When I first came to Churchill, the thing that surprised me so much was what a big family it is. You can ask for help from anywhere. There will always be a friendly face for you.
Louise Ranger, Wellbeing Coordinator, Churchill College
Counselling at Churchill
You can talk to the Counsellor about any personal issue that is troubling you.
Counselling provides a safe and accepting space to be heard whatever your background, identity or race. The Counsellor is trained to listen carefully and respectfully, and aims to help relieve your distress, increase your personal understanding and widen the options you feel you have.
You can use counselling to help you 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.
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.
You 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 you are in financial adversity and there is a requirement for further free sessions, then please talk to your Tutor.
Counselling appointments will be in-person, but if you are at home out of term, or a Postgraduate student working remotely or living out, online sessions can be arranged using Zoom or a similar platform.
Email sessions are a further option if phone or video are not suitable. Appointments will usually be 50 minutes long although 30 minute sessions are also possible.
To request counselling please email email@example.com. You will then be offered an appointment with Louise Ranger, the College’s Wellbeing Coordinator. Louise will talk to you about your reasons for requesting counselling, and then triage you to the appropriate Counsellor or service. Louise can refer you to a male or female Counsellor, as well as more specialist provision. Please state on meeting whether you have a particular requirement, for example related to disability, ethnic background, religion or belief, gender associated.
Louise can also help you find other support if you decide this would be more helpful.
Appointments are offered on weekdays flexibly throughout the day depending upon your availability. If you are overseas, the appointment time will take into account your time zone.
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.
Out of Hours Support
Samaritans, Cambridge BranchThe local branch of a national service for people in distress or despair. Calls may be answered by someone in a different branch. You can use the service if you are currently outside the UK. Find out more
NHS 111 ServicesIn the UK you can message or telephone the NHS for mental (or physical) health information and the contact details of local services. The online service will not require a wait. It is not possible to use this service outside the UK. Find out more
The SanctuaryIf you’re experiencing emotional or mental health distress, please contact the NHS First Response Service, across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, by calling 111 and selecting Option 2. Find out More
Cambridge NightlineOffers a helpline run by students for students in Cambridge during termtime (7am-7pm). When open, you can phone, instant message, email or Skype. Find out more
SaneLineNational mental helpline providing specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by a mental health issue or crisis, including friends and family. Although the helpline is not open as normal, you can leave a message and they will call you back as soon as they can. Find out more
Get help from a mental health charityThe NHS has a list of other helplines, some relating to specific issues. Find out more
Confidentiality and Data Protection
All personal information provided to the counselling service is confidential and private, and no information will be passed on to anyone else without your consent. The only exception to this is if you, or someone else, are at risk of significant harm; or when the College is legally obliged to do so.
Minimal confidential and anonymous case notes are kept, stored separately from a list of names and email addresses. The information is securely stored on the Churchill College IT system, or in a locked filing cabinet. This information is not shared (unless you request it to be shared) and used only to facilitate ongoing counselling work (the only exception, as stated above, if there is a serious and imminent risk to safety). This information is kept according to the Records Retention Schedule of the College for 7 years and then deleted. The counsellor’s personal and more detailed case notes are shredded at the end of the work with you. You can request to see or have a copy of the data that is held or withdraw your consent at any time by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethical standards and complaints
The Counsellors are professionally registered and abide by the ethical frameworks of either the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions or the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.
If you have a complaint, you are welcome to raise it directly with the Counsellor either during a session or at another time, either by email or by telephone. The Counsellor will try to resolve the issue with you. If you do not want to do that, or if you want to take the matter further, you are welcome to contact the Senior Tutor by emailing email@example.com
A further option is to make a complaint to the Counsellor’s professional registration body the BACP British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (bacp.co.uk) or the UKCP Home | UKCP (psychotherapy.org.uk)
For legal purposes, the Counsellor operates from the UK and remote sessions will be treated as UK-based, wherever you are located. It is understood that you explicitly consent to this when you participate in a session.