As part of your student experience you will at some point find yourself on a co-op or work placement or abroad on Erasmus. For the most part, students enjoy these experiences and are very happy. However, some students find this to be the very time they need some extra support. There are a number of options for you. These include:
- Seeking counselling support from your host university, local Jigsaw (if in Ireland), or even through a work EAP scheme if there is one.
- Looking through some online apps and websites for support. Please see the list below which we have put together for your convenience.
- Engaging with online supports such as Silvercloud and Togetherall, made available for you by UL. Please use your UL email address when signing up.
- Contacting the UL counselling service for some support. You can do this by emailing email@example.com from your UL email account. Please explain that you are on placement and require a drop-in that day by phone/TEAMS. Please provide your phone number if you wish to receive a phone-call, or be available on TEAMS should you wish to attend drop-in online. You will receive a registration form and some questions via our data system 'CORE-IMS' to your email. Please fill these out before the drop-in. A Psychologist Assistant will contact you at the Irish drop-in time (10-12 noon). They will take some demographic details, conduct a brief questionnaire, and ask some questions about your wellbeing in order to get a sense of your difficulties.
See our e-resources leaflet for even more information
You will be allocated an appointment with the first available counsellor. Requests to attend specific counsellors cannot be catered for. Requests to see a counsellor of a particular gender will be considered on merit.
The service requires at least 24 hours' notice of cancellation. It is your responsibility to notify the service administrator at least 24 hours in advance so that the time slot can be allocated to someone else. If an appointment is cancelled at short notice (within 24 hours), due the demands on the service, this will be counted as one of your sessions. Repeated missed appointments without adequate reason will result in sessions being discontinued. The rationale for this is due to high student non-attendance rates to sessions. This contributes to longer waiting times for students to be seen.
You can access the service by attending the daily drop from 10.00–12.00. You will be asked to complete an intake form and a self-assessment questionnaire. A Psychologist Assistant will meet with you for 10-15 minutes in duration. They will review your details and establish what has brought you to the counselling & wellbeing service.
Appropriate supports will be decided by the Head/Deputy Head of Counselling and be based upon need and service resources. The PA will email you later that day with your support plan. Not all students desire further supports, however, having found drop-in alone sufficient to meet their needs.
Students frequently say that they didn't think their problem is serious enough to contact the service and that they do not want to waste the team’s time. Talking to somebody at this stage, before things escalate, is often the best course of action and is to be encouraged. We would much rather you come when an issue is at an early stage and that it is prevented from escalating. Not everyone who contacts the service needs or wants counselling and may benefit from our wellbeing and resilience programme. It is never too early and never too late to contact the service.
We maintain basic case notes on all students within our electronic database, CORE-net. The database is password and fob protected (two factor authenticated). Nobody except counselling staff can access your notes.
The service is confidential and operates within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI). This means that your personal details are not disclosed to anyone outside of the service without your permission. However, there are some exceptions to confidentiality. These include:
Liaising with key people when there is a threat to your own safety or the safety of someone else, e.g., if you communicate plans of suicide or plans to harm someone else. Examples of those who may be contacted include your Next-of-Kin, ambulance staff, the Gardai, etc. Only the minimum number of people required to ensure your safety will be informed.
Meeting legal requirements of the Children’s First policy (2015). Psychologists and psychotherapists are mandated by law to report harm to children to the Child and Family Agency (Túsla). Such harm includes emotional, physical, sexual abuse and/or neglect.
Students present to the service with wide-ranging issues including; anxiety, stress and low mood, academic issues, family and/or relationship difficulties, loss, sexual issues, and identity issues. It also includes support around times of transition and change such as adjusting to college life, a new culture, life changes and dealing with dilemmas or difficult decisions.
The service has a team of professionally trained, accredited and widely experienced psychotherapists, counsellors, and chartered clinical /counselling psychologists who provide a range of supports to students, including one-to-one counselling sessions.
The team includes a number of Psychologist Assistants (PAs). PAs are working towards gaining entry to professional training in educational psychology, counselling psychology, or clinical psychology. PAs provide the drop-in service, low level support under supervision of Chartered professional psychologists, and facilitate supportive sessions with students via Silvercloud.
The service also includes therapists and psychologists in professional training. If it does not suit you to attend a trainee you can note this on your registration form. Please be aware that trainees provide counselling sessions and are under the close supervision of the Head/Deputy Head of Counselling and their training institution. They also are obligated to engage in a supervision ratio of 1 sessison to every 4 or 5 clients seen (depending upon their accreditng bodies), which means that the therapy they provide to you is closely monitored.
The UL Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service operates an emergency, same-day, appointment process for emergency situations. If this arises, the service will arrange for you to see a counsellor quickly– so please do not let the busyness of the service put you off coming, especially when something is urgent.
In the case of medical emergencies, or where your life or the life of another person is at risk, staff at the Counselling & Wellbeing Service will support you to access the medical service/call emergency services/your next of kin/emergency contact to assist you in accessing immediate support through A&E, depending on your presentation.
If you are at immediate risk outside of normal working hours, we recommend that you contact emergency services and/or attend your local A&E department. Further details on emergency and out of hours supports and services can be found here: Emergency and Out of Hours Supports
All UL registered undergraduate and postgraduate students.
When someone you care about is struggling, it can be really difficult and you may experience a mix of emotions: concern, disbelief, anger, anxiety, compassion. This is normal and understandable.
Providing support to someone else can be draining, leaving you feeling exhausted. It is important to notice the impact of this on your own mental health and wellbeing. Before you can support them, you need to make sure you are supported and looking after yourself.
Please find training by Jigsaw on "How to support a friend's mental health"
No, the counselling service does not make decisions about co-op or Erasmus placements. We do not write letters excusing you from attending co-op or Erasmus. All we can do is confirm that you attended the service. We will not disclose why you attended the service. The counselling service does not endorse avoidance of co-op or Erasmus as a strategy for coping with anxiety. Instead, we will work with you to find ways of coping with the anxiety which these placements induce.