.

Can I speak to my counsellor out of hours?

Whilst the counsellors are not available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we do have a listening ear service available. You can contact it on 0800 107 6163, or via the live chat function on our contact us page.

What if I can’t make a session?

Telephone and video counselling - you should advise the counselling team as soon as possible, preferably more than 24 hours before your scheduled appointment. You can reach them on 0800 107 6163, or via the live chat function on our web page. 

Specialist relationship counselling - you should advise the Relate centre that you are working with as soon as possible. If notice is not given at least 48 hours before the appointment, unfortunately this will be deducted from the five sessions provided.

If I ask caba for help will ICAEW be told?

Absolutely not. Whilst we support the ICAEW community we are entirely independent so you can talk to us in complete confidence.

Will caba support me if I'm outside the UK?

Yes, if you’re eligible for our support, we’ll support you wherever you live however we can. Contact us to find out what support is available where you live.

Do I have to pay for support?

No, all our support is free.

Do I have to donate to caba to access its support?

Our services are free and you don’t have to donate to be eligible for our support. Donations are entirely voluntary.

What do I need to do to access support?

Just get in touch - call us on +44 (0)1788 556366, email us or fill in the enquiry form.

Will my employer know if I have asked caba for help?

No, we won’t share any information with your employer.

How do I donate to caba?

You can donate online here, or by post. If you wish, you can also leave a legacy in your will. Please contact your solicitor if you want to leave a bequest in your will.