Supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of our student community sits at the heart of what we do at Churchill College, which includes providing access to quality counselling and advice. We are proud to now offer access to three College Counsellors alongside our Wellbeing Coordinator and dedicated College Nurse. To help mark World Mental Health Day we found out more about the extended counselling service available to our students and the team behind it.

Counselling at Churchill College

Counselling provides a safe and accepting space for our students to be heard whatever their background, identity or race. Our Counsellors are trained to listen carefully and respectfully, and aim to help relieve distress, increase personal understanding and widen the options they feel they have.

Talking to family, friends or other staff can be very helpful, but counselling provides another option if you want to talk to someone separate from the rest of your life who is professionally trained and who has time for you.

Our students are entitled to six free sessions per year, and a further six at a subsidised rate of £20 per session. This provision resets each Michaelmas term. If any student is in financial adversity and there is a requirement for further free sessions, they can talk to their Tutor. The counselling service is open for most of the year, mainly during term time, although it is possible to arrange out of term appointments too.

Counselling can help address any personal issue from immediate concerns to longer-term problems. Issues people bring include, abuse, anxiety, bereavement, depression, eating disorders, family difficulties, identity, procrastination, racism, relationships or social concerns, self-harm, settling in, sexual harassment, sexuality, stress and suicidal feelings.

Find out more

Our students also have access to a dedicated College Nurse, Karen MacGinley for help with minor ailments and injuries as well as referrals to other agencies. The College Surgery is open daily during the week in term-time and reduced hours out of term. Karen recently joined the College following 36 years working at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge!

Our team

Our Wellbeing Coordinator Louise Ranger offers Louise Ranger offers psychological support services alongside College Counsellors Guy Snape, Rich Rippin and Tanis Howell. They are also supported by College Nurse, Karen MacGinley.

Louise, Guy and Karen shared their most useful advise for good mental health, one favourite book they recommend to clients and a favourite quote.

Guy’s tips

Be kind to yourself

Book recommendation: Fully Human by Steve Biddulph (shortly to be republished as Supersense)

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change

Carl Rogers

Louise’s tips

Pay attention to the seven points of wellbeing: mental, physical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental, and vocational. If you feel out of balance & can’t figure out why, it could be one of these points is negatively impacting the others. Work on that & the others are likely to follow.

Book recommendation: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The humanity we all share is more important than the mental illnesses we may not

Elyn R. Saks

Karen’s tips

Go outside and take a 10 minute walk every day 

Book recommendation: A man called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Don’t believe everything you think