Our services

Our services exist to assist you in making the changes that are needed to enable you to move forwards with your studies and your life in general. Broadly speaking there are three stages in the process of making change: Exploring – Understanding – Taking Action.

How we allocate you

Depending on your needs when you contact us, we will allocate you to the most appropriate service to support you in your process of making change. We will match your needs with the intervention which can most effectively help you move forward.  These interventions include:

  • A Therapeutic Consultation which aims to explore solutions to your problems and to help you find different strategies / techniques / resources to handle those problems more effectively. After the session, we encourage you to spend some time trying out new approaches to your problems.  We will usually offer a follow-up session with you after three weeks to find out how you are feeling and coping.
  • The Developing Emotional Wellbeing programme is a two-part course which will give you new skills for managing anxiety and low mood.
  • Our Wellbeing Service is for students who are looking to develop effective strategies to enhance their studies, who want to overcome mild anxiety or who need support in achieving their goals.
  • Counselling can help you to explore and understand issues which are affecting you so that you become clearer about what changes you may wish to make in the way you think or behave.  Counselling may also be helpful if you are struggling to cope with emotional difficulties such as the legacy of a traumatic event or experience.

During certain times of the year (Welcome week, exam period) we have a team of peer-supporters who run relaxation workshops and who can meet with you on an informal basis to provide support and information.

When you access our services, we will direct you to the most appropriate service based on our assessment of your presenting problems.

How long will I wait?

Our ability to offer you an appointment is dependent on the level of demand for our services, and at certain times of the year there are many students looking for support and who are also waiting for an appointment. We will always do our best to offer you the first available time which coincides with your availability but sometimes this is not possible and there may be a wait for your first appointment. Please keep us updated with any changes in your availability, and especially if you decide that you no longer need counselling or wellbeing support. Please give us as much availability for appointments as possible – the more available you are, the quicker you can be sent an appointment. Schools and Colleges are very supportive of students attending Student Support Services appointments.

Please keep a close eye on your student email as this is how we will communicate with you.

While you are waiting, we encourage you to take advantage of the other services we offer; there may be a group or workshop which is particularly relevant to you; you may like to register for a mindfulness workshop or group; you can access our self-help guides and do some useful reading and thinking about particular issues which are bothering you.  And don't forget that there are other sources of support on and off campus - your GP; your tutor; your welfare tutor; the chaplaincy; Guild Advice; Forward Thinking Birmingham (the 0-25 year-old mental health service provider for the NHS). 

Missed or cancelled appointments 

In February 2018, 20% of appointments offered by the Counselling and Wellbeing Service were either missed or cancelled. We have a policy regarding missed or cancelled appointments to ensure people are being seen as quickly as possible and to avoid unnecessary wasted appointments.

Please check your student email address regularly as this is how we will tell you about appointments, sometimes at short notice. If you need to cancel an appointment you can call our Student Services Support Team on 0121 414 5130 or email your counsellor or wellbeing practitioner directly.

Our policy is as follows:

  • If you miss an appointment without letting us know and then do not contact us within 48 hours we may close your case. We will tell you if we do this. If you then tell us you wish to continue, we will review your case and may put you back onto our waiting list .
  • If you cancel two appointments without giving us 24 hours notice, we may close your case. We may put you back onto our waiting list if you contact us again.
  • If you cancel or miss an appointment, it will usually count towards the total number of sessions we have offered you.

You are welcome to contact us again in the future or re-register.

Extenuating circumstances

Students who have registered with the Counselling or Wellbeing Service can discuss with their counsellor/wellbeing advisor the issues which have affected their academic work. If appropriate, written support may be provided in support of Extenuating Circumstances. However, we will not provide written evidence for Extenuating Circumstances for students we have not worked with for a minimum of two sessions following their initial assessment.

Group mediation service

We offer group mediation sessions for flatmates, tutor groups, or any group of students who are not getting on with each other.

Confidentiality and Data Protection

As a service we adhere to the ethical framework for counselling and psychotherapy drawn up by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

BACP accreditation

As a service we adhere to the ethical framework for counselling and psychotherapy drawn up by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.