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So you need some help? Your Questions Answered

This blog holds valuable information and details on several support services available to students. Each one is non-judgemental, confidential and FREE! If you have any more questions regarding available resources, please email us at head.up@durham.ac.uk or message the Facebook page directly.

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College office:

  • Who are they?

Your first point of contact for any academic or personal problems.

  • Why should I use this service?

They have a great knowledge of the university support services which could be useful to you.

  • How do I contact them?

Send your student support officer an email, call them or just pop in.

  • What happens next?

They may signpost you to other services and they will regularly check-in with you just to make sure things are going okay.

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Counselling service: https://www.dur.ac.uk/counselling.service/

  • How do I contact them?

By calling or emailing the service. Alternatively, you can be referred by any member of university staff, but they will ALWAYS be inform you first.

  • Where is it?

Palatine centre, ground floor, left hand side. There is a huge sign you cannot miss.

  • What happens?

The assessment session: They look at your issues and decide which counsellor would be best suited to helping you. Try to arrive 10 minutes beforehand because there are some forms to fill in.

  • What forms will I have to fill out?

Your contact details and a general mental health questionnaire. Make sure you answer it honestly to make sure you benefit from the service and/or get any other support you might need.

  • What happens next?

You and your counsellor will talk through your issues and help you discover the underlying cause of these feelings. If you find it hard to talk, make a list for them. At the end of the appointment, they will tell you whether you would benefit from the service, and may signpost you elsewhere. They will also give you leaflets with lots of information and self-help.

  • What happens after the assessment?

You will get an email that asks you for your availability. Once a session becomes available, you will be contacted to attend the sessions regularly. You will have 6 sessions, then depending on your symptoms you could be signposted elsewhere.

  • Is there a waiting list?

Usually a couple of weeks, but it depends on demand.

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Mental Health Advisor:

  • How do I contact her?

You will be referred by college office to see the mental health advisor. She will contact you by email to arrange an appointment.

  • Where is it?

She works in the counselling service.

  • What happens?

There is no need to fill out forms. During the appointment, she will advise you on more specific services that could help you.

  • What happens next?

You can email her to arrange an appointment or ask a question any time.

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Disability service: https://www.dur.ac.uk/disability.support/

YES- mental health difficulties are a disability because they can affect your ability to perform to your highest standard.

  • How do I contact them?

Call or email the service. At the start of term and in exam period they have drop-ins.

  • Where is it?

Palatine centre, ground floor, right hand side, a big sign you cannot miss.

  • What happens?

The first time you visit, you must fill out a form with your contact details. Then, an advisor will take you through and ask several questions to figure out what issues and difficulties you have, how they impact on your life and they will explain what options are available. Often medical evidence is needed. Once they have it you will be contacted to arrange another appointment, where they will help you to set up certain support mechanisms appropriate to your disability.

  • Who do they tell?

They must inform your academic department and college, but the information remains confidential and they won’t treat you any different (unless you would like them to).

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Your Doctor: http://www.durhamstudenthealth.co.uk/

  • Where is it?

The most common is the University Health Centre on Green Lane. From town, head down Elvet bridge (by The Swan pub), cross the road onto Old Elvet. When you get to the racecourse, cross the road and it’s the second building.

  • What happens?

A normal GP appointment. Make sure you tell the doctor everything, to help them to diagnose you. If you struggle to talk, write it down. Remember, doctors- especially at this practice are very used to people coming to them with mental health issues. They will either prescribe you mediation to help with your symptoms or refer you elsewhere for talk therapy (usually Talking Changes) or for a psychiatric assessment.

  • What happens next?

Return to the doctors every 3 weeks to get more medication or change the medication or dosage. It also helps them to keep an eye on your symptoms and monitor any side-effects.

  • What is the ‘green form’?

It’s used to prove that your health is affecting your performance at university. They cost £45 and it usually takes the doctors 5-6 working days to complete.

Talking changes: http://www.talkingchanges.org.uk/

  • What is this?

They offer CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to young adults in several ways: academic wellbeing courses, phone CBT and 1 to 1 CBT.

  • Where is it?

It depends on the method of therapy you are given. For phone CBT, wherever you want, 1 to 1 is usually at the doctors and the academic wellbeing course is in the Palatine centre.

  • How to get help?

Ring the service and refer yourself to them. They will ask you for some basic contact details and vague details about your issues. They will arrange a phone assessment appointment.

  • What happens?

At the confirmed time, they will call you. Before the call, you should get some post with a work booklet and a questionnaire. Fill out the questionnaire and tell them your answers and they will decide which type of CBT course would be best-suited to you.

  • Note: The academic wellbeing course is brilliant if you don’t like to talk about your issues. They present the coping mechanisms in a lecture-style and you take what you can from the sessions. There are 4 sessions in total, they run every term. If you need further support afterwards, you can be offered one of the individual CBT options.
  • Is there a waiting list?

For 1:1 CBT sessions it is about 2 months.

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Other support services

 

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