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Consulting the UCS to Help Support Students

 

"I'm concerned about one of my students and want to talk it through..." The Counselling Service can be consulted by any member of staff to to talk through any emotional/psychological concerns you may have about a student or to discuss potential referrals to the counselling service or to other support resources. The Counsellor can offer guidance on how to proceed and advice on whether a referral to counselling or another resource is appropriate. Often, if you have a concern, talking it through with one of the counselling team can be helpful. It is possible to discuss someone anonymously (without revealing their identity) if that seems more appropriate. Either telephone the UCS on 02476 523761 (extension 23761) - if a member of the counselling team is not available immediately, a mutually convenient time can be arranged via the Administrators or you can directly email your named link counsellor (see below) or email counselling@warwick.ac.uk for any general enquiries.

The Departmental Consultancy Service and List of Link Counsellors

The University Counselling Service is aware of the increasing levels of student and staff distress in all departments throughout the University (and indeed nationally). Dealing with these issues can increase demands on staff time and resources. In order to help to reduce the workload for staff, each department is allocated a specific named person from the University Counselling Service (UCS) team to be their consultant. It is anticipated that each consultant can be involved with their particular department to offer the following:
  • act as a named link to facilitate communication between the UCS and other support staff
  • to discuss need and negotiate, in conjunction with the tutor/member of staff, an appropriate referral
  • to facilitate initiatives. Staff may identify needs or circumstances specific to their department which can be met by specialist provision involving areas of expertise to be found in the UCS
  • workshops for students. The UCS already runs some specific issue workshops for students but, it may be possible to plan to run a workshop specifically designed for a particular cohort of students
  • workshops for staff. The UCS can run workshops on specific areas of personal tutoring e.g. how to refer to the UCS, dealing with students in distress, etc . This may form part of a departmental meeting or 'away day' or be set up as an additional staff training workshop

NB there may be a charge for the delivery of any bespoke training.

This resource is available to departments alongside the established referral to the UCS for counselling in an attempt to streamline the efficacy of our services for academic departments. Students should be referred to Counselling Services in the usual way and not to the link counsellor.

The aim of this service is for the UCS team to provide a service that can respond to individual departments’ needs in terms of enabling students to fulfil their academic potential by facilitating their emotional well-being.
 
FAQ’s about the Departmental Consultancy Service

Q: what if I'm not from an academic department?

A: see below for your named consultant - contact them if you want to talk through any concerns you may have about a student or a member of staff.

Q: Does the Departmental Consultancy mean more work for tutors?
A: No. The point of this service is to help staff use the UCS so that they can spend less time dealing with students’ emotional and psychological needs.
 
Q: Isn’t there a wait for counselling?
A: If students choose to opt for face-to-face individual counselling, they simply need to register with the UCS then they can immediately (or whenever suits them) use the call to book system to arrange their appointment. Through 2016-17, our average turnaround time from registration to appointment date was only 19 days. Many find this time useful to help them prepare to get the most out of their counselling. There is a 'clock' on the registration page that is updated regularly to help manage expectations for when an appointment may be available - but do encourage students to speak with the Administrator when get in touch to make their appointments as we have an Earlier Appointment Opportunity system (EAO) we can use to offer any cancelled appointments to those who feel they would benefit from this system. However, we also offer all those who register an opportunity to meet briefly with a counsellor within a maximum of 5 days from registering.
If someone needs more urgent intervention and/or the impact of their issues is significantly impairing their functioning, we would advise you refer them to their GP as soon as possible.

Q: What if the student needs immediate help?

A: This graphic may be a helpful guide. If a student is threatening to seriously harm themselves or others and their behaviour suggests they may carry this out, it may be that they need to seek an urgent mental health assessment by an external agency, such as the NHS crisis team. See the link to the range of resources and contacts. It should be noted that although a student may talk about their distress, even express a desire to be dead, this may not necessarily indicate suicidal intent. Whatever the circumstances, it is important to remain calm to keep the situation contained, listen attentively to show you are taking their feelings seriously, and be clear about what you need to do. In these instances, it is acceptable to breach any confidentiality you have offered the student (although, depending on the circumstances, it may be helpful to tell the student what you have decided to do). The university mental health team may be able to give further guidance on this.

