FAQs for staff
Q) I’m worried about a student, what do I do?
A) The best thing you can do is to talk to them directly. Explain your concerns using facts and things you know or have observed rather than gut feelings or assumptions. Is the student in crisis? If so you need to call the emergency services, please read supporting a student in a crisis. If it is not a crisis but you are still concerned, consider signposting or referring them to counselling. If you want to ask someone else for some help or advice do contact us. You can do this without using names if this helps.
Q) A student has told me something that concerns me but has asked me not to tell anyone, what do I do?
A) The first step in this situation would be to call us and ask for some advice and information. Explain that the student has asked you not to tell anyone and don’t give us their name. We can talk to you about your concerns and determine together whether it is necessary to break confidentiality. Although it is permitted to break confidentiality in some circumstances we would always advise that the student is told about this before it happens. They should be carefully informed of the reasons why you think that their confidentiality needs to be broken and exactly who you will tell. However in most cases it is reasonable for a student to ask you not to tell people their confidential information providing that information doesn’t put you, the student or someone else at risk. You can signpost them towards appropriate support services and encourage them to disclose the information to someone else. If you are unsure please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Q) What if a student doesn’t want counselling?
A) Students are adults and providing they are not a risk to themselves or someone else they have a choice. If they do not wish to have counselling they do not have to. If you feel they may be in crisis please read supporting a student in a crisis about what to do next as this will involve calling the emergency services.
However there are other options available which are not counselling. Students can use other sources of help as listed on our website. Alternatively we could arrange an appointment for them to see our Wellbeing Adviser. The Wellbeing Adviser provides practical support and advice to students about issues such as health, changing direction and time out. Sometimes this feels a bit less daunting to a student who doesn’t feel they need counselling. The Wellbeing Adviser can also refer on to other services such as international advice, accommodation, student funding, disability services or counselling if appropriate. To book an appointment with a Wellbeing Adviser contact the Base on 01524 592525 or email@example.com
Q) A student is behaving bizarrely, am I in danger?
A) The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent. There are some interesting facts about public misconception of the link between violence and mental ill health on the University of Washington website. However it is important that you keep yourself safe in any situation and we would advise you to contact us to discuss your concerns as soon as possible. See Advice & Information for more details
Q) A student has told me of concerns they have for another student, what should I tell them?
A) Students can look at our website on "Looking after your friends". You might want to advise them to encourage the other student to access the support that is available to them through our services. Check if the student you are talking to needs some help themselves. They could see a Wellbeing Adviser about how the issue is affecting them and get some practical advice about how to deal with it. To book an appointment with a Wellbeing Adviser contact the Base on 01524 592525 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Q) A student is waiting for counselling but I am worried about them, what do I do?
A) Students can wait some time for counselling depending on the time of year and the demands on the service. You can contact us to discuss your concerns. Please see our Advice & Information pages for more information. It is also important to remember that counselling is not necessarily going to solve any current problems immediately. There are also other things they should do while they wait for their counselling appointment. We would recommend they see their GP and discuss their issues with them. It may be that they can prescribe some medication that can help. They may also want to look at the other sources of help as listed on our website.