How We Can Help
Children and Young People
About this Service
We provide counselling services and mental health support for students of London South Bank University (LSBU). Working with the university’s Student Wellbeing Services we offer:
- Assessment and short term therapy and treatment for students who are struggling with the stresses and strains of student life in the city.
- Advice, support and onward referral to more specialist support for those students who need it.
- Access to other Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind wellbeing services and development opportunities.
Working with the University’s Student Wellbeing Services we offer a short and comprehensive telephone assessment to identify issues, needs and goals for therapy. We then provide 6 week treatment plans from a wide range of counsellors trained in a number of modalities and approaches, such as CBT, psychodynamic, transpersonal and person centred.
Weekly counselling will take place in an easily accessible, central Zone 1 location, in a supportive and confidential environment. If counselling sessions identify the need, we will provide clinical interventions on specific goals outlined at assessment. All counselling will also aim to support the students’ academic performance and experience.
Referrals are only accepted through a Wellbeing Advisor in the LSBU Wellbeing Team. If you are a Student at LSBU please contact Student Life Centre:
Tel: 020 7815 6454
Email: [email protected]
If you would like to contact us at Mind for more information:
Tel: 020 7259 8134
Email: [email protected]
We are also now offering bespoke counselling services at higher education institutions. Download a brochure.
Student loneliness at Christmas. Useful coping strategies over the festive period
Loneliness, considered one of the last taboos amongst young people, is more frequently felt in 16-24 years olds, commonly students, than any other age group in the UK. Often loneliness is associated with the elderly, but the Office of National Statistics (ONS) recently reported that those within the 16-24 year age gap reported feeling lonely ‘often/always’ and women were affected more than men. We’re on a mission to dispel this stigma of loneliness and bring the UK together.
Last year, 32% of students admitted to feeling lonely and considered dropping out of university as a consequence. With Christmas on our doorsteps, the pressure is on for students, particularly international students who may not go home for Christmas. Heightened emotions, undue stress of additional expenditure and enforced cheer imposing on the student lifestyle is leaving a high number of students feeling the effects of loneliness.
The first thing to remember is that these festive feelings of loneliness will pass, and your university life will return to normal. But in the depths of loneliness, these thoughts are hard to hold onto and this is the time to take action to prevent these feelings turning into despair, or a constant feeling of loneliness.
Counsellor Jill Carter UKCP and BACP, a child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist details her top five tips for coping with feelings of loneliness at university.
Be kind to yourself. It may seem as if others have places to go and people to see, but lots of people find Christmas challenging and lonely. So concentrate on the things you like doing and that make you happy: perhaps enjoy an afternoon of reading or watching your favourite film.
Plan ahead and save money. Can you cook with someone else who isn’t going home and perhaps share traditions? Start engaging with your fellow students who are staying at university now and build that friendship so you have one another for Christmas. Perhaps visit your local theatre with a fellow student where you can often buy cheap seats for a festive pantomime.
Make connections and give something back. Volunteer at a local animal shelter, homeless shelter or food bank and connect with your local community outside of the university. If you’re religious, find a quiet space for yourself at a local church, mosque, synagogue or temple where you can reflect, meditate, pray or simply enjoy some headspace away from university.
Spend some time around other people. University halls’ of residence, overseas students’ associations and student unions often have cheap events during the festive period and your fellow students will be in the same boat.
Take the happy pictures online with a pinch of salt. We may withdraw when lonely or we may pretend to be happy and post on Instagram. Instead, use your coffee shop free Wi-Fi to talk to those you love. Keep it structured though – too much contact can make you feel worse.
Remember that normal routines will resume and that you are not alone.
Feelings of loneliness at university are completely normal but if you do find yourself in despair, there is always someone to turn to. A number of London universities now offer the Nightline service: a confidential, anonymous, non-judgmental, non-directional and non-advisory phone and email service for all students who need to talk, and is run by student volunteers. LSBU offers several different ways for students to access support. If you are a student at a different institution, look on their website to see how to access support. Anyone in the UK, whether they are a student or not, can call NHS on 111, this service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call NHS 111 if you or someone you know requires urgent care, but it is not life-threatening. For example:
· if you have an existing mental health problem and your symptoms get worse
· if you experience a mental health problem for the first time
· if someone has self-harmed but it does not appear to be life-threatening, or is talking about wanting to self-harm
· if a person shows signs of onset dementia
· if a person is experiencing domestic violence or physical, sexual or emotional abuse
You can also contact Samaritans who offer round the clock support, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123 or [email protected]. This number is FREE to call and you don’t have to be in complete despair to call them.
Written by Katie at Counselling Directory, a leading support network for mental health and therapeutic practices, connecting over 15,000 professional counsellors with the general public nationwide. Visit their dedicated Loneliness page for guidance and support with the effects of loneliness.