The Counselling Service is available to current students to help and support you while you are studying at the University of Law. The Counselling Service recognises that you should have an interesting, fulfilling and rewarding experience yet realise that there may be times when you may need support.
Counselling offers a confidential space to talk and think through any personal difficulties with a trained professional. Many people find it helpful to do this with someone who is not a friend or family member. Counselling does not involve giving advice but can help you gain insight into your issues and help you develop unused skills and resources. Your counsellor can work with you to help you make decisions and changes that can develop your emotional resilience, enabling you to fulfil your academic, vocational and personal potential.
You can talk to a counsellor about anything that is important to you or any personal concerns that arise while you are at the University. Some of the issues brought to counselling include:
- Relationship and family difficulties
- Depression / anxiety / stress
- Alcohol and drug addictions
- Eating difficulties
- Academic issues
- Suicidal and self-harming thoughts
- Loss and bereavement
- Confidence and self esteem
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Bullying and harassment
- Sexual and personal identity issues
- Work related issues
If you are thinking of harming yourself or your situation is urgent, please go to A&E at your local hospital immediately. You can also contact your GP for an emergency appointment and/or The Samaritans on 116 123.
If you are worried about someone else, you are welcome to contact the Counselling Service to speak to a counsellor who can talk with you about the situation.
Mental health is defined as “the emotional and spiritual resilience which enables us to enjoy life and to survive pain, disappointment and sadness. It is a positive sense of wellbeing and an underlying belief in our own and others’ dignity and self-worth” (HEA, 1998).
Mental health exists across a continuum from positive mental health to mental illness. Everyone has the capacity to move between these states. This can involve a spectrum of symptoms involving thoughts, feelings and behaviours. These states of mind can range from temporary responses to painful events through to more debilitating and persistent conditions.
It is important to note that many of us experience some of the symptoms of mental health difficulties at some points in our lives, and indeed some are typical reactions to a range of common life events. The degree of severity is reflected by:
- the intensity in symptoms,
- the duration of these symptoms
- the impact on the individual’s capacity to function.
One in four people will experience some sort of mental health difficulty in their lifetime, particularly during stressful times like starting university or leaving home. (http://www.time-to-change.org.uk)
Mental health can include anything that affects your well-being, such as anxiety and depression, as well as more severe states of mind and behaviours. If you feel you are experiencing a mental health condition, there is a lot of support available at the University. There are also things you can do to help yourself.
The Counselling Service produces a range of information leaflets on various topics and issues, which can be downloaded on Elite.
The Overcoming series of self-help books cover more than 30 common mental health difficulties.
University of Law students can also access free online support through Big White Wall. The service provides 24/7 online peer and professional support, with trained counsellors. Big White Wall provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings and learn how to improve and self-manage your mental health and wellbeing. Big White Wall is totally anonymous, so no one will know you’ve chosen to use it unless you tell them!
Information on how to register with Big White Wall can be found on the Counselling Service page on Elite in the Health and Wellbeing section.
Practical tips for good mental health:
- Keep physically active
- Eat healthily meals
- Register with a GP
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Value yourself and others
- Talk about your feelings
- Keep in touch with friends and loved ones
- Care for others
- Get involved and make a contribution
- Learn new skills
- Do something creative
- Take a break
- Ask for help
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
T: 116 123 (24-hour helpline)
An online supportive community for those who are stressed, anxious, low or not coping. Information on how to register with Big White Wall can be found on the Counselling Service page on Elite in the Health and Wellbeing section.
Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
T: 0300 5000 927
Charity for sufferers of depression. Has a network of self-help groups.
Offers advice, support and workbooks to help students tackle depression in their lives.
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15-35.
Charity offering support and carrying out research into mental illness.
T: 0845 767 8000 (daily, 6pm-11pm)
Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
T: 0300 123 3393
Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
Offers support, empowerment and education about self harm
Offers 24 hour medical advice and information.
Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and OCD.
Offers a course to help overcome your phobia/OCD. Includes a helpline.
T: 0800 138 8889
A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.
T: 0845 120 3778
Charity providing support if you've been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
T: 08444 775 774
Challenging stigma around mental health issues through empowerment, open discussion and media campaigns. Excellent blog posts and real life stories.
Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
T: Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544
Young suicide prevention society.
T: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141
Self-help resource for suicidal thinking and depression
Advisory and support service to help lawyers with various issues
T: 0800 279 6888
Advice on dealing with domestic violence.
T: 0808 2000 247
T: 0845 769 7555
T: 0300 999 1212
T: 0844 477 9400
T: 0808 802 9999
T: 0808 168 9111