The Student Counselling Service (SCS) has revealed that their waiting list has been reduced by almost half in just two weeks. The number of students awaiting a first counselling appointment following an initial consult, which previously stood at 80, now stands at 45 students.
Speaking to Trinity News, Chuck Rashleigh, Student Counsellor and Research & Outcomes Coordinator at the SCS, commented that the decrease was “a credit to CSD [Corporate Services Division] for enabling us to employ sessional counsellors, and also to Estates & Facilities, who helped us get 3 temporary rooms on campus to provide the additional supports”.
As well as counselling, the SCS provide both a student-to-student (S2S) mentoring programme and a Student Learning Development (SLD) system. Over 1,500 students have engaged with the counselling services thus far in the 2017/18 academic year.
Earlier this year, Michael Kerrigan, President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), had called on the government to provide funds for third level counselling services. In a statement prior to the release of Budget 2018, Kerrigan said: “USI is urging the government to invest in other key supports like third level mental health counselling, and to ring fence €3m for student counselling and supports per annum.”
Following this, the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD) released a report that stated that there has been a 46% increase in the number of incoming students registering with a mental health condition for the 2016/17 academic year.