Service vision and statistics

Service vision

Our aim is to support any individual whose psychological needs are standing in the way of them achieving their full potential in the University.

We wish to offer a responsive service, tailored to the particular needs of any individual who approaches us.

We strive for clinical excellence and for the sort of flexible contact, offered within a safe and nurturing environment that will allow people to feel met in their distress and able to make use of the range of services on offer.

Each person is unique and we therefore aim to treat you as an individual, worthy of respect.

We believe in the transforming ability of human contact and that each of us is capable of growth and change.

Given that one in four people have mental health difficulties within their life time and one in six at any one time, it is unsurprising that we see large numbers of students across the year, helping them find their equilibrium and develop skills to manage the full range of psychological difficulties you’d expect to see in any normal population.

Our Mental Health Statement (PDF, 517kB) and Mental Health Handbook of Practice (PDF, 491kB) detail how we aim to support the mental health and wellbeing of students.

We are a listening service, endeavouring to be responsive to individuals and groups within the university and to provide appropriate and timely interventions to meet individuals in their distress and to help them reconnect with and develop their own psychological resources.

Many of our workshops and group sessions are aimed at preventative health, enabling people to avoid a crisis and equip themselves for those times when life is more difficult.

Each week in term time we provide over 200 individual one-to-one counselling sessions to students. We use a system of assessment and triage in order to offer the most appropriate help.

We recognise that not everyone is suited to traditional one-to-one weekly counselling and thus are flexible enough to provide one to one work in a variety of individual contracts, which might mean you come to see us only once, or from time to time, or make use of our online resources or resource library without appointment.

We also run a range of workshops and group sessions as well as Talk and Plan (TAP) sessions, all designed to empower individuals in managing their own health and wellbeing.

At the heart of our service is a belief in the importance of clinical excellence: the feedback we receive about our services suggests we achieve this many times, and we are always striving to improve what we offer through the routine use of evaluations.

We aim to provide transparent systems, backed up by clear policy so that anyone looking in on the service can understand what we do and why we do it.

There are many points of access in to the service, allowing for the wide variety of people we seek to serve, and whilst we may sometimes have to prioritise resources to the most urgent or severe cases and thus hold a waiting list for regular one-to-one work at peak times, our aim is to always offer something to those who approach us.

The service is an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and subscribes to its standards for ethics and good practice.

Service statistics


In 2015/16 we registered 2285 students (approximately 10.2% of the population of the University) which continues the trend of increasing numbers presenting to the service.

13% of the students we saw were seen for an initial session on the day that they first made contact with us and most were seen within 10 working days.

899 same-day drop-in sessions were provided.

Using the COREnet evaluation tool to measure psychological wellbeing:

  • 84% of the students we saw were considered to be psychologically unwell and in the clinical population.
  • 32% of students using our service present with some level of risk to themselves or others.
  • 28% were experiencing suicidal ideation.

The most common presenting issues in the 2015/16 year

  • Anxiety (39%)
  • Depression (34%)
  • Problems with study (27%)
  • Relationship problems (21%)
  • Low self esteem (20%)

There has been a positive response to the increase in our group work programme this year. A total of 1653 group sessions were attended. Evaluations received from our group programme indicate that 91% found the group helpful with 67% feeling it helped them do better in academic work.

97% of those attending workshops completed and evaluation form of these 94% rated them as good or excellent and 98% would recommend the counselling service to a friend.

Who comes to Student Counselling?

  • 33.7% of those seen identified as male, 66% female and 0.26% as trans or nonbinary gender identities.
  • Most students were in their 20s.
  • 21% were postgraduates and 79% undergraduates.
  • 76% of those registered were home students, 9% EU and 15% International students
  • Disabled students were also over-represented in relation to University ratios, and of these 51% declared a mental health difficulty (a 7% increase on last year.)
  • Of those who answered the question about sexual identity (about 68% of those registered):
    • 86% identify as heterosexual (4% fewer than last year)
    • We appear to have a rise in students identifying as bisexual, from 5% in 2014/15 to 8% in 2015/16
    • Other orientations the same as last year (asexual 1%, gay man 4%, lesbian 1%.)
  • 80% of students registering with SCS declare their ethnic origin. Of these 77% describe themselves as white, with the next largest being Chinese (5%). There are no significant changes in demographic from last year.

Further feedback about the Service can be seen in the quotations throughout the website. If you would like to add your feedback then please fill out our feedback form.

Edit this page