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Check out the menus below for more information on:

Apps

Smart phone apps can be a really useful way to practice breathing and meditation exercises to help with stress and anxiety.

  • Breathe2Relax
  • Calm
  • Headspace
  • Stop, Breathe & Think
  • The Mindfulness App
  • Virtual Hope Box

 

Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT can be a useful way to challenge how we think and act to help with anxiety and low mood. Online programmes offers the opportunity to learn CBT skills.

  1. Aware Life Skills Online: www.aware.ie/education/life-skills-online-programme/
  2. CBT Online: www.online-therapy.com/cbt
  3. Mood Gym: https://moodgym.com.au/

Self-Help Resources

Self-help materials can give us coping skills to help us through times of distress.

  1. Information and exercise sheets:
  1. Specific self-help intervention packages:

Websites

Futureme.org

Write a letter to your future self.

Mind.org.uk

Mental health support and information.

Pleasetalk.ie

Ireland’s student-led mental health movement.

Reachout.com

Information on issues that can affect your mental health and well-being.

Spunout.ie

Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people.

 

Crisis Helpline Numbers

Emergency services (Gardaí, Ambulance, Fire Service)               

999 or 112

Shannon Doc

1850 212 999

Crisis Intervention Service

 

Limerick

Clare

North Tipperary

 

061 30 11 11

065 686 32 08

086 830 6663

ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services

(24/7) Email: info@adaptservices.ie

Website: www.adaptservices.ie/

1800 200 504

Al-Anon, strength and hope for families and friends of problem drinkers

(10am – 10pm daily) Email: info@alanon.ie

Website: www.alanon.ie

01 87 32 6999

Alcoholics Anonymous Ireland

Email: gso@alcoholicsanonymous.ie

Website: www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie/

01-8420700

AMEN, support and practical assistance to male victims of domestic abuse

(9am-5pm, Mon-Fri) Email: crisissupport@amen.ie

Website: www.amen.ie

046-9023718

AWARE, a national support helpline for issues relating to mood disorders

(10am to 10pm daily)

Website: www.aware.ie

1800 80 48 48

Bodywhys, The Eating Disorders Association of Ireland

(2hrs daily) Email: alex@bodywhys.ie

Website: www.bodywhys.ie/

1890 20 04 44

GOSHH (Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health, HIV)

(Mon 2.15pm–5pm, Tues-Fri 9.30am– 5pm) Email: info@goshh.ie

Website: goshh.ie/

061-316661

GROW, Community Mental Health

Email: midwesternregion@grow.ie

Website: www.grow.ie/

1890 474 474

Pieta House, for suicidality and self-harm    

(24/7) Email: mary@pieta.ie

Website:  www.pieta.ie

1800 247 247

Rape Crisis Midwest

Email: info@rapecrisis.ie

Website:  www.rapecrisis.ie/home.html

1800 311 511

Samaritans, confidential listening service     

(24/7) E-mail: jo@samaritans.org

Website: www.samaritans.org/

For 24 hour confidential text support text to 087-2609090

116 123

 

 

 

 

As part of your student experience you will at some point find yourself on a co-op or work placement or abroad on Erasmus. For the most part, students enjoy these experiences and are very happy. However, some students find this to be the very time they need some extra support. There are a number of options for you. These include:

 

  • Seeking counselling support from your host university, local Jigsaw (if in Ireland), or even through a work EAP scheme if there is one.
  • Looking through some online apps and websites for support. Please see the list below which we have put together for your convenience.
  • Reading through some of the leaflets on the UL counselling website, https://ulsites.ul.ie/studentaffairs/counselling-service
  • Contacting the UL counselling service for some support. You can do this by emailing counselling@ul.ie, explaining your circumstances, and requesting a ‘phone drop-in’ call. Please provide your mobile number and a preferred day for a phone-call. An Assistant Psychologist will phone you at the Irish drop-in time (either 10am or 2pm) on your preferred day. They will take some demographic details, conduct a brief questionnaire, and ask some questions about your wellbeing in order to get a sense of your difficulties. Should you need counselling, you will be placed on the waiting list, although such counselling will occur either over the phone or via email, based on your preference.

 

E-Resources for Positive Well-Being

Apps

Smart phone apps can be a really useful way to practice breathing and meditation exercises to help with stress and anxiety.

Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT can be a useful way to challenge how we think and act to help with anxiety and low mood. Online programmes offers the opportunity to learn CBT skills.

