Who is in the Service and what support is offered?
The Counselling and Mental Health Service is comprised of qualified and professional Mental Health Practitioners, who are all staff members of the University. This includes our College Wellbeing Officers, who are part of the Service but reside in the Colleges, and our Counsellors, Mental Health Advisors, Student Wellbeing Coordinator, and Head and Deputy Head of Service, who reside in our central office on Alexandra Square.
We offer a range of services including online support, groups and information sessions, drop-ins and short term one-to-one support. Please see our Services available page for further information.
How do I access the Service?
After completing the form, you will be sent a short questionnaire to fill in and then your referral will be complete.
Once complete, you will be contacted by the Service and offered an initial assessment appointment. Please respond to this offer within 48 hours (working days).
You can also visit one of our drop-ins to discuss accessing the Service.
What happens at the initial assessment?
The initial assessment is a short meeting with a Practitioner from our Service, and is designed to gain an understanding of what's going on currently and what you might want to look at or change. During the appointment, the Practitioner can explain the different support options that may best benefit you, and help you know what to do next.
Please note that if you were asked to complete the self-referral form via your College Wellbeing Officer, please be aware that it will not necessarily be your College Wellbeing Officer performing the initial assessment, but could be any Practitioner from our Service. If you go on to receive one-to-one support at College level, this would be with your College's Wellbeing Officer.
How can I make best use of the appointments with my therapist?
The appointments require your active engagement, such as talking about your feelings, as well as being open to different ways of thinking and behaving.
You might want to consider what you wish to achieve, such as feeling more motivated to study, feeling more confident in social situations, or sleeping better. It might be tempting to say to your therapist "I just want to feel happy again". However, in order to move forward, you and your therapist will agree to set some specific goals, including engaging in tasks between appointments in order to support your progress.
What happens if I can't attend my appointments?
If you need to cancel an appointment with us, please do, and please give us as much notice as possible. If you don’t know you need to cancel until the day of your appointment, please still let us know. You can email your therapist directly, or contact our central office on 01524 592690 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your therapist will then get in touch to reschedule.
In particular, for assessment appointments, we try to offer cancelled slots out to students who are still waiting, and we can still do this on the same day, so please always let us know if you need to cancel yours. If you’ve decided you no longer need the appointment due to feeling you no longer need the Service currently, please let us know rather than not attending, as again we can offer the slot out to another student.
I'm being bullied/harassed/stalked/the victim of hate crime/the victim of sexual misconduct, what can I do?
If you are experiencing any of the above issues, or anything related, you can receive emotional and/or practical support from the University, depending on what you need. Please click here to find out more, including how to access this support.
I need/have been asked to get supporting evidence for mitigating/extenuating circumstances from the Service, is this possible?
Our Service can only provide supporting evidence to a mitigating/extenuating circumstances request if you have had contact with us already, prior to the evidence being requested. If you are currently receiving support from another route or external agency (e.g. your GP or NHS services or equivalent) evidence can be provided by them. If you are not currently receiving support from another service, and have not contacted our Service before, please refer into our Service.
I’ve left care and am finding the University experience very different, is there any support I can get?
Yes, the Transitions Team offers support to the University’s students who have just left care or have experience of care. Please click here to read more, including how to access this support.
I look after a family member and it’s a big responsibility, is there any support I can get?
Yes, the Transitions Team offer support to the University’s student carers, please click here to read more, including how to access this support.
I no longer have contact with my parents and would appreciate some help, is there any support I can get?
Yes, the Transitions Team offers support to the University’s estranged or independent students, please click here to read more, including how to access this support.
Where can I find the University's Mental Health Policy?
You can view the policy here.
Will any information go on my University student record?
No. No information about you or your attendance at any sessions will go on your University student record. Your therapist may ask you to complete a questionnaire, and they may take notes during an appointment, but these are all stored on our secure systems and are not accessible by staff outside our Service.
Are the sessions confidential?
Please see our Confidentiality page for further details.
Where is the Counselling and Mental Health Service located?
We have different locations across the Lancaster campus to improve access to our Service, please click here for more details.