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Stepped Care

UL Éist is a primary mental health care service. This means that it is the first point of access for your mental health needs, rather than a long-term or crisis based care service. "Stepped care" tailors the level of care with the need of the service user. Services are available Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm. "Drop-in" is the first point of access to the service. To access Drop-In you must first complete a registration form and a mental health screening questionnaire. You will then meet with an Assistant Psychologist (AP) for 15 minutes who will review your details, listen to your concerns, and ask you some questions. The AP will consult with the Head or Deputy Head of Service after Drop-In to develop your support plan. The AP will then email you your individualised support plan. Drop in runs from Monday to Friday between 10am and 12noon.

The stepped care model is comprised of 4 steps:   

Step 1: Wellbeing and resiliency programme 

Many people attending the service will be offered supports and guidance that promote self-development. These may include: bibliotherapy relevant to your difficulties; sign-posting to a more appropriate service; or the recommendation to engage with Silverloud, either on your own ('self-help' version) or with the support of a team member ('supported' version). Silvercloud is an online cognitive-behavioural mental health support which provides a variety of different programmes. Examples of such programmes include; managing stress, developing resilience, coping with anxiety, and coping with low mood. The materials recommended to you will be based on the information provided at Drop-In.


Step 2: Brief counselling 

As a primary mental health care service, UL Éist does not provide long-term counselling. Brief and focussed counselling may be offered in some cases, depending upon both need and resourcing. Counselling is not the same as giving advice. Rather, a counsellor seeks to help you understand more clearly the issues that concern you. By respecting your own values, choices and lifestyle, the counsellor can work with you towards making choices or changes that are right for you. Counsellors at UL Éist draw on various counselling and psychological theories to support you with your difficulties. Effective counselling is the product of a relationship with another person. This relationship is one of support, education and challenge, warmth and empathy.  


Step 3: Extra counselling sessions 

In some circumstances and with the review and approval of the Head/Deputy Head of Counselling, students may be offered 1-2 additional sessions if deemed appropriate. This will depend upon the clinical history and risk factors.


Step 4: Specialist services 

In some instances, a student who attends Drop-In may be identified as having mental health needs that exceed the remit of a primary mental health care service. Alternatively, they may have needs that require specific care. In these circumstances the student will be supported to access the most appropriate service for their needs. Examples of such services include; The HSE Adult Mental Health Teams, addiction services, rape crisis services, disability services, The HSE National Counselling Service, etc. All students should be registered with a GP, and it is often helpful if you inform your GP that you are attending the UL Éist Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service. Although rare, occasionally, some HSE services will not accept a referral from the UL Éist. Being registered with a GP outside of the university will overcome this issue should it arise. 

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