  1. Aware Life Skills Online: www.aware.ie/education/life-skills-online-programme/
  2. CBT Online: www.online-therapy.com/cbt
  3. Mood Gym: https://moodgym.com.au/

 

Self-Help Resources

Self-help materials can give us coping skills to help us through times of distress.

  1. Information and exercise sheets:
  1. Specific self-help intervention packages:

 

Websites

Futureme.org

Write a letter to your future self.

Mind.org.uk

Mental health support and information.

Pleasetalk.ie

Ireland’s student-led mental health movement.

Reachout.com

Information on issues that can affect your mental health and well-being.

Spunout.ie

Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people.

 

See our e-resources leaflet for even more information

When someone you care about is struggling, it can be really difficult and you may experience a mix of emotions: concern, disbelief, anger, anxiety, compassion… this is normal and understandable.

Providing support to someone else can be draining, leaving you feeling exhausted. It is important to notice the impact of this on your own mental health and wellbeing. Before you can support them, you need to make sure you are supported and looking after yourself.

 

Some ways to mind yourself

Know your limits

            Be realistic about what support you can offer and try not to take on too much.

Get support

Talk to someone you trust or link in with the student counselling service.

Take a break

      Make time to do something nice for yourself.

 

Ways to support your friend

Listen

      Listen more than you talk. Ask open ended questions, “how are you feeling?” to encourage them to talk.

Be there as someone they can trust

      Let them know you care, spend time with them, chat over a cup of tea- avoid drugs and alcohol

Don’t assume you know what’s best for them

      Everyone experiences life differently. Don’t try to “fix things”. Instead, ask your friend how they would like to be supported.

Normalise mental health

      Talk about it. It’s ok not to be ok. Make sure your friend hears that.

Encourage them to get support

      Make it ok to need help, offer to go with them to whatever support service they decide on.

 

Let them know you care

 

What to do if they don’t want help?

While it can be frustrating when someone you care about doesn’t want help, there are limits to what you can do. Try to be patient with them, be there, ready to help, but do not push them.

 

Time to get extra help

If you have talked to your friend and are still worried, it may be time to contact a family member and tell them your concerns. Attend UL Éist during drop-in hours (Room CM073, 10am & 2pm) and express concern for your friend. Try and encourage your friend to come.

 

Check out our e-resources and helpline information leaflet for some more support services in the Limerick area.

 

In an emergency call the Emergency Services on 112 or 999.

Student Counselling Service Information Sheet for Students

What is the UL Counselling Service?

The UL Counselling Service is a primary care mental health service which offers a stepped-care model of service delivery. In a system with limited resources, the stepped-care model is ideal for reaching the greatest number of people possible and employing the least intensive yet effective intervention.

The UL Counselling Service is a professional psychological service available to students to assist them on their progress through university life, with all of its incumbent stresses and strains. Many personal decisions are made and problems solved through discussions with friends or family, advisor, course director, nurse, GP or chaplain. However, there are times when it may be right to seek help away from the familiar daily environment. The Counselling Service was set up at UL in 1977 to meet just such a need. The service works within the Code of Ethics and Practice of the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI), formerly the Irish Association of University and College Counsellors (IAUCC).

Who is the service for?

The service is available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students of UL. Approximately 1,200 students avail of the service annually.

What sort of problems can be helped with counselling?

Most personal, relationship or identity problems can be helped through counselling. This includes anxiety, stress and depression, family and/or relationship difficulties, sexual problems, and identity issues. It also includes talking over adjusting to a new culture and dealing with dilemmas or difficult decisions, as well as more specific problems, such as addictions or eating disorders.

Counselling aims to address all problems of psychological survival and coping, whether seemingly major or minor. Students frequently say that they didn't think their problem was serious enough for counselling and that they didn't want to be wasting the counsellor’s time. Talking to somebody at this stage, before things escalate, is often the best course of action and is to be encouraged. Don’t wait until a problem has grown very serious – we would much rather you came when something is relatively minor so that it can be resolved more quickly.

Short-term (i.e., four sessions) of cognitive-behaviour support is also offered by the service. This is distinguished from counselling in that it offers very focussed, goal-directed support with specific problems or concerns of the student. For example, students presenting with stress/anxiety/low-mood/specific fears often find that learning key coping skills, grounding techniques, and goal-setting is more helpful to them at this time in their life than talking about their history or wider difficulties.

Who are the team members?

The service has a team of professionally trained and widely experienced psychotherapists, counsellors, a chartered clinical psychologist, chartered psychologist, and three assistant psychologists (APs). The team is used to helping people from many different backgrounds and cultures and with a wide range of personal issues.

