Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

The College employs a professional mental health team who offer help, support and advice on mental health and other matters to all students.

The aim of the service is to offer short-term, focused work, supporting students to maintain their mental health during their time at Trinity Hall.

The team works both remotely and in person (i5 central site) with undergraduates (term time) and graduates (through the year except August). Students can either refer themselves or be referred by their personal Tutor.

This is not an emergency service. If emergency support is required please click here … * hyperlink to Crisis Support.*

Who We Are

Julie McCrae

Julie McCrae, Mental Health Practioner (MHP)

Accredited registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy No:110604

  • MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy (University of East London)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy (University of East London).
  • Bachelors of Social Science (Psychology) Degree (University of Natal Durban, South Africa)
  • Certificate in Core clinical training in Dialetical Behaviour Therapy
  • Certificate in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Intensive Skills
  • Certificate in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing

Therapeutic approach: Juls uses an integrative approach in her work with all students drawing from her training and work in the behavioural approaches of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and EMDR.

Sarah Parkin, Counsellor/Mindfullness Practitioner

Accredited registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy No:110604

  • MA in Counselling Studies (University of East Anglia)
  • MA Cantab (University of Cambridge)
  • Mindfulness Teacher Training I and II (Bangor University)
  • Certificate in Supervision (Accredited by ASIIP)
  • Certificate in Couple Therapy
  • Certificate in Group Facilitation
  • Adv. Diploma in Person-Centred Therapy (BACP Accredited)

Therapeutic approach: Sarah uses a combined approach in her work with all students drawing from her training and work as a person-centred therapist, mindfulness trainer and compassion focussed therapist (rooted in evolutionary and social psychology).

What we do

Although both trained and experienced counsellors, our roles and work within the College vary from each other. Sarah works from I5, Central Site on Tuesday and Wednesday. Juls works from I5, Central Site from Monday to Friday, 9am to 2 pm.

Initial Assessment (30 minutes): to assess together what will be the most helpful way forward and to start to put this in place. This might be to continue to see the MHP, referral to the College Counsellor, referral to another University Department or sometimes referral to an outside agency.

 

On-going MHP Support (variable session lengths): the MHP offers the opportunity to have a consistent place to check-in at irregular times throughout the academic year in order to offer therapeutic support. The focus during sessions is to help maintain emotional regulation and further develop helpful coping strategies. This is particularly helpful for students who have intermitted or are at risk of intermitting, students who have been to counselling before, students who are or have been in crisis and students with diagnosed mental health conditions.

 

Liaison with College tutors and / or other University Departments:

If you are struggling to manage your workload due to mental health issues, talking to the MHP and discussing options with them may be helpful. In some cases it may be appropriate for the MHP to liaise with your Tutor to let them know your support needs. Permission to contact your tutor and discussion on what exactly can be shared will always be discussed with you first (see Confidentiality).

If you are thinking about intermitting or a tutor has concerns around possible intermission due to mental health, the MHP is generally contacted and an appointment is arranged to discuss these concerns with yourself. In some cases a round table meeting will be held with the student, MHP, tutor, Senior Tutor and DoS to discuss intermission options. If this is the case then permission about what can be shared by the MHP will be discussed with you fully beforehand.

 

Counsellor / Mindfulness Practitioner

The counselling provided in College is short term; its main purpose is to support students to maintain their mental health during their time at Trinity Hall. The number of sessions offered at the initial contract is up to 8. Each counselling session lasts for around 60 minutes and they are generally held weekly, at least to start with. This gives opportunity for the therapeutic relationship to develop and the work to progress as swiftly as possible. If, through working together it becomes clear that longer term counselling is required then this will be discussed in session.

Some areas where counselling can be helpful are anxiety, abuse, bereavement, eating disorders, depression, family difficulties, relationship difficulties, self-harm stress (generalised and specific), sexual problems and identity issues.

HOW TO ACCESS US

We are happy to receive referrals either from yourself or your tutor. Please email wellbeing@trinhall.cam.ac.uk

We try our best to respond within 24 hrs Monday to Friday during working hours of 9am to 5pm and for an Initial Assessment appointment with the Mental Health Practitioner or counsellor to be offered within 5 working days of first contact.

HOW TO HELP US

Due to the busy nature of the service please reply within 24hrs of receipt of an appointment. If you have not confirmed attendance within this time frame it’s possible that we may have to re-allocate your offered session time, in which case you will be sent another appointment for a later date.

As far as possible please give us at least 48 hrs notice if you need to cancel your appointment.

How we do it

Ethical Practice

As accredited and senior accredited counsellors, Juls and Sarah are professionally accountable to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and work to their robust Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.

Confidentiality

In line with the above ethical framework the content of all MHP and counselling sessions are confidential. This means that under normal circumstances nothing will leave our team without your express permission, even if a tutor, member of staff, family or friend contacts us.

Very occasionally and in very rare circumstances we reserve the right to break confidentiality in line with our statutory and ethical obligations, these are:

  • If you are a danger to yourself.
  • If you are a danger to others.
  • If we are made aware of serious illegal activities.

However, even in such circumstances we would always seek to speak with you first.

We also hold as confidential that you have chosen to use the service, with the below exceptions:

  • If a tutor has referred you to the service, we will write to the referrer to let them know that we have received the referral and an appointment to meet has been offered.
  • If we are contacted by a tutor or member of staff who has direct concerns regarding your welfare but has been unable to make contact with you we may confirm whether you are or are not using our service.
  • Sometimes, particularly in the MHP role we may decide together that it may be in your best interest for the service to make contact with a third party e.g. if your personal difficulties or psychological problems are affecting your academic work, it could be helpful to write to your personal Tutor. This would be done with your permission and in discussion with you.

Record Keeping

All your information that the team hold is kept under the terms of GPDR in line with College requirements.

Brief aide-memoire session notes of both the MHP and College counsellor are stored electronically. The confidentiality of these remains strictly within the team unless:

  • you ask to see them.
  • you wish them to be shared for a specific reason, in which case we would request your written consent.
  • there is clear and imminent risk to yourself or others.
  • we are legally obliged to do so.

All records are securely destroyed six years after you have left College.

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