Students at Queen’s University who seek counselling services will find that the standard minimum number of council sessions offered to them has been reduced by over 30%.
Counselling services at Queen’s University Belfast were previously provided by the university several years ago, however due to a range of issues including problems associated with waiting times the service was then outsourced to Carecall.
Normally if students at Queen’s University sought counselling services they would be offered a minimum of six sessions, however this has now been reduced to four sessions due to evidence which suggests that, of the students who avail of counselling services, the average number of sessions that each student takes is 3.89 sessions.
Sarah Wright, a current student councillor at QUB SU was alerted to this news by a student and told The Scoop that this change in counselling sessions could have an adverse impact on students ‘who may have been to counselling before and are expecting six sessions, and that it may be hard for those students to then ask for more counselling sessions’.
Sarah noted that the changes were made without any consultation with students’ and added that:
“the Head of Student Welfare is saying that these four sessions are on a case by case basis, but there was no communication given to students that these would be reduced until they attend a session.”
If students do however need more than four counselling services they are encouraged to ask for more.
We understand that the Head of Student Welfare at Queen’s University is in the process of creating a feedback mechanism which would allow students who have used counselling services to provide feedback on their experience.
If implemented, this feedback mechanism could allow students to have a greater say in how their counselling services are run.
Students can make an appointment with the Counselling Service by calling 0800 800 0016 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.