Q: What can I tell my students about how face-to-face counselling works?

A: Once registered, students can arrange their one-to-one appointment with one of our team of counselling professionals. In the 50 minute session, they can outline their concerns to the counsellor who will work to help them to contain, understand and manage the issues. The counsellor will use their professional skills to help them to explore and examine the issues to get insight in to what the student is experiencing. The counsellor may suggest strategies that could help them bring about change and they will also use their skills to help think about the roots of the issues in order to take emotional learning forward so the student can gain insight and agency. Our experience informs us that many people find a brief intervention can be sufficient for them to begin to make some important changes to develop their capacity to build resilience in the long term.

It may be that the counsellor offers a follow-on appointment which can be scheduled in (any time from a week to a term) where the client will meet up with the same counsellor again to check in and review developments.

Some clients may benefit from a series of counselling sessions, which the counsellor will negotiate with the client directly.

Q: Will the named consultant keep us informed as to what’s happening with our department’s students?

A: Your consultant can keep you informed as to any trends in your department’s students and you may receive information (on request) from our annual statistics that pertain to your department. Owing to the strict code of confidentiality adhered to by counsellors, feedback about students who take up referral is not possible without the explicit permission of the student - but we recommend you ask the student directly.

Q: If lots of our department's students use the UCS, does that indicate that our personal tutor system is inadequate in some way?
A: On the contrary – consulting with and referring to the UCS is evidence that the personal tutor system in your department is functioning effectively and appropriately using resources wisely to make sure the student is getting the best possible attention.

Here's the list of academic departments and directorates/professional services with the name of the allocated link counsellor:                                                                                                                        

Department*

Named Counsellor

Chemistry

 

Anthea Pablow

 

Classics and Ancient History

 

Jo Brown

Computer Science

 

Julie Hall (covering Sharon Johal's maternity leave)

Centre for Lifelong Learning CLL

 

Jo Brown

Economics

 

Katie Keogh

Education

 

Julie Hall (covering Sharon Johal's maternity leave)

Engineering

 

Frances Lampert

English and Comparative Literary Studies

 

Vicky Putt

Centre for Applied Linguistics (English Language Teacher Education)

Vicky Putt

Film and TV Studies

 

Katie Keogh

Health and Social Studies

Frances Lampert

History

 

Frances Lampert

History of Art

 

Katie Keogh

Italian

 

Anthea Pablow

Law

 

Julie Hall (covering Sharon Johal's maternity leave)

Life Sciences

Jo Brown

Mathematics

 

Anthea Pablow

 

Modern Languages and Culture

 

Jaeda Goodman

MORSE

 

Vicky Putt

Philosophy

 

Julie Hall (covering Sharon Johal's maternity leave)

Physics

 

Jaeda Goodman

Politics and International Studies

 

Anthea Pablow

Psychology

 

Jo Brown

Sociology

 

Katie Keogh

Statistics

 

Frances Lampert

Theatre Performance and Cultural Policy Studies

 

Katie Keogh

Warwick Business School

 

Jaeda Goodman

Warwick Medical School

 

Monique Wearden

Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)

Samantha Tarren


  Professional services


Commercial

Vicky Putt

People (including chaplaincy)

Samantha Tarren

Education

Anthea Pablow

Engagement

Jo Brown

Strategy and Policy

Katie Keogh

Knowledge

Julie Hall (covering Sharon Johal's maternity leave)

IT services

Jaeda Goodman

Legal and Compliance Services

Frances Lampert

Finance and Resources

Monique Wearden


 
*If your department does not appear on this list, please email counselling@warwick.ac.uk so you can be allocated a named link counsellor.
 
For more information about the Departmental Consultancy Initiative contact your link counsellor, either directly by email or telephone 02476 523761.
 
 


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