Wellbeing Services at the University of Exeter

Wellbeing Services at the University of Exeter

October 20, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Well I’m a Wellbeing consultant at the University
and I work within the Wellbeing service. At the Wellbeing service we have a range of different
staff that support students, all who have some kind of professional training in their
speciality if you like, so some examples of that: we have counselling staff who are
all trained counsellors or psychotherapists, we have cognitive behavioural therapists
who have a training either in mental health and then perhaps cognitive behavioural therapy,
and we also then have mental health staff who will have a specific training in mental
health including things like mental health nursing or occupational therapy. We support students experiencing emotional,
psychological and mental health difficulties so that might include someone who is experiencing
some homesickness or someone perhaps who’s experienced a life event such as a bereavement.
But it may also include someone who’s experiencing a mental health difficulty and that might
include anything from someone experiencing depression, anxiety, an eating difficulty, some form of psychosis or bipolar disorder, things like OCD which is obsessional compulsive
disorder or something like post traumatic stress disorder. So if you were to come the wellbeing service
what would happen is that you would come and see one of our wellbeing consultants and you’d
have an initial meeting and in that session we would think with you about how your health
is impacting, well you know, what is happening in relation to that health difficulty or depression,
how that affects your life and also how that is affecting your ability to study and be
at university. The support that they may be entitled to
are things like an Individual Learning Plan and what that is a formal communication to
their college that lets the college know they’re experiencing a health issue and it
may also make recommendations of support from the college
to enable the student to study more effectively. The other things a student’s
entitled to are maybe exam adjustments so we’d think with the student you know would
something like their depression, does that affect their ability to study, revise for
their exams, take their exams and then we may think about what adjustments might
be helpful. We also think about whether they might be entitled to something called the
Disabled Students Allowance which is a pot of money that sits with Student Finance
England to ensure that students with mental health difficulties are on an even playing
field compared to students who or are on an even playing field with students who don’t
have any health issues at all. And as part of that Disabled Students Allowance they
may be entitled to something called mental health mentoring, which is regular support
that helps them again manage the impact of their depression or mental health
difficulty whilst studying at university. For some students that’s quite difficult
for them to come to us because they’re worried about, perhaps how their difficulty or the
problem that they’re experiencing right now might be interpreted, how people might
judge that or whether for some people they may feel there’s a stigma attached to their
difficulty, particularly if it’s something like a mental health difficulty. But the main thing for the students to know
is that if they come and see us what they talk to us about will be held in confidence. What I’d also like to say is, I’d really encourage
students to access our service kind of as soon as possible because the research shows
us that if students get support quickly there’s going to be a much better outcome
for them, how they’re coping with their life at university and their course.