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Frequently Asked Questions


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Insula Wellbeing is a mental health care service founded by Sharon Rutherford and Jessica Melville. With over 35 years of experience in acute mental health, their mission is to provide a bespoke and timely approach to mental health care for individuals across all age groups and a full range of staff supports for businesses.

Insula Wellbeing offers a fresh approach to mental health support, with a particular emphasis on early intervention, education, and practical strategies. Our team, consisting of clinically trained mental health professionals and therapists, is dedicated to making a tangible difference in the lives of their clients and within businesses through our pioneering mental health clinics. We are transforming staff supports across the province.

Yes it is, with the exception that if you present as a risk to yourself or others we have a duty to act on that.  Apart from this we will not share your information with anyone unless it is with your full agreement.  Our office is located in the heart of a business community providing discretion and privacy for your appointments.  We can also meet online or at an alternative agreed location.

No and we would recommend you remain on the waiting list.

Payment for services will be in advance for those individuals who self refer. This will ordinarily be by bank transfer with details provided at time of referral.  Businesses will be invoiced following engagement with staff.  Wellbeing Clinics require a 50% deposit at time of booking with full amount payable within 7 days.  Please contact us for alternate payment options

We will endeavour to respond to you as quickly as we can and if not available immediately will be in touch within 72hrs to arrange an individual session as soon as possible and currently this will be within a 2 week period. 

Initially we recommend our package which includes your initial assessment (taking approximately 1.5hrs) and a follow up session (usually takes place the following week and lasts approximately 1hr).  At Insula Wellbeing we believe in open and honest communication, working together with you and alongside your preference regarding what happens next.  We will discuss how many sessions may be required and if necessary this can be kept under review.   If following our assessment it is agreed that we are not in a position to meet your needs or our service is not for you,  we will endeavour to signpost you towards those who can.  Our passion and commitment is ensuring that you get the right support you need, if that is not with us we will tell you.

You can email us via the link provided or message us through either instagram or Facebook.  You can also call us on 028 91898182 or Sharon Rutherford - 07786270954/Jessica Melville - 07912757840. If we are in a session and unable to answer please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We understand that unexpected circumstances may arise, and we strive to be flexible. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please notify us at least 48 hours in advance to avoid any charges. In the event of a cancellation within 48 hours, a 50% fee will apply. Cancellations within 24 hours will incur the full session fee. We appreciate your understanding, as late cancellations make it challenging to fill the appointment slot and impact our ability to offer timely support to others.

We understand that unexpected circumstances may arise, and we strive to be flexible.  If a staff member needs to cancel or reschedule an appointment we would encourage them to please notify us at least 48 hours in advance to avoid any charges. In the event of a cancellation within 48 hours, a 50% fee will apply. Cancellations within 24 hours will incur the full session fee. We appreciate your understanding, as late cancellations make it challenging to fill the appointment slot and impact our ability to offer timely support to others’. Charges will be invoiced to the company.

 If a charge is being applied the referring agent (within the company) will be notified.  It will be at the companies discretion to request reimbursement from the staff member for cancelled or non attendance at appointments, whatever they deem appropriate.

If you are considering support from a therapist it is reassuring to know that they are working to high standards of practice within their profession. Social media will speak of lots of different types of therapy and supports which can often lead to confusion over who is qualified. Check the qualifications and experience of your therapist so that you can feel satisfied that they are who they say who they are, and that they are qualified to the advertised level. 

At Insula Wellbeing we are registered members of our relevant Professional Bodies.

Sharon Rutherford is registered with Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) 1097649 and British Association of Social Workers (BASW) 149579.

Jessica Melville is registered with the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC) OT 48457 and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) 149579.

Karen Allen is registered with the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC) OT       and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT)         .

To find out more information about our registration and accreditation visit the Professional Bodies’ website and type in our name and registration number. 

Being registered with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.  It is also a regulator in control of setting standards in professional training, performance and conduct, and ensures professionals abide by their code of ethics and complaints procedure. It is a criminal offence for anyone to claim to be registered with a professional body if they are not.

We utilise a range of evidence-based therapeutic techniques and interventions tailored to individual needs, such as

  • Comprehensive mental health assessment
  • Sensory based
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Solution focused
  • Person Centred
  • Low intensity CBT
  • Distress tolerance
  • Behavioural activation
  • Goal setting
  • Problem solving
  • Stress management
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Resilience building
  • Assertiveness training
  • Healthy coping skills

We are aware that those with mental health issues or in a supporting role can also have physical health problems.  Our office does require you to be able to walk up a short flight of stairs or use a stair lift if needed.  We can also arrange an alternative venue if more suitable.  Physical difficulties should not stand in the way of your mental health needs.

Absolutely not.  At no time will you be forced to talk about things, however in order to make the most out of your session we would encourage openness and honesty and sometimes this will make you feel uncomfortable.  Recovery often starts with discomfort.  We will pace our sessions with what works for you.

Our therapeutic interventions focus on your current symptoms “the here and now”.  Our training, expertise and skills will help you to manage these using both talking therapies and practical sessions.  It is not always necessary to go into your past.  Not all mental health problems are linked to past trauma, many will face struggles as a consequence of their current circumstances and this is where we will specialise.  If you need specialists supports regarding your past we will signpost you to where to go.

No, your medication will be the primary responsibility of your GP and that will remain the case.  Medication has a very important part in managing mental health but it is not the only part.  We will help you develop and use additional strategies to really strengthen and work alongside what medication is doing.  

In our experience often attending more than one therapeutic service can send mixed messages, lead to confusion and leave you feeling overwhelmed.  If you are attending another mental health service please discuss it with us and we will be happy to delay our input if needed.  Our service will always focus on you getting the help that is right for you when you need it.

When dealing with mental health struggles it can often challenge us in ways that make us feel uncomfortable.  If we are doing our job properly it will push you a little outside your comfort zone as you move towards recovery.   If you find yourself distressed between sessions in the first instance, try to use the techniques you have previously discussed. These may include distraction techniques, sensory techniques, journaling or physical exercise.  If you feel you need immediate support you should speak with your GP, Doctors on call, lifeline and if necessary contact emergency services.


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