SCS cuts waiting list for counselling appointments by nearly 50% in two weeks

A figure released to Trinity News earlier this month showed that 80 students were waiting on their first counselling appointment

Photo by Christopher Cash

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.

Michael Gilna

Michael Gilna is a former Investigations Editor of Trinity News.