NHS student workforce counselling and wellbeing

A summary of the psychological and therapeutic support that is available to all students who have taken up roles within the NHS workforce.

Why has this been developed? 

This has been created by donations from supporters specifically to support our students with placement commitments as part of their degree or those who have had their graduation brought forward to allow them to take up roles in the NHS workforce. The University had identified a unique set of challenges these students are facing and has developed the NHS Student Workforce Fund to provide enhanced counselling and wellbeing and financial support at this challenging time. Please see here for further information about the financial support available. 

Am I eligible to apply for the NHS Student Workforce Counselling & Wellbeing Support? 

You are eligible to apply if either of the following apply to you: 

  • a current student with placement in the NHS as part of your course 
  • early graduate opting into NHS placement to support during Covid-19 
  • This support is therefore currently open for the following cohorts:
  • 2nd and 3rd year Nurses and Midwives 
  • 4th and 5th year MBChB students 
  • 2nd and 3rd year Radiographers 
  • Physician Associates 
  • Any other cohort involved in NHS placement before the end of the academic session 

What support is available?  

There is extensive research evidence that the most effective emotional and psychological support for those in the midst of challenging, stressful or distressing situations reinforces positive coping skills and problem solving from a stance of compassion and empathy, promoting feelings of safety, self-compassion, emotional regulation and hope. This approach forms the basis of the support offered to Medicine and Healthcare students during the active phase of COVID-19.  

Students may wish to seek support to explore the impact of their experiences on placement, including experience of loss, trauma or bereavement. Please note that counselling is contra-indicated where the situation causing distress is ongoing, a period of one to three months is typically recommended prior to commencing any psychological therapy. Students are encouraged to contact the Counselling and Wellbeing team to explore these options further:   

Wellbeing Daily Drop-In sessions

Individual 30 minute appointments over Zoom or telephone for students to explore and identify immediate needs, receive confidential emotional support and identify appropriate resources and support services. Email scw@leeds.ac.uk to request a same day Drop-In appointment

Mindfulness and Meditation

These sessions are available online through Zoom

Deep Relaxation and Mindfulness practices are an effective way to bring peace to your body and mind. Deep Relaxation is key to both growth and healing. It helps to disperse the adrenalin and cortisol that the body produces in stress situations; while Mindfulness enables us to better observe ourselves so we can become responsive rather than reactive beings. On Zoom every Thursday at 12 - 1.30pm and Fridays, 2-3pm. Find out more information about our online services and Zoom - Sign up via facilitator James Taylor - J.R.E.Taylor@leeds.ac.uk

Wellbeing Webinar

A  "Self-care for Caring Professionals" one hour Wellbeing Webinar, focusing on strategies which can be used to effectively implement self-care and self-compassion, and inform the development of a personalised wellbeing action plan.

For further information, email scw@leeds.ac.uk

Reflective Practice Groups (currently for Nursing)

An opportunity to discuss placements and casework in a safe, confidential setting, with a focus on understanding emotional experience, shared learning and peer support. Online group sessions, co-facilitated by Counselling and Wellbeing and Medicine and Healthcare staff. Add links to further information 

Individual counselling

Up to 6 sessions of individual talking therapy to explore life events, experiences, relationships, patterns of behaviour or personal difficulties, with the aim of developing insight, bringing about change and increasing personal wellbeing. Register for your appointment.  

Individual wellbeing support

Wellbeing appointments for students to explore and identify immediate needs, receive confidential emotional support and identify appropriate resources and support services. Wellbeing sessions focus on strategies to reduce distress, panic and anxiety, and increase daily functioning. Appointments may be booked up to two weeks in advance, and last up to 45 minutes or students seeking to focus on strategies to reduce distress, panic and anxiety, and increase daily functioning. Find out more.

Specialist trauma therapy (EMDR) 

Appropriate for students following single event trauma, who need enhanced support to manage significantly distressing personal and/or professional experiences. You can find out further information including Self-Referral Form.