Service vision

Our aim is to support any individual whose psychological needs are standing in the way of them achieving their full potential in the university. We wish to offer a responsive service, tailored to the particular needs of any individual who approaches us. We strive for clinical excellence and for the sort of flexible contact, offered within a safe and nurturing  environment that will allow people to feel met in their distress and able to make use of the range of services on offer.

Each person is unique and we therefore aim to treat you as an individual, worthy of respect. We believe in the transforming ability of human contact and that each of us is capable of growth and change.

Given that 1:4 people have mental health difficulties within their life time and 1:6 at any one time it is unsurprising that we see large numbers of students across the year, helping them find their equilibrium and develop skills to manage the full range of psychological difficulties you’d expect to see in any normal population. Our mental health statement (PDF, 517kB) and current handbook of practice (PDF, 491kB) detail how we aim to support the mental health and wellbeing of students.

If it wasn’t for this service I don’t know where I would be now. Almost certainly not at the university and possibly six feet under

We are a listening service, endeavouring to be responsive to individuals and groups within the university and to provide appropriate and timely interventions to meet individuals in their distress and to help them reconnect with and develop their own psychological resources. Many of our workshops and groups are aimed at preventative health, enabling people to avoid a crisis and equip themselves for those times when life is more difficult.

Each week in term time we provide over 200 individual 1:1 counselling sessions to students. We use a system of assessment and triage in order to offer the most appropriate help. We recognise that not everyone is suited to traditional one to one weekly counselling and thus are flexible enough to provide one to one work in a variety of individual contracts, which might mean you come to see us only once, or from time to time, or make use of our online resources or resource library without appointment.

We also run a range of workshops and groups as well as Talk and Plan (TAP) sessions, all designed to empower individuals in managing their own health and wellbeing.

At the heart of our service is a belief in the importance of clinical excellence: the feedback we receive about our services suggests we achieve this many times, and we are always striving to improve what we offer through the routine use of evaluations.

We aim to provide transparent systems, backed up by clear policy so that anyone looking in on the service can understand what we do and why we do it.

There are many points of access in to the service, allowing for the wide variety of people we seek to serve, and whilst we may sometimes have to prioritise resources to the most urgent or severe cases and thus hold a waiting list for regular 1:1 work at peak times, our aim is to always offer something to those who approach us.

The service is an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and subscribes to its standards for ethics and good practice.