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Fife College

Short presentation for NUS Mental Health Summit 29th March 2016

Craig Walker

on 25 July 2016

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Transcript of Fife College

Counselling Pilot
Where we were
During the 2013-2014 year our Save Our Students (SOS) Survey highlighted that our students wanted better access to mental health care provision.

The college was working alongside Penumbra however waiting times could be between 3 to 6 months for an appointment.
First Steps
What we did
Support needs highlighted by our students included dealing with issues on transgender, sexuality, and depression.

We took 2 actions.

We decided to fund a counselling provision and also increase the number of people in college who could offer assistance.
We created a tender asking all applying organisations to detail how they would support our students in dealing with the issues raised by students.

We received a total of 9 submissions. We referenced the services on offer against the needs of our student population to find the best model.
We agreed that the provision would be delivered by Carecall.

All FCSA Executive Officers and Staff have completed the Scotland's Mental Health First Aid training. This enables our officers to assist and direct students to support where needed.

This also provides students with a contact who is not a member of staff, reducing a potential barrier in asking for help.
Due to their funding being cut, Penumbra services in Fife will end in March 2016.

This would mean that without Carecall Fife College students would face the same lack of support that Fife school pupils may experience.
Where we are now?
From the start of the academic year
to February , 162 students have been referred into the counselling service. A total of 200 counselling sessions have been attended by these students.

9 FCSA Executive Officers and both FCSA staff members are now trained Mental Health First Aiders.

5 members of the college's Customer Services staff also completed their training.

On Campus support
To provide a first point of contact for all students we arranged for John Blakey from the college's guidance team to become a Scotland's Mental Health First Aid trainer.
Carecall provide a 24 hour telephone support service as well as offering four free counselling oncampus sessions to every student who contacts them.
They also offer a variety of workshop sessions for students including dealing with exam stress, depression and money management.
The Future of Mental Health Provision in Fife College
FCSA Officers and Staff
The job descriptions for all Sabbatical Members, Voluntary Officers and Association Staff will recommend that the post holder completes the Scotland's Mental Health First Aid training course.
The Pilot scheme is due for renewal on 30th of June with the option of a further year's provision from Carecall.

Discussions are taking place between the FCSA and Fife College staff to identify the best model for mental health provision and counselling services to students and staff.

We need to find the best service that can continually be delivered to ensure the good mental health of our students.
Full transcript