The service also includes therapists and psychologists in training as an integral part of the team. Students may be invited to see one of these but are not compelled to do so. Trainees are under the strict supervision of the Head/Deputy Head of Counselling. Therapists and trainees provide the counselling at the service, whilst the Assistant Psychologists run the drop-in service and the cognitive-behavioural support.

What happens in counselling?

Counselling is not the same as giving advice. Rather, a counsellor seeks to help you to focus on and understand more clearly the issues that concern you. By respecting your own values, choices and lifestyle, the counsellor can work with you towards making choices or changes that are right for you.

Counselling is not any one thing but is adapted by the counsellor to fit the needs of the student. Counselling is basically about a relationship with another person who is skilled and has expertise in dealing with the difficulties encountered by students. This relationship is one of support and advice, education and challenge, warmth and empathy. It will normally be on a weekly or fortnightly basis, for up to six sessions. This can be extended by a maximum of a further six session after a review with the Head/Deputy Head of Counselling and if deemed necessary. Each session normally lasts 50 minutes and takes place in a comfortable and private setting.

The first meeting consists of a detailed assessment and evaluation of the situation presented by the student. The counsellor explains about the nature of the work and what the student might expect. Goals and objectives of counselling are established at this point.

Most people are seen individually, but group counselling can also be offered when appropriate and if there is sufficient demand.

Is the service confidential?

The service is confidential and operates within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI), formerly the Irish Association of University and College Counsellors (IAUCC). This means that your personal details are not disclosed to anyone outside of the service without your expressed permission. However, there are some exceptions in relation to confidentiality. These include:

  • Liaising with key people when there is a threat to your own wellbeing or the wellbeing of someone else, e.g., if you communicate plans of suicide or plans to harm someone else. Examples of such include your Next-of-Kin, ambulance staff, the Gardai, etc. Only the minimum number of people required to ensure your safety will be informed.
  • Meeting legal requirements of the Children’s First policy (2015), psychologists and psychotherapists are mandated by law to report harm to children to the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA). Such harm includes assault, ill-treatment, neglect, or sexual abuse.
  • Occasionally liaising with services/departments at the University of Limerick to verify student information in order to provide our service or assess our service delivery. For example, the Counselling Service may need to compare students who are at risk of dropping out of university against those who actually dropped out. This requires liaising with Student Academic Affairs. Work such as this helps us know if the Counselling Service is providing a useful service to students and the university. Only quantitative information would communicated by such comparisons.

We maintain basic case notes on all students. These are kept in an electronic database which is password and fob protected. We engage in research, evaluations, and audits of our service from time to time. This requires employing unidentifiable, anonymised, aggregate data. Your personal details are not included in such research.

How do I make an appointment?

You can make contact with the counselling service by first coming to the drop-in service. You enter the waiting room at CM073 at the daily drop-in times of 10.00–11.00 and 14.00–15.00. You will be asked to complete an intake form and a self-assessment questionnaire. An Assistant Psychologist will meet with you as part of an exploratory interview for 15 meetings. Here, they will review your details and establish what has brought you to the counselling service.

At this exploratory interview, you and the counsellor can decide on the best way forward. Some find this exploratory session sufficient on its own; others will want ongoing individual or group counselling, or a referral to some other form of help.

The service gets very busy, especially during term, and consequently we often have to operate a waiting list for ongoing counselling. However, every effort will be made to see you as soon as possible.

What if I miss my appointment?

In the event that you are not able to attend for a scheduled appointment, it is your responsibility to notify the service administrator at least 24 hours in advance so that the time slot can be allocated to someone else. Repeated missed appointments without adequate reason will result in counselling being discontinued and your being referred back to the drop-in centre.

Can I ask for a particular counsellor?

You will be allocated an appointment with the first available counsellor. Requests to attend specific counsellors cannot be catered for. Requests to see a counsellor of a particular gender will be considered on merit.

What if more help is needed than the service can provide?

The stepped-care model of the Counselling Service is designed to meet mild-moderate mental health needs. Acute, chronic, and highly complex mental health needs may require referral to a variety of secondary level psychological, therapeutic, specialised, or psychiatric services in the community. If referral seems the best way forward, a team member will discuss the options with you.

All students should be registered with a GP, and it is often helpful if you inform your GP that you are seeing a counsellor at UL. Although rare, occasionally, some HSE services will not accept a referral from the UL Counselling Service. Being registered with a GP outside of the university will overcome this issue should it arise.

Is there an emergency service?

