Wellbeing support at Goldsmiths

Over the past few years, Wellbeing support has grown and developed at Goldsmiths to match both the growth in student numbers and their changing needs.

Primary page content

This page is about the service we offer. See our main Wellbeing page for support and how to access help.

There has been a significant investment in the Counselling, Wellbeing and Disability teams over the past few years to reflect this. Here are some of the things we do:

Wellbeing support

Students can complete a form to access Wellbeing support, including making an appointment with a Wellbeing Adviser.

The Wellbeing team sees students who experience a range of emotional, circumstantial and mental health difficulties. The Wellbeing Team work with each student to create an individual wellbeing plan, referring them to other sources of internal or external help if necessary.

Counselling

Ongoing counselling is offered to students following a referral via the Wellbeing team.

In addition to providing ongoing therapeutic services to students, the counselling team also offer a number of psycho-educational workshops for students over the academic year.

In 2019-20, the Counselling team and Wellbeing team were involved in workshops on Emotional Resilience delivered as an embedded part of the 1st Year UG and PG BA and MA in Social Work curriculum. These courses were very well received and will be repeated remotely in 2020-2021.

A host of online videos (on YouTube and Learn.gold) and guidance were produced by the team to assist students facing a range of situations: starting university, procrastination, panic, exam stress, bereavement, isolation and loneliness, CBT, introduction to hypnosis, managing uncertainty, finding your voice in a seminar.

In 2020-2021, the Counselling Service will welcome 3 trainees who will be assisting the team as part of the final stage of their Counselling qualification.

Disability

Disability Advisors offer appointments over the phone and on Microsoft Teams or face-to-face. Disability Advisers work with students to establish support plans and communicate these to staff involved in implementing the support. The support ranges from teaching and learning adjustments, to non-medical support (study skills, mentoring, BSL interpretation, etc.) and access to Assistive Technology. Diagnostic assessments for Specific Learning can be facilitated by the team as well.

2018/19 saw a 65% increase in the number of Reasonable Adjustment Student Agreements (RASA) completed, compared to the previous year. This was a 105% increase from 2016/17. In 2019/20 RASA numbers remained the same.

For 2020-2021, the Disability Team is piloting a new RASA production and circulation system better adapted to a blended way of working (both online and face-to-face). The nature of the reasonable adjustments contained in the RASA have also been modified to reflect the new blended learning environment.

During 2019-2020 and the sudden move to remote learning, the Disability Team also advised the College on the adjustments needed to ensure that a move from onsite exams to assessments done at home did not disadvantage disabled students. The team also worked with our partner agencies to ensure that study skills, mentoring, note-taking and other Non-Medical Help could be delivered remotely.

Multi-faith and wellbeing space

The Multi-Faith Chaplaincy has grown this year. It now includes two Multi-Faith Chaplains - an Anglican Multi-Faith Chaplain and a new Muslim Multi-Faith Chaplain who work closely with volunteers from other faiths.  They are trained and experienced in supporting students of all faiths and none, and will provide a range of faith services including:

  • One-to-one and group support
  • Organised events and activities such as lunches and discussion groups
  • Information on local places of worship including churches, synagogues, mosques and gurdwaras
  • Signposting to our volunteer chaplains and local faith leaders

For 2019-2020, the Multi-Faith Chaplains will be available on campus and remotely via its Microsoft Team Multi-Faith GS community, which will host discussion fora and live stream multi-faith events using Microsoft Teams Live Events or Learn.gold.

Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (SVLO)

Specially trained staff provide specialist support and advice via our Wellbeing and Campus Support teams.

When dealing with Report and Support cases, the Report and Support Triage team can refer students for specialist support from a SVLO within the Wellbeing Team. The SVLO can coordinate a timely referral to key sexual violence external agencies and can provide ongoing support to ensure that the events have a minimal impact on the student’s academic progression and life at Goldsmiths.

The Campus Support Team

The Campus Support team is available to provide friendly, overnight support for students. 

They are here to be the first point of call for absolutely anything, seven days a week from 6pm-6am.

IAPT – Improving Access to Psychological Therapies

This is an NHS programme that focuses on treating adults with depression and anxiety.

Up to the Covid-19 lockdown, we have welcomed a practitioner on campus every week, and our counselling team could refer students directly, without the need for students to go through their GP (Available to students with a Lewisham Borough GP.) Since the lockdown, the IAPT sessions have moved online but both Goldsmiths Counsellors and Wellbeing Advisers still operate a bespoke referral path for our students, which avoids the need to visit a GP first. In addition to this, our Counselling and Wellbeing services will also be able to refer our students to a specific IAPT men’s group in 2020-2021.

