We receive feedback about our service on a daily basis; some informally directly to us as counsellors and administrators, some through the online evaluation form we routinely send out at the end of an experience of counselling and some through feedback processes within workshops and groups.
We take every piece of feedback seriously and where we can we ensure that the relevant feedback is given to any individual involved. This allows us to reflect on our work and find ways to improve what we do.
Each year we write an Annual Report about the service where statistics are analysed to give an overview of student satisfaction and of any key areas of service performance.
We have a Student Enhancement Advisory Group (SEAG) which we make contact with 3 times a year, twice using email questionnaires and once in a face to face meeting. This group provides a sounding board for future ideas and is helping us develop student friendly services.
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.
Throughout this website you can see examples of the feedback we have recently received.
The following are examples of ways in which we have responded to feedback in the previous academic year:
You said this ….We did this…
You asked if we could run a workshop which would help people build their psychological strength generally rather than related to a specific area of difficulty.
We now run the following workshop mulitple times across the year: ‘ Find and Nurture your Resilience’
You asked if we could offer more support for self-help work beyond having access to the self-help library
We now run Self-help Drop-Ins every day of the week. This is somewhere where you can plan a bespoke self-help programme tailored to your particular needs. The self-help team also meet regularly to plan additional ways of improving our resources and our offer to students. We now have a specific email for self-help enquiries that anyone can use to keep in contact/seek additional support or give us updates on how the self-help programme is going: firstname.lastname@example.org
You asked if we could publicize clearly what our rationale was for offering 1:1 support to some people and not to others.
We created a Mental Health and Wellbeing Statement and Handbook of Practice which is now published on the website. We have also posted regular updates on the website in response to enquiries clarifying how we are prioritising students in need of support at the present time. It is also true that students often find group work intervention as useful and sometimes more useful than 1:1 work, so we are also seeking to educate people into the benefits for peer to peer contact when in psychological distress.
You asked if our registration forms could include the chance to describe what the problem was rather than just answering standardised questions.
We have now introduced a form which asks you to describe the difficulties you are experiencing, to give a sense of how long this has impacted on you and to let us know what you have tried so far. We are finding this really useful too.
You asked for an increase in 1:1 provision and for the chance to be seen more quickly.
We successfully bid for additional funding for 2016-17 which has allowed us to take on a team of Associate Counsellors to use at peak times and to offer some Saturday contracts for 1:1 counselling.
You asked for more sessions to be offered to students with severe and enduring mental health difficulties.
As well as offering the Wellbeing Group designed specifically for this group, we successfully bid for additional funding from Widening Participation to allow us to offer the flexibility of more sessions to a small group of students who were struggling to manage their severe and enduring mental health difficulties.
You asked to be able to access our services when you were not based in Bristol.
We arranged for training for all of our counsellors in phone counselling and are now routinely offering this alternative.