The easiest and most direct way of booking an appointment is by email:
It is helpful if you attach a completed Pre-Counselling Form. Please remember to attach your student ID number, and to indicate the times that you can attend an appointment
We advise that you use your Aston email address as it provides a significant level of security. Once we have received your email, we will normally contact you to offer an appointment time.
Instead of email, you may prefer to complete a paper copy of the Pre-Counselling Form. These can be obtained from The Hub Reception desk. If you complete a paper form, please return the completed form, in a sealed envelope to The Hub reception. We will then contact you by email.
We allocate appointments based on our assessment of what you have described on your pre-sessional information form and your availability. Please let us know if you are specifically seeking a CBT approach.
If, from the information you provide in your pre-assessment form, we feel that it may be more beneficial for you to meet informally with our mental health specialist in the first instance, we will contact you to seek your approval.
Yes: there is a lot that you can do whilst waiting. In the first instance and if possible, try to explain how you feel to someone who you can trust, perhaps a friend or family member.
You may also wish to consider making an appointment with your GP, to discuss whether you are experiencing depression, anxiety or another mental health condition.
Some other people and services who can help in the meantime are detailed here.
If the situation that brings you to request counselling or support through our Mental Health Specialist is impacting on your studies, it is advisable to tell your personal tutor, programme director, or School Office as quickly as possible and seek their advice.
We aim to make our Service easy to access, and to keep waiting times to a minimum. To enable us to do this, we ask that if you need to cancel an appointment, you give us at least 24 hours’ notice. This will normally allow us to offer your appointment to somebody else.
If an appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice, there may be some delay before another appointment is offered to you.
Regular failures to attend, or persistent cancellations will be taken to indicate that you no longer wish to use the service.
You will be offered a therapeutic consultation in the first instance and you will need to allow up to 90 minutes for this first appointment. During this session, the counsellor/psychotherapy practitioner will help you explore your situation in detail, provide some initial counselling / therapeutic support, and discuss a range of potential follow-up options for you to consider. These may include self-help on-line therapy programmes and resources, assisted on-line therapy, attending one of our short courses on a particular topic, or a short, time limited course of counselling or psychotherapy.
At the end of the session, the counsellor/psychotherapy practitioner will give you their contact details, should you require further support.
If after the first session you feel that you would like further support, please get back in touch with the counsellor/psychotherapy practitioner with whom you met with in the initial session to discuss potential options further and agree a way forward. Before doing this, it may be useful to try engaging with ideas of ways forward covered in your initial session and with any self-help material suggested.
Our counsellors/psychotherapy practitioners offer short-term brief therapy, usually up to four sessions per academic year. If longer-term therapy or specialist help is needed, then referrals can be made through your GP to NHS agencies within the community. If you are registered with a Birmingham GP and under 25 years old, you can self-refer to ‘Forward Thinking Birmingham’. ‘Forward Thinking Birmingham’ is the mental health support service for young people living in Birmingham. It provides support, care and treatment tailored to individual client’s needs.
If you have an on-going mental health condition, as diagnosed by a GP or psychiatrist, which is having a significant impact on your student life, you may want to consider applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances’ add link. This can fund on-going support such as specialist mentoring. You may also wish to be supported by our mental health specialist.
Our counsellors/psychotherapy practitioners or mental health specialist can discuss these options with you if this seems the best way forward. We can provide a letter for your GP or NHS agency summarising the support that you have received to date.
Confidentiality is of paramount importance to the Counselling and Mental Wellbeing Team. In normal circumstances, your counsellor/psychotherapy practitioner will not divulge anything about the counselling to another person, unless you wish this and give your consent. Occasionally, the counsellor/psychotherapy practitioner may suggest that it could be helpful for you to consult your doctor or talk to your personal tutor or programme director.
There may be exceptional circumstances in which the counsellor/psychotherapy practitioner believes that it is necessary to break confidentiality and talk to a third party. This may occur, for example, if the counsellor/psychotherapy practitioner considers that you may cause harm to yourself or others, or have harm caused to you. In such cases, wherever possible, the counsellor/psychotherapy practitioner will discuss this with you.
In accordance with professional practice, individual counsellors make brief notes on what happens during counselling sessions, and the Counselling and Mental Wellbeing Service keep anonymous statistical information on all clients. These records are kept strictly confidential within the Service. You do however have the right to request to see your own records.