The Counselling Service comprises three separate teams of trained and experienced practitioners to help you manage any difficulties that are impacting your successful engagement with your studies and with University life. We are available all year round to registered students.
You can self-refer to the Counselling and Psychological Wellbeing team; the Mental Health Advice team only accept referrals from University staff.
For more information about the Psychological Wellbeing Team
Our counsellors can offer time-limited individual sessions to help you develop insight into your thoughts and feelings, and help build the skills to manage your wellbeing and make changes in your life. One or two sessions may be sufficient for you but we can offer up to 4 individual sessions which can be supplemented with the use of other resources and follow-up appointments. If you feel that a longer-term counselling intervention would be best suited to your needs, we can advise you on how to secure an accredited private counsellor or therapist or how to access local NHS services.
You can choose whether you want to start with a short-term counselling intervention with us or whether to refer yourself directly to the other options.
Mental Health Advice Team
The Mental Health Advisors are professionals with a background in the NHS and social care. We do not provide mental health treatment but offer advice to students with complex and severe mental health difficulties and can help you to link up with NHS and specialist services locally. We also coordinate University support for students with a mental health disability and meet with students planning offsite activities.
The MHAs only accept referrals from University staff and the local NHS. If you believe you need to see an MHA, you can discuss this with your College support team, or refer yourself to the Counselling Service on email@example.com. You will be triaged to the most suitable part of the Service.
Click here for more information about the Mental Health Advice Team
Specialist External Providers
We maintain strong links with a number of external providers who may use rooms within our Service or work from alternative premises around Durham City and the region. These include:
- Talking Changes, the local NHS psychological therapy service
- NHS Eating Disorder Service and other specialist services
- The Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre for issues relating to sexual violence
- County Durham Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services.
How we Work
We offer a confidential service. No personal information, verbal or written, will be disclosed to anyone outside this Service without your consent unless we believe you or someone else is at risk. Our full contract with you is outlined in the Counselling Services Agreement.
If you are formally referred to us by your College, GP or Academic Advisor, and do not attend the first offered appointment we will alert the referrer.
All of our staff members will record brief notes about their work. At completion of your support from us your notes will be retained for a five year period after which they will be destroyed.
If at any time after the end of a counselling intervention you wish to withdraw your consent for the Counselling Service to hold your personal data please email firstname.lastname@example.org and your data will be removed and destroyed. If you ask for data to be removed during a counselling intervention, we will not be able to proceed with any further support. Note-taking is an important part of our professional practice.
You have a right of access to the notes held in your record. If you are a registered student please email: email@example.com to request access to your notes and we can arrange an appointment for you to come into the Service. Information on how to access the personal data that we hold if you are no longer a registered student at the University can be found at https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/sar/
Occasionally we may request to record a counselling session, for the training purposes of our staff. We will always ask your permission before doing this and we fully support your right to refuse.
A copy of our Privacy Notice can be accessed below under the heading Resources.
Feedback and Complaints
We welcome your feedback on our Services and we will ask you to complete an online form at the end of your support. If you are dissatisfied with our Service or have any concerns please raise them with your practitioner in the first instance, or with the Head of Service via firstname.lastname@example.org
It is important that you contact your College/ Academic Department if you are experiencing difficulties that impact your studies. Standard letters of support for any academic concessions are only available for students who have had an assessment with a Mental Health Advisor or who are engaged in ongoing support from our Service.
Cancellations and attendance
It is your responsibility to let us know if you cannot keep your appointment. We ask for 24 hours’ notice for a cancellation. If you book your appointment online you will receive an email with instructions on how to cancel the appointment. If you book your appointment over the telephone, by email or in person, you can email email@example.com to cancel the appointment. All missed sessions will be counted as a session.
If you miss a booked appointment you will receive an email from the Service inviting you to re-contact us to book another session. We will not automatically re-book a session for you; we need you to positively engage with us to commit to a revised session date.
Free mental health support for Durham University students
The Counselling Service works closely with Talking Changes, an NHS-funded self help, counselling and talking therapies service. All Durham University students have free access toTalking Changes.
Talking Changes can support you if you are feeling:
Services are available online, on the phone and by video call.
Durham University Counselling Service
Durham, DH1 3LE
Tel.: 0191 334 2200