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Durham University

Counselling Service

Mental Health Advice Team

Mental health difficulty need not be a barrier to successful engagement with your studies and with University life. The majority of students with mental health difficulties are able to navigate their University careers successfully through a combination of self-care, pastoral support in Colleges, adjustments within their Academic Departments, specialist support services and the support offered by external services.

Mental Health Advisors cannot provide treatment but offer advice and guidance to students with diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health difficulties which are:

  • complex

  • enduring

  • and/or present possible risks to the student or others

You may be offered an appointment with a Mental Health Advisor if we believe you may need support to access local NHS services, information on mental health conditions, or if you need a mental health assessment. Mental health assessment may be requested for University off-site activities and Return to Study processes.

If your difficulties constitute a disability, we will support you to set up all appropriate pastoral, academic and medical help. We will also ask you to register with our Disability Support Service to consider any additional support needs and reasonable adjustments from your academic Department.

The University is fully-committed to supporting all students, including those with mental health difficulties. For details see the Mental Health Policy and the related Appendices and also the Fitness to Study Policy and its Appendices. We have a specific Briefing Note for students with eating disorders, outlining the support available and our thresholds for safe engagement with higher education.

Confidentiality

The Mental Health Advice team shares information within the University for the purposes of support.

When a Mental Health Advisor provides support and advice your data will be held confidentially, unless there is a risk to you or another person, or the information is shared for the purposes of student support within the University.

In these situations, it is our policy to try to secure consent from you prior to breaking confidentiality, and we will endeavour to inform you if we are breaking confidentiality, detailing to whom and exactly what personal data needs to be shared.

You will be asked to read our Mental Health Appointment Agreement before engaging with our service.

When a Mental Health Advisor isconducting an assessment, it will be at the request of another part of the University and fulfils an important function for the safety and wellbeing of all our students and staff. The outcome of an assessment will need to be communicated to third parties, but it will not be necessary to share the full detail of the assessment. You will be asked to read our Mental Health Assessment Agreement before the assessment.

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Resources

Kate Augarde - Senior MHA

Laura Percival

Steve Wood

Katie London