Universities Outsource Mental Health Services

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From The Guardian: “Unable to keep up with rising demand, [universities] are rebranding their mental health student support as ‘wellbeing’ services. Some universities plan to maintain a reduced number of counsellors, but others are sending students to local NHS services. Professional counsellors are being told to reapply for jobs as wellbeing practitioners, or face redundancy.

Hull, Wolverhampton and Essex are among the universities outsourcing some or all of their counselling. They say that they are boosting and expanding their services, but campaigners fear students with the most serious mental health issues could lose out. ‘Wellbeing’ is a broader approach to mental health that includes healthy eating, mindfulness and stress-relieving activities such as yoga, meditation and campus walks.

There is concern over the loss of trained, experienced counsellors on campus, a move described as ‘perverse and dangerous’ by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. ‘The fact that some universities are considering downgrading or reducing counselling services within their institutions is a huge cause for concern, particularly seeing as mental health needs among students are often complex,’ says Andrew Reeves, BACP chair.”

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