When a genuine emergency arises, we will arrange for you to see a counsellor quickly – we keep daily emergency appointment spaces in the diary – so please do not let the busyness of the service put you off coming, especially when something is urgent. Emergencies will be given priority and will be seen on the day. In the case of medical emergencies, or where your life or the life of another person is at risk, staff at the Counselling Service will send you either to the medical service or call an ambulance or taxi to take you to hospital, depending on your presentation.

How do I give feedback on the service?

As part of this service’s quality control procedures, all students attending the service are asked to complete an evaluation form once counselling has ended. Alternatively, you can supply anonymous feedback online by clicking the following link: https://unioflimerick.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eE96fyTzxBUJ9CR. 

Child Safeguarding Statement

2. Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm

     1. Name of service being provided:

         UL Éist Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service

     2.Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm

This service provides a primary mental health care to students of the University of Limerick. The essential aim of UL Éist is to support student learning and development and thus maximise students’ potential to benefit from their university experience. The main objective of the service is to provide a high-quality professional counselling service to students who experience emotional or psychological problems that inhibit their personal development and academic performance. It achieves this by providing a one-to-one drop-in service, one-to-one cognitive behavioural supports to students on campus, group workshops to students on campus, and one-to-one counselling sessions to students on campus. Students may also contact or be contacted by the service via telephone or UL based email. Students also can access the counselling service website to download psycho-education based leaflets or link to online podcasts, talks, and websites on topics of mental wellbeing. Any student enrolled at UL can avail of the services of UL Éist. Whilst most students are aged 18 or over, a minority commence university life at the age of 17 and are thus classed as ‘children’. Our guiding principle is that nothing we do should harm service users in any way and everything we do should support their mental wellbeing. Furthermore, in line with the ethos of primary care, UL Éist works to link students with community and specialist services when their needs are more appropriate to those services and empowers them to seek supports within and outside of the university where that is their wish.

The purpose of this statement is to promote the welfare of children and keep them safe from harm whilst engaged with UL Éist Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service.

The safety and welfare of children is a key priority as required under Children’s First Act (2015), Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017). This service specific Child Safeguarding Statement should be considered in the context of the overarching University Child Safeguarding Statement.

and related Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures as well as the Policies and Procedures of the UL Counselling Service.

 

Risk identified

Procedure in place to manage risk identified

 note that UL relevant policies, procedures and related documents are underlined in text below for easy identification without a number whilst internal UL Éist policies and procedures are underlined and followed by numerical reference, e.g., (1.2).

 

1

 

Psychological harm as a result of inappropriate or inexpert services, such as counselling, Assistant Psychology support, other support provision, and/or referrals

Low Risk: The following procedures are in place to address this risk:

(1) We make sure that we recruit and select only the most suitable candidates for the roles of Assistant Psychologist, Student Counsellor, and Deputy/ Head of Counselling, in accordance with UL HR Garda Vetting** and UL Recruitment/Employment Policies;

(2) We ensure that all our counsellors are members of IACP/ IAHIP/ PsSI etc., with qualifications as required for membership.

(3) We expect attendance at ongoing supervision and CPD training for these counsellors, which they must attend in line with the rules of their accrediting body. Such attendance is specified in the policies and procedures of the counselling service under Supervision (7.1) and Professional Development (7.2).

(4) We expect employed staff to attend mandatory weekly team meetings to discuss cases and receive support from the team, as referred to in the Policies and Procedures of the service under Staff Meetings (7.4).

(5) Support is provided from line-management for all employees, assistant psychologists, and trainee psychotherapists involved with the service.

(6) All referrals are made in accordance with our Policy on Referrals (2.1) to ensure that they are made in timely and appropriate manner.

(7) A UL Student Complaints procedure is in place for undergraduate and postgraduate students should a student feel the need to have a situation formally resolved.

 

 

Psychological harm and in extreme cases, increased risk of suicide, as a result of undue delay in accessing counselling and other specialist services in crisis situations especially

Medium Risk: Crisis situations in which counselling or other urgent assistance is sought are not an everyday occurrence. However, some protocols exist to manage such circumstances:

(1). The counselling service has a protocol for dealing with Suicidal Emergencies (5.2). Where assessment reveals that crisis appointments are necessary, these can be provided by UL Éist for a holding period. Where necessary, Referral from the Counselling Service (2.2) can be made to psychiatry in the medical service

 

Non-crisis requests for counselling will be placed on a waiting list and people will be allocated counselling hours as soon as these become available, having regard to current resources.

