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Counselling and mental health support service team ;

Myth busting with King’s Counselling & Mental Health Support Service

Sapphire Francis
MSc Mental Health Studies graduate

24 June 2024

King’s Counselling & Mental Health Support Service (CMHSS) is probably the first service you think of when asked about support services for mental health at King’s. However, people often have misconceptions about it. In this article, we address common student concerns about counselling. Let's get myth-busting!

Myth #1 'The wait times are long'

You may assume that once you’ve registered for King’s Counselling, you won’t hear back for months. However, the average wait times for first appointments with our counselling service have been reduced to under two weeks, typically 5-11 days. Furthermore, King’s Counselling has introduced King’s Counselling Online (KCO), which, if after registering is deemed appropriate, means you can see someone even sooner, with the added flexibility of seeing them out-of-hours.

Myth #2 'King’s Counselling service only offers counselling'

'I’ve tried counselling, and it didn’t work for me'. You may assume that the CMHSS only offers counselling, however they offer different types of support depending on your needs, including:

  • Psychodynamic Counselling - explores thoughts and past experiences to understand and address emotional and psychological issues.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - goal-oriented therapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviours to promote healthier mental wellbeing.
  • Mental Health Advice- guidance provided by professionals to help individuals manage and improve their mental wellbeing.
  • Psychiatric Support - assistance and treatment provided by psychiatrists, often involving medication and therapy.
  • Psychoeducational Workshops- Informative sessions aimed at educating students about mental health, coping strategies, and skills to enhance their mental wellbeing.
  • Individual or Group Support - personalised one-on-one or a collaborative group setting in which individuals receive emotional, psychological, or practical assistance to navigate mental health challenges.

King’s also offers students alternative support services:

If you’re looking for something else, or support tailored to specific problems like money or housing worries, check out what student support services are available at King’s?

Myth #3 'They won’t understand me'

You might worry that counsellors won't understand your lived experiences, but our team are a diverse and representative group who can offer appropriate and relevant counselling according to your needs. You can request support from a more diverse team of counsellors based on LGBTQ+, gender, ethnicity, and spoken language criteria.

The CMHSS also delivers shorter-term and longer-term counselling groups and psychoeducational workshops throughout the year, covering topics of race, gender and sexuality.

King’s has also introduced a Health Advisor for mandarin speaking students, for advice about where and how to access health-related support.

Additional and focused support

If you’d like to make any additional needs known to CMHSS, you can email the team after registering, and they will use this information to allocate appropriate support.

For information on additional and focused support, please read our article How can the Counselling and Mental Health Support Service help me?

Myth #4 'My problems aren’t that serious'

You may think you have to be in crisis to access counselling services. However, addressing problems early can make a big difference in preventing things from getting tougher later.

The CMHSS provides brief support for a range of difficulties you may be experiencing, typically spanning 4-6 sessions. Check out the article on common issues brought to the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service.

[Counselling] helped relieve some of the stress I felt from the things I was experiencing and have experienced previously, as I was able to talk about them openly with a professional– Anonymous

Students whose difficulties are considered low-to-moderate may be referred to King’s Counselling Online, which is provides free and confidential, brief, solution-focused support, aimed at helping you quickly access counselling support and experience improved wellbeing. There are tailored groups for overcoming stress, PhD Support, and bereavement.

Myth #5 'They’re going to tell my course'

Students may be concerned about what happens when you share information with a student support service. King’s has a duty of care to students which means that information may be shared if there are concerns about your safety or the safety of others. In the majority of instances, however, the service will not inform academic staff that a student has accessed their services. Depending on your situation, information may be shared with another service, such as the emergency services, community mental health services or specialist support services within local authorities.

Hopefully this article has provided some clarity on misconceptions about counselling services at King's. You can find out more about how the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service can help you on Student Services Online. If you have an immediate concern about yourself or someone else, you should access urgent mental health support.