NHS student workforce counselling and wellbeing

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

Why has this been developed?

This has been created by donations to support 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.

Am I eligible to apply?

You are eligible to apply if you are:

  • a current student with placement in the NHS as part of your course 
  • an early graduate opting into NHS placement to support during COVID-19 

This support is 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 that suggests the most effective support for those in 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.

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.

Same day appointments

Same day appointments are individual 30 minute appointments, available in-person or online. The sessions are designed for students to explore and identify immediate needs, receive confidential emotional support, and identify appropriate resources and support services.

Mindfulness and meditation

Deep relaxation and mindfulness practices are an effective way to bring peace to your body and mind. Deep relaxation is key to growth and healing, and helps to disperse the adrenalin and cortisol that the body produces in stress situations. Mindfulness enables us to better observe ourselves so we can become responsive rather than reactive beings.

The sessions are available online through Zoom, Thursdays (12-1.30pm) and Fridays (2-3pm). Sign up via facilitator James Taylor.

Wellbeing Webinar

Our one-hour "Self-care for Caring Professionals" Wellbeing Webinar focuses on strategies for effectively implementing self-care and self-compassion, and informing the development of a personalised wellbeing action plan.

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. These are online group sessions, co-facilitated by Counselling and Wellbeing and Medicine and Healthcare staff.

Individual counselling

Counselling may be appropriate for students looking 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. Students eligible for NHS Student Workforce will be offered up to six sessions.

Individual wellbeing support

Wellbeing support may be appropriate for students looking 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.

Specialist trauma therapy

Trauma therapy is available to students who have experienced single event trauma and need enhanced support for managing significantly distressing personal and/or professional experiences.