3

 

Sexual exploitation and violence arising via inappropriate and un-boundaried  counselling experiences with unsuitable individuals

Low Risk:

(1). This risk is addressed primarily through: meticulous and careful recruitment and selection as set out in in accordance with UL HR Garda Vetting* and UL Recruitment/Employment Policies; registration with a professional body, such as IACP/ IAHIP/ PsSI; and attendance at personal Supervision (7.1) and staff-meetings (7.4).

(2). Psychotherapy trainees and interns are required to attend meetings with line-management for Internal Supervision (8.4).

(3) We ensure that all clients, and especially those under 18, are made aware that if they have any concern about our staff’s behaviour, they can report it under the UL Student Complaints Procedure and the Counselling Service Complaints Procedure (6.3). The manager will take action to ensure that anyone accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour/or sexual will be dealt with according to the UL Child Protection Policy and Guidelines.

4

 

Failure to have due regard to young people’s rights to privacy and confidentiality, subject to Children First Act and other legal obligations

Low Risk:

(1) Apart from the usual exceptions such as Children First reporting requirements, Court Orders or other Legal Implications regarding Confidentiality (3.2) (e.g., those arising out of Withholding of Information legislation) all staff and trainees at UL Éist maintain the strictest confidentiality in relation to sensitive and other personal information disclosed to us by our clients, in line with our Principles on Confidentiality (3.1).

(2) We comply with Data Protection legislation (UL Student Data Protection Privacy Notice) and UL Data Protection Policy;

 

5

Failure to have comply with Children’s First (CF) Legislation:

Reporting of child abuse concerns

Low Risk:  

The priorities of the Children First Act (2015) is recognised by UL management and UL Éist in conjunction with the UL Child Protection Guidelines and the Child Protection Guidelines of UL Éist (5.3.1; 5.4.2; 5.3.3). Non-mandated persons will first consult with the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) in relation to any child protection concerns or disclosures in order to establish if reasonable grounds for concern exist. Reporting to Tusla occurs via the DLP.

Mandated persons will consult with the DLP and if the relevant threshold is reached will report to Tusla jointly. Mandated persons in the context of their personal legal responsibilities may also report directly to Tusla and will inform the DLP of any such report.

The Designated Liaison Person for UL is Philip Thornton (Philip.thornton@ul.ie ; tel. 061 202239) at the University of Limerick.

(1). All staff are made aware of the legislation and protocols of reporting as per the UL Child Protection Guidelines and UL Éist Child Protection Guidelines (5.3.1; 5.4.2; 5.3.3).

(2). All team members have either attended or are instructed to attend Children’s First training to keep them informed of the legislation. Briefings and training on the CF Act, 2015, takes place on a regular basis.

(3). Potential reporting needs are discussed with line management via Supervision (7.1) and Staff Meetings (7.4).

(3). Where disclosure is necessary, pertaining to the Children’s First (CF) Act, 2015, or other reason, we explain these reasons in detail to all clients and take special care with those under 18 to reassure them that we will support them as much as possible throughout potentially challenging reporting and disclosure procedures, again in line with our own Confidentiality Policies at UL Éist (3.1; 3.2).

 

 

 

 

* All policies and procedures of the University of Limerick are available online: https://www.ul.ie/hr/current-staff/hr-policies-procedures-forms-z

UL Éist documents are available at UL Éist.

4.     Procedures

Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, the Children First: National Guidance, and Tusla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice. In addition to the procedures listed in our risk assessment, the following procedures and policies support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our service:

➪           Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of UL Éist:  UL Student Complaints Procedure and the Counselling Service Complaints Procedure (6.3).

➪           Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of staff: UL HR Garda Vetting and UL Recruitment/Employment Policies

➪           Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm: UL Child Protection Guidelines and UL Éist Child Protection Guidelines (5.3.1; 5.4.2; 5.3.3).

➪           Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla: UL Child Protection Guidelines and UL Éist Child Protection Guidelines (5.3.1; 5.4.2; 5.3.3).

➪           Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons in the relevant service who are mandated persons: UL Child Protection Guidelines

➪           Procedure for appointing a relevant person: UL Child Protection Guidelines

All procedures, policies and related documents listed or referred to are available from the UL http://www.ul.ie/hr/hr-policies-procedures-and-forms-z and from HR. UL Éist documents are available at UL Éist.

5.      Implementation

We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. Our service is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our service.

This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed in August 2020, or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.

Signed: Dr. Lucy Smith

(Head of Counselling; UL Éist Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service; 061 202327)

                                               

For queries, please contact: Philip Thornton

(Health & Safety Officer; Relevant Person under the Children First Act 2015).

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