The University’s support services are often adapting and improving their offer to cater to demand. Also, we as your Student Officers often feedback and influence these important pieces of work through campaign work and sitting on University committees. With these decisions and changes can often go unnoticed and aren’t communicated clearly, this Updates section will provide you with timely updates that effect you.
These updates come from work Ffion and Imogen have influenced directly, in partnership with the University.
Since September 2020
Since the start of the academic year and in response to the pandemic, more funding has seen an increase in staffing in student support services. This has included an additional Mental Health Advisor and three additional sessional counsellors.
The University counselling services have increased their hours until 7 pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. These sessions are for anyone to access, however students who are unable to attend their counselling appointments due to their university timetable, such as for those students who are on placement 9-5 pm are prioritised.
Due to the success of the Guild’s Bystander training, we are working closely with University services staff to introduce Mental Health First Aid training to students. This training will be embedded in society's annual training, and open sessions will be held so that all students can access this. A similar version of this training will also be offered to front-facing University staff. We feel strongly about the importance of raising awareness to suicide and as such are hoping to also add suicide prevention training to this programme. Currently, the services are exploring how to embed on-line ‘Zero Suicide Alliance’ training into this.
Agreed November 2020, training to commence Spring 2021
As part of the University’s partnership with the Anthony Walker Foundation, the Support Services staff will be receiving racial-cultural competency training in order to be more culturally competent when dealing with students. The University and Anthony Walker Partnership was confirmed In November 2020, with delivery of this training is currently being organised. This training will be renewed on an annual basis to ensure staff continually increase their competency.
The University Support services have had and are due to receive reviser training from the LGBT+ Society on understanding LGBTQ+ sexualities and identities. While this is underway, we are working with the services to explore acquiring LGBTQ+ understanding and competency training from an expert LGBTQ+ organization in the hope it will support staff to better understand students struggling with mental health issues in the LGBTQ+ community.
Current and Future work
We will be working with the Universities services team to explore how mental health services can be best delivered going forward. The pandemic has taught us all a lot about the way we work and how the University can best deliver their services to students. We are eager to gather student feedback into this and are pleased that University staff are just as keen to review elements of the services based on students wishes.
These updates capture improvements Ffion and Imogen have worked towards with the University
March 2021 Update
Currently, there is no waiting list for accessing Student Support, which includes Wellbeing Advisors and Mental Health Advisory Service. Requests for support should have a response within a couple of working days. At the Counselling Service, there is a maximum wait of a week for Single Session Therapy - this type of support is enough for approximately two thirds of students who are seen. The only current waiting list is for longer-term therapy; however, students can access another single-session whilst waiting if they find that they are struggling to cope in the meantime.
U-CAN is a psycho-social education group offer, coproduced with students. U-CAN is a new 6-week long skills group aimed to help students develop skills which can positively impact how they manage their mental health. Delivered by a team of Clinical Practitioners and NHS Mental Health Nurses from Mersey Care NHS Trust, working in partnership with University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, the weekly sessions will provide practical tools and skills to help students improve their levels of stress, anxiety and persistent low mood.
As part of the ‘Improving Student Mental Health Project’, a programme of workshops have been developed to equip students to live with or understand certain mental health issues. They’re ideal both for students with certain mental health conditions, and also those who just want to learn more about a specific topic. Hosted via Zoom in a webinar format, these sessions aim to educate using interactive polls and Q&A sessions. Topics include aspects such as motivation, stress, psychosis, suicide prevention, depression and many more.
U-COPE therapy, (University Community Outpatient Psychotherapy Engagement) is a new self-harm prevention service delivered by Merseycare NHS Trust working in partnership with the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University. It is designed for those students who have recently self-harmed, those who struggle with self-harming or are at risk of doing so. Access is through a referral from the University Support Services.
Current work, should be completed for September 2021
Following the Covid pandemic, students’ lives and the way they access Services has changed drastically. Therefore, Student Support Services is currently looking to update the current mental health policy and develop a new mental health strategy.