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Staff Wellbeing Confidential Support

Staff Wellbeing Confidential Support provides practical mental health support for all staff at the University.  

Telephone Counselling

You can access 24/7 confidential telephone counselling from qualified and caring professionals, by calling the helpline directly on 03303 800658 at any time.  The service is completely confidential, and nobody at the University will know that you have accessed this support. 

Further Mental Health Support

  • An extensive range of online resources including a range of self-help workbooks on topics such as anxiety, depression and low mood, bereavement, post-traumatic stress, self-harm, postnatal depression, sleeping problems and stress.
  • Free mental fitness app MyMindPal.

Click Here to access the self-help resources and find out more information. 

You can find out more information about how to register for an account and access the full range of employee benefits here.


Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen when I first ring the helpline?

When you initially speak to us via our 24/7 telephone helpline, a member of the VivUp team will outline our rules around confidentiality, take some personal details and ask you a set series of questions which will include some questions about any immediate risk to your safety. This enables us to decide the next steps to best support you and ensure you are provided with the most appropriate support pathway.

Our team will then look to immediately book you in with one of our counsellors / psychotherapists for an initial session to see how we can assist. For staff who would like to access advice, in the moment support or information only, our team will offer this within this initial call or arrange for a counsellor to call back the same day.

What type of support will I receive?

This will be decided in collaboration with yourself and will be informed by the assessment of the counsellor who provides the initial counselling session. We have a range of support options available, including online resources and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programmes, self-help workbooks, and access to counselling sessions. Our counsellors have a wide range of skills and tools, and you will be matched with the counsellor who best meets your needs.

How long will I wait for an appointment?

Your initial appointment will be offered within 5 working days following your first call to our service. This depends on your own availability and we will always strive to accommodate any days, times, therapist gender and language requirements that you may have. Not all clients require access to structured counselling, and you may find that the support you receive during the initial call, or relevant signposting or access to our self-help materials may be most useful to you at that time.

Can my counsellor advise me about my medication?

No. Whist we will ask you about any mediation you are currently taking, our counsellors and psychotherapists are not medically qualified to give pharmaceutical advice or prescribe medication. It is best to consult your GP if you have any questions about your medication.

I am deaf or hard of hearing, can I still contact the service?

Deaf or hard of hearing staff may contact the service via email or ask their Manager / HR / Occupational Health department to refer them, and then we can offer a virtual and secure video chat facility to aid lip reading.

Can I use the service if I am already seeing a Counsellor or am in other Mental Health services?

If you are currently engaged in counselling with another service, we would not start additional counselling with ourselves. If you have a diagnosis of another more complex mental health condition such as psychosis or personality disorder this does not always result in you being unable to have contact with the service. In such circumstances this would be explored with our clinicians and we may routinely contact other relevant professionals involved in your care to obtain their opinion as to whether our services are suitable.

Who do I contact if I feel that I need additional support outside of my counselling sessions?

Our number is available 24/7, however you will not be able to have contact with your allocated counsellor outside of your appointment times, though our team is available and will provide in the moment support. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need urgent support call 999 or contact your local A&E emergency department. You can also contact:

  • NHS non-emergency -  111
  • HOPEline UK (suicide prevention for young people up to the age of 35) - 0800 068 41 41
  • SANE (for anyone effected by mental illness including family, friends, and carers) 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm to 10.30pm)
  • CALM (the charity aims to prevent male suicide) - 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to Midnight)
  • Samaritans - 116 123 (24 hours a day 7 days a week)

Is the service confidential?

Yes, the service you receive from us is completely confidential. No-one at the University will know that you have accessed this support. 

There are however some circumstances where our Counsellors may need to provide information to a third party, which could include your employer. These circumstances are detailed below and in your initial appointment email:
• Where there is immediate and/ or serious risk of harm to yourself or others
• A situation regarding the abuse of a child
• A court order for disclosure of information
• Whereby you have given written consent in writing, to disclose specific information to a named third party (for example your GP, Occupational Health dept. etc.)
• A requirement of the law e.g. a contravention of the Drug Trafficking Act (not possession) Or the Prevention of Terrorism or Money Laundering Acts
• A Safeguarding issue where there is threat to yourself, another, or a child protection issue

We will always try, if possible, to discuss any such sharing of information with you beforehand, and to do this with your consent. In all cases, where you require assistance and make a specific request for our help, we will always talk to you prior to the submission of any document and provide you with a copy. However, in the above specific circumstances, information may be shared without consent to the relevant body.

How is my information used?

We will ask you for your personal information to enable us to provide you with access to our support service and to collate information for the University.  This information will never identify you as an individual. For clients accessing our Counselling services, CORE-Net is our secure clinical management system. All counsellors keep brief notes of sessions to maintain professional standards of care. These notes are treated as confidential, stored securely in line with all applicable Data Protection laws including UK GDPR, DPA 2018 and EU GDPR and are destroyed confidentially. Notes and client details are stored within a secure dual identification clinical management system that complies with all applicable Data Protection Laws . The notes are stored by numerical code and are non-identifying. Notes can only be accessed by those with the authority to do so.

Under the terms of all applicable Data Protection laws including the Data Protection Act 2018 (UK and Northern Ireland), UK GDPR, Data Protection Act 2018 (Republic of Ireland) and EUGDPR you must give your informed consent to such records being made and retained. It is your right not to consent, but in such cases, we are unable to provide counselling. You can at any point request a copy of your notes in line with all applicable Data Protection laws and we will ask you complete a Subject Access Request (SAR). We will then review your request in line with our processes and provide these to you via a delivery method of your choice.

Can I access my notes?

Yes, you can at any point request a copy of your notes in line with all applicable Data Protection laws and we will ask you complete a Subject Access Request (SAR). We will then review your request in line with our processes and provide these to you via a delivery method of your choice.

Who can I speak to if I am unhappy with my counsellor or have an issue that I do not wish to discuss with them?

You can make a comment, compliment, or complaint at any time during your contact with the service. You can call the 24/7 number (03303 800658) and speak to a member of our client services team or ask to speak to one of the senior clinical team.

How do I provide feedback about the service?

We are always keen to hear feedback to enable us to improve our service, hear any suggestion you may have or to share your experience. All feedback is anonymous and is fed back to both therapists and our support teams. You will be provided with the link to provide feedback at the conclusion of your therapy session (s). Your feedback is used to design future services and plan, evaluate and improve our services to you.

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