University of Kent

Why CHS?

Community Help Service (CHS) is a non-profit organisation established in 1971 as a resource for the English-speaking expatriate population of Belgium. Since then it has developed its telephone Helpline, its Mental Health Centre and its Educational Testing Services to encompass the many different expatriate communities in Belgium who find it easier to use English rather than one of the official languages of Belgium. Since CHS has been in existence it has built up an expertise, second to none, in providing solutions, through therapeutic support, to the range of difficulties encountered by the people who turn to it in times of stress.

How CHS Helps

CHS clients come from all parts of the world. They call the Helpline if they are facing a crisis in their lives, or if they have a straightforward request for information. They come in for therapy, or they seek testing for children with learning difficulties or emotional problems. The Helpline is staffed by a team of trained and dedicated volunteers as is the CHS administrative office. The Mental Health Centre is staffed by a team of health care professionals – psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists. By contacting CHS, clients take the first steps toward understanding and adjusting to the demands of life as an expatriate. It can take just one phone call to help someone through a crisis, or set up a course of therapeutic treatment.

Jeremy Jennings"Community Health Service is a very special organisation. Its 24/7 anonymous and confidential Helpline, as well as the Mental Health Services Centre, are both run entirely by dedicated volunteers. Between them they provide support and assistance to more than 5,000 callers a year, as well as co-ordinate with our Clinical Team who offer a range of mental health services in English and other languages.

Whilst CHS was originally founded to serve the British and American communities in Belgium, today the European Union's membership has grown, and so, too, has Belgium's international community for whom English is the preferred second language. With an increasing awareness of the importance of mental health in our modern society, CHS is uniquely placed to provide succour, support and a listening ear to those in need.

I am proud to be associated with CHS and look forward to celebrating our 50th year of service in 2021."

Jeremy Jennings, Chair of the CHS Board