Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement

Personal Tutor Handbook - Student Support Services

Counselling Service

Support servicesThe Counselling Services provides confidential help with a wide range of personal and psychological concerns. 

Personal Tutors support students in a number of different ways, and one way is for you to recommend that your tutees see a counsellor when appropriate.  This means that you can concentrate on your own role without trying to be a counsellor as well.  If you are worried about a student and you are not sure what to do, you can phone a counsellor to talk through the situation and get a second opinion about what action to take.  The Counselling Service can also offer workshop sessions for academic and support staff, and welcome requests from you. 

Students’ personal issues can become distracting or overwhelming, disrupting academic progress as well as private life.  The Counselling Service provides a range of ways in which students can consider their thoughts, feelings and behaviours, come to understand themselves better and find some resolution of their difficulties.  This in turn releases them back into being able to concentrate more fully on their studies.  As well as face-to-face sessions with a variety of approaches – including psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural – students can have email counselling, psychoeducational groupwork, bibliotherapy, and can make use of the many resources linked to on the website . 

Counselling is by its nature a confidential activity.  This means that even a student’s attendance at the Service is not normally disclosed, except at the student’s request.  There are times, though, when it is very helpful that tutors can receive some feedback on a student they have referred; the way to facilitate this is to ask the student to tell the counsellor if they would like you to be kept informed , We can provide supporting letters for ECFs when appropriate, but In order to make this meaningful  it is normally only done when the student is already known to us.

The counsellors work closely with a mental health adviser, who will sometimes refer students to us for counselling, or alternatively may see students referred from us because of specific mental health concerns.  The close working ensures continuity of care for students. Students can make an appointment with Counselling or Mental Health by emailing Pam Ringland or phone 02392 843049. They do need to make the contact themselves, though it’s fine if you want to be in the room to provide moral support while they do so.  Seeing a counsellor often feels like a really big step to people. 

Many hundreds of students contact the Counselling service every year and take a positive step towards getting things sorted out. The Counsellors are generally friendly and unshockable, as well as professional.  Students can visit the Counselling Service website if they want to have a think about it first.  The website also provides links to a range of external self-help resources.

Contact the Counselling Service by email or find out more on the Counselling Service website.

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