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Terms and Conditions of Service: UL Éist

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE: UL ÉIST

Welcome to UL Eist, Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service

UL Éist provides psychological assistance in order to help students deal with personal issues that may be interfering with their College life. We are a primary care mental health service offering short-term support and counselling. All counsellors are members of a professional organisation (i.e., PsSI[1], IACP[2], IAIHIP[3], & PCHEI[4]) and work in accordance with their relevant Code of Professional Ethics and Conduct.

UL Éist recognises and values the dignity and diversity of all students at the university and are committed to providing an inclusive service. We therefore strive to meet the needs of all regardless of age, gender, gender identity, disability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, ethnicity, or membership of the travelling community.

Model of service and supports offered

UL Éist runs a stepped care model of care. This means that support commences with the least intensive evidence-based intervention necessary to promote increased wellbeing. Step 1 offers a drop-in service, bibliotherapy, 1:1 cognitive behavioural support, and occasional workshops. Step 2 offers up to 6 sessions 1:1 counselling. Step 3 extends talk therapy in some circumstances. Step 4 is employed when a referral to specialist services is warranted.

Confidentiality agreement

UL Éist offers a strictly confidential service. We comply within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by PCHEI. This means that what you say stays within the service. Your personal details are not disclosed to anyone outside of the service without your permission. However, there are some exceptional circumstances in which we may need to breach this confidentiality and take steps to minimise danger. Such circumstances include:

  • Harm to self
  • Harm to others
  • Child protection concerns

UL Éist is committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Should you disclose actual or suspected child abuse (be it current or in the past) and the perpetrator of that abuse is either identified or identifiable, UL Eist, in accordance with Department of Children and Youth Affairs guidelines, must report the matter to the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA).

Consent to liaise with supports

Depending on your circumstances, it may be useful for members of UL Éist to liaise with staff members of the university/campus to support you. Such staff members include but are not limited to: tutors; lecturers; placement co-ordinators; accommodation managers; student affairs; and student academic administration. UL Éist will always discuss potential liaison with you in advance. Unless your safety is at risk, we will not liaise without your consent.

Student data

UL Éist requires certain information from you in order to best provide you with our service. Required information is indicated on our intake form. Should you not provide this information, we may not be in a position to offer you a service. Required information includes:

Personal information.

This provides us with information about why you are attending. It also includes questions about your preferred name, pronouns, disability status, and any other services you might be using.

 

Psychometric Questionnaires (CORE[5] & CIAO[6]).

Standardised questionnaires help us identify the symptoms you may be experiencing in relation to your difficulties. In addition, such questionnaires help the service identify the range and depth of difficulties specific to students.

 

  • The CORE is an internationally-used measure for service users to rate aspects of their mental health. Items refer to wellbeing, issues faced, day-to-day functioning and risk to self or others. Your CORE answers help shape the conversations you have with us about what may best help you with your concerns.

 

  • The CIAO is a set of questions designed to identify the impact of problems on academic achievement, university/course retention, and experience.

 

UL Éist conducts in-service audits. To achieve this, we utilise anonymised, numeric data provided by service users. We use this data for our own internal audits and annual reports. We also submit anonymised aggregate data to the PCHEI. This means that UL Éist strips data of all personally identifying information, collates it, and sends it to PCHEI to be combined with other third level anonymised numeric data for statistical analysis regarding third level mental health.

 

Case-notes.

We maintain electronic case-notes on all clients. Doing so helps counsellors recall and think about each student’s personal situation. Access to this electronic database is provided only to authorised staff within the UL Éist Service. Your personal data is collected and processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) / Data Protection Acts 1988-2018 and with the University's Student Data Protection Privacy Notice.  Should you wish to access your file, you can formally request access to your personal data by making a Data Protection Access request or a Freedom of Information request.

 

Data retention.

Personal data and case-notes are stored for 7 years in compliance with data regulations and the UL records policy. UL Éist currently holds data on a password protected electronic database, on a locked computer, in a locked office.

 

Conditions of the Service

 

Accessing the Service.

All students, new and returning, must initially attend one of the drop-in sessions to access the service. The service runs two drop-in sessions daily during the semester, from 10am – 11am and 2pm – 3pm. You will be asked to complete some personal details and questionnaires when you attend drop-in. Following this, you will meet with one of our Assistant Psychologists (APs) for a brief discussion (15-20 minutes) about how you are doing and what supports are available to you. You will be emailed an individualised support plan based on the stepped-care model within 24 hours. This support plan may include attendance at psycho-educational workshops, one-to-one counselling, referral to internal supports, or information/referral to external supports. Please note that drop-in is not a counselling session, it is intended to identify the most appropriate support plan that we can supply to you.

 

Counselling Appointments.

The service gets very busy and we may operate a waiting list for counselling. Every effort will be made to see you as soon as possible. Whilst waiting for counselling, you are welcome to avail of the drop-in centre as often as you need. As soon as an appointment becomes available, we will either phone you on the contact number you provided to us or email you on your student email. We ask you to respond to the offered appointment within 24 hours. Should you fail to do so, the appointment will be offered to another student.

 

You will be allocated an appointment with the first available counsellor. Requests for specific counsellors cannot be accommodated. Requests to see a counsellor of a particular gender will be considered on merit. UL Éist have a wide range of counsellors, including Clinical Psychologists, Counselling Psychologists, Psychotherapists, and trainees in one of these disciplines. All members of the team are supervised as required by their level of expertise and work to a high standard. All are capable of providing you with the service you need.

Sessions last for 50 minutes. If you are late to your session, it will still end at the arranged time.

It is imperative that you inform us if your contact details change. We cannot contact you with an appointment if your contact details change after attending us and you do not inform us of that change.

Please save our number, 061-202327, in your phone so you know it is us calling.

Cancellation Policy.

If you are unable to attend your scheduled appointment, you must give at least 24-hr notice by calling the main office on 061-202327 or emailing marion.kinsella@ul.ie. Please do not contact the individual counsellor. If you miss an appointment without notice, you will be placed back on the waiting list. Unattended sessions (cancelled within 24 hours or no-show) are referred to as ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA). DNAs will be counted as one of the agreed number of sessions unless there is a serious reason for absence.

 

Feedback and Complaints

 

We ask for feedback from all students who use UL Éist as it enables us to ensure a quality service. You will be sent an invitation to complete an online feedback questionnaire by email at the end of the semester.

 

In the event of a complaint regarding UL Éist we encourage you to first bring it to the attention of your counsellor. If this is not possible or suitable, you can contact the Head of Counselling. Alternatively, you may express yourself via the feedback form on Student Affairs website. Please check the Students Complaints Procedure for further information.

 

[1] PsSI: Psychological Society of Ireland

[2] IACP: Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

[3] IAHIP: Irish Association for Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy

[4] PCHEI: Psychological counselling in Higher Education Ireland

[5] CORE: Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation

[6] CIAO: Counselling Impact on Academic Outcomes

 

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