Hi I’m Abby! You may already know about the support available from the Health and Wellbeing Service because of our blog last September, but as it’s CUSU’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Week and University Mental Health Day, we wanted to remind you of the support available and provide more of an insight into Coventry University’s Counselling and Mental Health Service.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
The term ‘mental health’ is frequently heard on social media, radio, news, TV and film; but what does it mean?
Mental health is the term for your emotional wellbeing and mental health problems can affect anyone; they impact on the way you feel, think and behave which is why raising awareness about mental health is vital. You can find out more about mental health including various support options at Mind.
In your lives and particularly at University you will experience good and bad times; whether it’s a break-up, failed assignment or transport issues, feeling stressed out, being low in mood or frustrated. These are all typical reactions to modern life. Everyone reacts differently to things that happen in life but Health and Wellbeing offer support if you need it.
Remember although you can’t see it, your mental health is as equally important as your physical health, if in doubt seek support.
Counselling and Mental Health Support
Senior clerical assistant Ann-Marie Taylor has worked in the Health and Wellbeing Team since 1999, when the service was segmented and known by the individual departments (Disabilities, Welfare, Counselling and Mental Health), which now collectively make up the Health and Wellbeing Service.
During her time in Health and Wellbeing, Ann-Marie has witnessed the service evolve from its days in Priory Hall to its relocation to The Hub in 2011. Not only has the service progressed but Ann-Marie’s role has also developed. Since 2013 she’s worked closely with the Counselling and Mental Health Team, which makes her the ideal person to provide an insight into the service and answer some frequently asked questions.
Q: Since joining the Health and Wellbeing Team what significant changes have you noticed to the Counselling and Mental Health service?
During the time I’ve been employed at Coventry University, I have seen many changes and much progress with the Mental Health Facilities. There has been a transition from solely focusing on specific mental health issues to a more general focus on the anxiety and stress induced from University life. This demonstrates the University’s awareness that mental health can affect any individual undergoing the pressures of university life and other external issues.
Another change is that there has been an increase of students entering University with a mental health history. There have been more students with mental health conditions applying for Disabled Student Allowance. This could be down to more of an awareness in schools and colleges of mental health issues, or possibly the pressures of modern life.
Over the years there has been an improvement in the relationship between the different teams involved in the mental health services. Previously there was a lack of communication between the teams which could hinder the support for the students, now, however, the students receive an informed service as there is more cohesion between the different teams internally and externally.
Q: Where can I find out more information about the Counselling and Mental Health Service?
Information is available electronically on the Coventry University Website and Student Portal. They contain details about the service, group and workshop sessions and external numbers and links for support agencies like the Big White Wall, which is free for Coventry University students. We also have a 24 hour booking system and self-help guides as well as the new Health & Wellbeing App.
Q: How do I get a counselling/mental health appointment? When can I see a Counsellor/Mental Health Advisor?
To access our Counselling and Mental Health service you will need to complete a registration form which you can request by either emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, visiting the Health and Wellbeing Reception or calling 02477 658029. Once you submit your registration, you’ll be contacted with details of suitable support options for you, which may be a telephone or face to face assessment, welfare appointment or referral to an external support service.
Q: What if it’s urgent?
We offer priority appointments following a telephone consultation, when it is deemed appropriate, but we are not an emergency service. If you’re seeking emergency support and feel you are at risk, are thinking of harming yourself or others, or having suicidal thoughts you will need to contact your GP or the emergency services immediately. Visit NHS Choices for more information about what to do in a crisis situation.
Q: What other services do Health and Wellbeing offer? Can all students access support?
Health and Wellbeing offer more than counselling and mental health support; we have a designated Disability Team for students with long-term medical conditions, physical and sensory disabilities or specific learning difficulties. The team is made up of Disability Advisers, Mentors and Specialist Tutors.
Our Welfare Team support home students and provide practical support and advice on various matters such as relationships, bereavement, harassment and more. International or EU students can contact the International Welfare Team based in the Student Centre if they require support.
All Health and Wellbeing appointments are bookable using our online booking system which is accessible 24/7 and makes accessing support convenient for you. For more information visit the Health and Wellbeing Reception on the second floor of The Hub or call 02477 658029.
Whatever you’re experiencing, there are a variety of ways to access support and it’s important you find the most suitable option for you. Whether it’s online, face-to-face support or even self-help, you can find out by logging into the student portal and clicking on one of these options:
Counselling and Mental Health
Welfare (Home students)
International Welfare (EU/International students)
Health and Safety
Or log on to:
Big White Wall – free online support
Self-help guides – on various topics including anxiety, depression and stress