Everyone who would like to access Counselling & Mental Health Support has an initial appointment to assess level of need. Following this initial assessment, students may be referred for further sessions - these can be either individual or group. Guided CBT or psycho-educational groups may also be suggested and we may recommend a suitable external service.
Please also note that if you are in crisis or feel unsafe, we would recommend that you see your doctor or go to your local NHS accident and emergency department.
You may find some of these links of use:
Whilst you are waiting for an appointment with a counsellor or mental health advisor you can also access free online support 24/7 on Big White Wall. The Big White Wall community forum provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings, be creative and learn how to manage your mental health and wellbeing. You will also have access to a library of self-care resources. Big White Wall is totally anonymous, so no one will know you’ve chosen to use it unless you tell them. Trained counsellors are online 24/7 to keep all members safe and provide extra support. Simply go to www.bigwhitewall.com and sign up under ‘organisation’ with your university e-mail address.
Apply for an appointment
To arrange the first appointment please click on the link below to go to our initial simple application form. It will be sent automatically to the counselling service administrator only. The next working day after your initial application for an appointment has been received, you will be sent a full online registration form and questionnaire. These forms are confidential and help us offer you a suitable appointment at a convenient time and location, if possible.If you do not attend your first appointment or cancel without at least five working days’ notice, you will likely wait for up to ten weeks for a new appointment.
Please note: You must have a GP based in the UK to access an appointment with the Service.
Click here to go to the Counselling Application Form
At times of high demand, the Student Counselling and Mental Health Support Service has a wait time of up to eight weeks to receive an appointment. If you have health insurance you may find it quicker to access support through your health insurer.
What can I expect from an initial appointment?
The purpose of the first session is to consider the problem you have come with and think, with the counsellor, about a way forward. The counsellor may suggest a second appointment if more time is needed for assessment. Students may like to consider joining a longer term therapy group and this would be discussed during the assessment meeting if appropriate. Students joining therapy groups are usually offered longer-term support e.g. for a term or an academic year.
Counselling sessions are 50 minutes long. The Counselling & Mental Health Support Team typically offers 4 - 6 sessions of individual counselling. Longer term support can be available with the associates or counsellors in training.
If you know that you are going to be late for the beginning of your session, please email your counsellor. If you cannot contact your counsellor, then please contact our administrators on 0207 848 1234. Your counsellor will wait for your arrival and you will be seen for the remainder of your session.
Cancellation and Attendance Policy
Please take a moment to read our cancellation and attendance policy. Missed and cancelled appointments result in longer waiting times for students who would like to see a counsellor:
If you do not reply within five working days to the offer of an assessment appointment, we will assume that you will no longer require counselling and offer it to another student.
If you do not attend your first confirmed appointment/assessment and you do not respond to an email from your counsellor/Mental Health Advisor (MHA), we will assume that you no longer require counselling.
If you miss one of your ongoing sessions with a counsellor/MHA and have not notified them in advance or contacted them after the missed appointment it will be assumed that you no longer require counselling.
If you cancel a session giving at least 48 hours’ notice, you will be offered an alternative appointment.
If you cancel an appointment at short notice (less than 48 hours) or miss an appointment but notify your counsellor/MHA after the appointment, this will be counted as a session and taken from the total number of sessions agreed with your counsellor/MHA.
Please be assured that your counsellor will remind you of our cancellation and attendance policy when you first meet with them.
After your initial assessment, it may be suggested that you work in a group, rather than in one-to-one counselling. Groups provide a good environment in which to learn about yourself and how to relate to others. They offer a microcosm of relationships outside, whilst providing a safe, supportive environment.
- We offer a range of groups and workshops during the year at Guy’s Strand and Waterloo campuses These typically require a one and a half hour commitment per session.
- During the academic year, we will also be running seven long-term analytic groups throughout the whole academic year. These include specific postgraduate and older student groups.
More information about all group sessions can be found via this link.
Your counsellor will let you know more about these groups if you are interested and if he/she feels you would benefit from joining a specific group. Alternatively, if you have not already seen a counsellor, you may still apply to join any of these groups, and should apply for an appointment as above.
Apply for an appointment via this link