Mental health and wellbeing service

Our Mental Health & Wellbeing Service is committed to helping you access the most appropriate support and information. As such, all first appointments relating to mental health and wellbeing take the form of an initial assessment with a member of the team. 

The purpose of this appointment is to provide you with an opportunity to discuss your main concerns and to explore your needs in a confidential and supportive environment. It will give you the opportunity to discuss what service and/or support is appropriate following the assessment. 

Counselling

Counselling is a talking therapy which provides the opportunity and space for you to talk about anything that is affecting you, whether it is linked to your studies or a personal issue. 

Counselling is about you being accepted, valued, and listened to, rather than being judged or criticised. It is not about being given advice or being told what to do. Counsellors are trained to help you gain a better understanding of your thoughts and feelings, enabling you to make changes. 

Mental Health & Wellbeing Advice

The Mental Health & Wellbeing Adviser provides support, advice and guidance to prospective and current students of UCB. 

If you are experiencing a mental health difficulty, emotional or psychological distress, our Adviser can help you to identify your specific needs, provide practical support, and help you develop coping strategies. 

During the period of support, the Adviser may also work alongside the Curriculum Team for Academic and Pastoral Support, and can assist you in accessing external mental health and wellbeing services. 

Do I need support?

We are here to support you with a wide range of difficulties, these may include:

  • Feeling low or depressed
  • Feeling anxious or worried
  • Experiencing stress
  • Finding it hard to make friends
  • Unsure about identity
  • Struggling with relationship difficulties
  • Difficulties with eating
  • Home-sickness
  • Sleep problems
  • Experiencing a mental illness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Grief and loss 

Please note that we cannot guarantee therapy and/or support will be offered directly through UCB’s Health & Wellbeing Service. It may be that the team assist you in accessing support externally. 

Not sure how you feel?

Try the Mood Self-Assessment and get advice from the NHS on what might help. 

If you’re still unsure whether you may benefit from the service, we would encourage you to see a member of the team – no problem is too small. We can provide you with relevant information, advice and guidance to assist you in making a decision.

How do I access the service?

With the exception of the Nurse Service, which is a drop-in facility, you can apply to meet with the Health & Wellbeing team by completing a registration form. This can be accessed via the Student Portal. 

The Health & Wellbeing team will assess your application, and subsequently contact you via email with a date and time for your assessment, based on the availability you stated upon application.

In an Emergency

The Health & Wellbeing Service at University College Birmingham is not an emergency service. The service is designed to complement, not replace those supplied by the NHS. 

If you cannot wait for your allocated appointment and are worried about your safety or the safety of others, contact one of the services below straight away:

  • Papyrus helpline (HOPELineUK) : 0800 068 41 41 
  • Forward Thinking Birmingham: 0300 300 0099 
  • Samaritans helpline: 116 123

Visit your nearest Samaritans Branch: 13 Bow Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 1DW.

  • Your registered General Practitioner (GP) 
  • NHS non-emergency service: 111
  • Emergency Services: 999  

Is the service confidential?

The Health & Wellbeing team operate within the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) guidelines. 

These guidelines state that confidentiality is essential. Given the environment that the service operates in, there are times where total confidentiality cannot be offered. In certain circumstances, it may be necessary for the team to pass on the information to UCB’s Single Point of Contact for Safeguarding, who may refer any concerns to external agencies in line with UCB’s Safeguarding Policy/Procedures. A copy of this can be found on the Student Portal. 

Please ask a member of the team if you require further information regarding confidentiality.

Disclosing a mental health condition

Whether you are a current student at UCB or thinking of applying, you can tell us about a disability at any point. 

In line with current legislation we use the term “disability” to include specific learning difficulties like dyslexia, mental health difficulties, autism, Asperger’s syndrome and other ongoing health conditions. 

Disclosing a disability is a personal choice, but it can be a very positive step. If you decide to disclose, we would encourage you to tell us as early as possible. This will allow us to ensure that all support is available to you in a timely manner, even if you don’t need the support at the time you disclose. 

If you choose not to disclose a disability or limit a disclosure, you are still able to access the support offered via the Health & Wellbeing Service and we will do our best to help you. However, you may not be able to access the full range of support available. 

All disclosures will be treated confidentially unless you give consent for this information to be shared. 

How to disclose a disability

There are many opportunities for you to tell us about a disability, both before admission and during your studies at UCB.

You can tell us about a disability on your application form before you begin your course. Following receipt of your application, you will be contacted by an appropriate member of staff to ensure that support can be put in place for you before you start.

If you decide to disclose a disability whilst studying with us, you can tell your tutor or another member of staff, or talk to a disability advisor at the Academic Skills Centre. To do this, you can call in to make an appointment or email Luanna Harman (l.harman@ucb.ac.uk) or Patricia Jones (p.jones2@ucb.ac.uk). 

Further information on disability support at UCB can be found here. 

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