Humankind (Substance Misuse Clinic)

The Wellbeing and Counselling Teams have established closed working links with Humankind (a specialist substance misuse clinic, formerly known as Blenheim). Humankind offer a range of recovery services designed to meet the unique needs of people facing drug or alcohol-related issues.

Blenheim is committed to providing free, friendly and non-judgemental advice, support and treatment for individuals and their families, friends and communities.

Up to the Covid-19 pandemic, a clinical team was visiting campus fortnightly to see students referred by our Counselling and Wellbeing teams. Since then, the sessions are moved online but Wellbeing Advisers and Counsellors advisers are able to refer students directly, without the need for a prior visit to their GP.

Dedicated GP partnership

We have a contract with Amersham Vale Practice (based next to New Cross train station) to provide ring-fenced appointments for Goldsmiths students. This dedicated GP team provide a joined-up service with the NHS.

The Wellbeing and Counselling Teams are able to refer students in urgent need for a same day appointments, and liaise with them for quick provision of medical evidence to assist with Extenuating Circumstances applications and registration with the Disability Team.

Money Matters

Money mentoring was launched during 2018/19 by the Student Advice Team, providing training to Student Ambassadors to help raise awareness of student money skills.

An online financial education system was also launched (Blackbullion) helping students with their money matters. During 2019/20 just over 1,200 students signed up and completed the online modules.

Academic Staff Training

We run regular ‘Supporting Staff to Support Students’ briefings alongside more specialist sessions aimed at Senior/Personal Tutors, Heads of Departments and staff in student-facing roles). Approximately 80-100 staff typically attend these sessions during the Autumn and spring terms.

In addition, a comprehensive ‘Supporting Staff to Support Students’ guide is available to all student-facing staff in academic departments. This is reviewed and updated, where necessary, on a yearly basis.

Mental Health First Aid

2018/19 saw the launch of Goldsmiths’ in-house Mental Health First Aid for staff. There are now 40 trained Mental Health First Aiders across the College. In 2019/2020 the College invested in its own training its own MH training in-house instructor to start delivering courses in-house. Several were delivered successfully and are scheduled to be delivered throughout 20/21 online.

Staffing

2020/21

1 x Head of Service
1 x Counselling Manager
3 x Counsellors/CBT Therapist
3 x Trainee Counsellors
2 x Mental Health Advisers (Counselling and Wellbeing)
1 x Deputy Head of Service (Disability and Wellbeing)
4 x Wellbeing Advisers
5 x Disability Advisers
2 x Support Coordinators
6 x Campus Support (Out of Hours provision)
Total: 28

2019/20

1 x Head of Service
1 x Counselling Manager
3 x Counsellors/CBT Therapist
2 x Associate Counsellors
2 x Mental Health Adviser (Counselling and Wellbeing)
1 x Deputy Head of Service (Disability and Wellbeing)
5 x Wellbeing Advisers
5 x Disability Advisers
1 x SpLD Assessor
2 x Support Coordinators
6 x Campus Support (Out of Hours provision)
Total: 29

2018/19

Disability: 1 x manager, 4 x advisers, 2 x co-ordinators
Wellbeing: 1 x manager, 5 x advisers
Counselling: 1 x senior counsellor, 3 x counsellors, 2 x associate counsellor, 1 x CBT therapist, 1 x mental health advisor
Campus Support Officers/Out of Hours Provision: 5 x CSOs
Total: 26

2017/18

Disability: 1 x manager, 4 x advisers, 1 x co-ordinator
Wellbeing: 1 x manager, 5 x advisers
Counselling: 1 x senior counsellor, 4 x counsellors, 2 x associate counsellor
Campus Support Officers/Out of Hours Provision: 5 x CSOs
Total: 24

2016/17

Disability: 1 x manager, 2 x advisers, 1 x co-ordinator
Wellbeing: 1 x manager, 4 x advisers
Counselling:  4 x counsellors, 3 x associate counsellor
Campus Support Officers/Out of Hours Provision: 5 x CSOs
Total: 22

2015/16

Disability: 1 x manager, 2 x advisers, 1 x AT Adviser, 1 x co-ordinator
Wellbeing: 1 x manager, 3 x advisers
Counselling: 4 x counsellors, 1 x associate Counsellor
Total: 14

Student use

Wellbeing

Sep 2019 – Aug 2020: Approx.2899
Sep 2018 – Aug 2019: 2,207
Sep 2017 – Aug 2018: Approx 2,007
Sep 2016 – Aug 2017: Approx 2,150
Sep 2015 – Aug 2016: Approx 1,700

Counselling

Sep 2019 – Aug 2020: Approx.332
Sep 2018 – Aug 2019: 555
Sep 2017 – Aug 2018: 594
Sep 2016 – Aug 2017: 591
Sep 2015 – Aug 2016: 542

(Page last updated October 2020)