Below are some frequently asked questions of our Service.

Please contact us if none of the below answer your question.

  • 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?

    You can contact your College Wellbeing Officer, or you can complete our online self-referral form

    For Colleges with a College Advisory Team (CAT Team), the College Wellbeing Officer is contactable via the CAT Team email address.  A member of staff from the team, which may or may not be the College Wellbeing Officer depending on the content of your email, will respond.  In the majority of cases, they will arrange a mutually convenient appointment to meet and assess your needs. 

    If you complete the self-referral form, this goes directly to the Counselling and Mental Health Service central office to be triaged. 

    You can also visit our drop-in to access the Service.  Often from attending, an appropriate member of our team is contacted and will follow up with you in due course.  Details of the drop-in can be found here.

  • What happens at the first appointment?

    Regardless of whether you completed the online self-referral form, or contacted your College Wellbeing Officer, the Counselling and Mental Health Service’s assessment process is the same. 

    Your therapist will ask you a series of questions designed to gain an understanding of your issues, and what things you might want to look at or change.  There will be space and time for you to discuss your issues in a safe environment, without judgement.  You will also be asked to complete a short questionnaire.  The assessment process also considers whether any other areas of your life are being impacted (e.g. studies, finances, social) and whether there are further support options available to you, alongside our Service. 

    Following the assessment, if required, one or more follow-up sessions may be agreed, either with the therapist who assessed you or with another Service staff member if more appropriate.  Follow-up sessions tend to be arranged session-by-session, at the end of each one.  In cases where external support would best meet your requirements, your therapist will discuss this, and the options, with you at the time.

  • What happens if I can't attend my appointment?

    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 counselling@lancaster.ac.uk.  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.