All students enrolled with Birmingham City University can request support from the mental health and wellbeing team which may include, where appropriate, the counselling service. The service is professional, confidential and free of charge, and is available to enrolled BCU students 51 weeks of the year.
Counselling is a way of addressing problems by talking them through with someone who is able to be supportive, but who is not directly involved in the situation.
A counsellor will:
- give you an opportunity to talk in confidence about whatever is troubling you
- enable you to express your feelings
- help you to explore and understand your difficulties
- help you to find ways of managing these more effectively.
Although it might sometimes be appropriate to offer advice or guidance, the emphasis is very much on enabling you to make changes rather than on telling you what to do.
Counselling can help you deal with all kinds of issues, for example: anxiety, feeling depressed, low self-esteem, coming out, grief and loss, trauma, and relationship difficulties whatever your background or sexual orientation.
If you might benefit from specialist interventions or advice, you'll be referred to resources within the NHS or the wider community. This could involve an initial referral to our mental health advisers within the health and wellbeing service.
The team is made up of professionally qualified counsellors, all of whom have current accreditation (BACP or UKCP). Our counsellors work to high ethical standards and are committed to ongoing training and development.
Counsellors are experienced at working with students in university settings. They use discretion to carry out a range of therapeutic interventions, to meet the needs of the individual student, and for the delivery of counselling services.
University students are very diverse in regards to their abilities, religion, ethnic background or sexuality. Our counsellors work actively with many issues of difference, whether it is a student-specific cultural background or the particular needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans students.
How to see us
Our services are available throughout the year to fully enrolled students.
In order to find out what help you are seeking and to assess whether or not counselling might be beneficial for you, you will need to fill in a registration form and you will be allocated an initial appointment with a member of the team as soon as possible.
During your first appointment, your adviser will discuss with you support options within the University, and also any relevant external agencies. It will also be agreed if you would like to access further counselling, mental health and wellbeing support.
We are not currently recruiting any trainees. Any paid vacancies within the team will be advertised on the BCU recruitment page.
The mental health and wellbeing team offer a confidential service to all students. This covers all students accessing the University mental health, wellbeing or counselling service. This means that no details about you or your use of the service will be disclosed to anyone outside of the team without your consent unless there are exceptional circumstances. This would include if one of the team were concerned about any significant risk to your own or someone else's safety and wellbeing. Where possible, we will try to discuss this with you.
The counselling, mental health and wellbeing team are guided by the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) ethical framework, and you can find more information about their guidance on confidentiality here. When students complete our registration form, they are asked to agree to our record keeping and confidentiality clauses. If there are any questions about these, we will be happy to discuss this with you further if you contact the team on either 0121 331 5188 or email us.