Information for Parents, Guardians and Partners

    Student Counselling Frequently Asked Questions

    This list is composed of the most Frequently Asked Questions we receive from students who are interested in our services. This is by no means an exhaustive list, if you cannot find the answer to your question in the list below,or you have any other queries please email counsellor@ait.ie

    Is Counselling free?

    Yes, all registered students of TUS Midlands can access the Student Counselling service. Please look at our website for further information on Counselling and online resources - https://www.ait.ie/life-at-ait/student-supports/counselling/

    Is Counselling confidential?

    Yes. We are a professional and confidential service and all staff are accredited and bound by a code of practice & ethics. The student-counsellor relationship is confidential. This means that what you say to your counsellor is not disclosed to anyone outside the Counselling Service, with the exceptions if your counsellor was concerned that you were at immediate risk of harm to yourself; or if your counsellor was concerned that a third party was at risk of harm. If there is the possibility of a child currently being at risk of harm, the Service must report this to Tusla or the Garda Siochana in accordance with national child protection policy. In these circumstances your counsellor ensure that the situation is fully discussed with you and involve you in the disclosure process. The ethos of our work is student led and to empower our students in every way we possibly can.

    As a rule, Counsellors will not divulge any information about you outside of the student Counselling Service without your express permission. The only exception to this is if your Counsellor feels there is a serious risk either to your wellbeing or someone else.

    Is Counselling inclusive?

    Yes! The Student Counselling Service recognises and values the dignity and diversity of all students using our services. Our staff members and volunteers are committed to providing an inclusive service. We strive to meet the unique needs of each student irrespective of age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, ethnicity, culture, or membership of the traveller community.

    Will the fact that I attended Counselling appear on my university record?

    No. Counselling information is not shared with any other Department/Unit within the University.

    Why do students come to counselling?

    The issues that prompt students to attend counselling are numerous and may include: stress, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, family difficulties, bereavement, homesickness, loneliness, lack of motivation, assault, abuse, loneliness, bullying, financial concerns, gender, sexual or personal identity issues, panic, unplanned pregnancy, eating disorders, alcohol, drugs and academic concerns. This is not an exhaustive list, if something is causing you pain or difficulty, we are here to help.

    What if it's an emergency?

    In the event of an emergency that cannot wait, Students are asked to email counsellor@ait.ie and request an emergency appointment. There are also Walk In appointment times from 2-3pm everyday during the academic year.

    What do I do if I am concerned about a friend of mine?

    Email counsellor@ait.ie and make an appointment to speak with one of our Counsellors. During the appointment, you will have the opportunity to speak in confidence about any concerns you have regarding your friend.

    How does Counselling work and how can it help me?

    Please click on the link for further information https://www.ait.ie/life-at-ait/student-supports/counselling/what- is-counselling

    Are all of your Counsellors trained/ experienced in LGBTQIA* issues?

    All of our Counsellors have been trained in supporting members of the LGBTQIA* community. Our team strive to meet the unique needs of each student and values the dignity and diversity of all students using our services.

    Where is the Student Counselling Service?

    We are located on the 1st floor of the Count John McCormack building, above the Student Union. The Student Health Centre and the Student Counselling Service are in the same location.

    How do I make an appointment with the Student Counselling Service?

    You can make an appointment by emailing counsellor@ait.ie or calling 090 6468063

    Please use your TUS email address when contacting the Student Counselling Service. A link will be emailed to you to complete registration forms, you will be asked to complete a questionaire that will help us identify your needs and how best we can support you at this time. Once you have registered and returned these forms, you will be offered a Brief Assessment with one of our Counsellors.

    There is also a walk in service from 2-3pm daily - No appointment is needed

    What if I have to cancel or reschedule a Counselling appointment?

    Wherever possible please allow us sufficient notice prior to your scheduled appointment that you cannot attend/wish to reschedule, as we may be able to offer the appointment to another student who is waiting to see a Counsellor. Please email counsellor@ait.ie  to advise us that you are unable to keep your appointment.

    What happens when I attend for my appointment?

    When you arrive for your initial counselling session, please go to the waiting room. Your Counsellor will come out for you at the designated appointment time

    How long is a counselling session?

    Each counselling session lasts for approximately 50 minutes.

    If you have never used the service before, your first appointment will be a Brief Assessment so we can get a picture of where you need some support. These are shorter assessment appointments approx 30 mins. After the BA, you will then be sent access to the Student Counselling microsite where you can choose the Counsellor and the appointment time that would work for you.

    In the event of an emergency that cannot wait, there are emergency slots available every day, please email counsellor@ait.ie to request an emergency appointment.  There is a Walk In service from 2-3pm everyday.

    What if I decide counselling is not for me?

    You are not obliged to attend further appointments if you do not wish to do so. If you change your mind and wish to cancel your next appointment, please give us as much notice as possible so that we can allocate the time slot to another client. You can link in with us at any time should you wish to attend the Student Counselling service in the future.

    I have been referred by my tutor. Will they know my details after I attend the Counselling Service?

    No information regarding the actual content of your session will be disclosed to the referrer (or any other member of the University staff) without your explicit permission. However, if you wish your counsellor to liaise on your behalf with University staff, this can be arranged.

    Where are my records kept and for how long?

    Counsellors have a professional obligation to keep records of all counselling sessions. Files are securely held electronically for a period of seven years and are then destroyed. If you wish to access your file, just ask your counsellor. Alternatively, you can make a formal request to the University Freedom of Information Officer.

    How do I leave feedback about my experience of counselling?

    We welcome all feedback as it enables us to ensure a quality service. All clients of the service who give permission for email contact will be sent a link to our online feedback questionnaire.

    I am a student with mobility concerns. Can I still attend the service?

    Yes, certainly. Please email counsellor@ait.ie and we will ensure your needs are met. The Student Counselling Service premises has wheelchair access and a lift to the floor we are located on.

    Do you offer telephone or video counselling?

    Yes, the Student Counselling Service offer both video and telephone counselling as well as face to face appointments throught the year. 

    I am feeling suicidal what should i do?

    If you are feeling that you at risk of self harm or suicide and you are feeling totally overwhelmed it is of the utmost importance that you link in with experienced professional who can help now. Please do not make any rash or impulsive decisions.

    1. If you consider yourself to be at risk of suicide contact your GP or nearest Accident and Emergency Department

    Portiuncla Hospital Ballinalsoe Emergency Department 090 9648248        Mullingar General Hospital Emergency Department - 044 9394121/4129

    2. Ring Samaritans 116 123 24 hour freephone to speak with some one immediately      Aware 1800 804 848 10am-10pm freephone

    3. Text TUS to 50808 - this is an anonymous text support service 24/7

    4. Speak with a parent/Guardian, trusted family member or other responsible adult who can support you to get the professional help you need right now

    Please clink on this link for a list of Mental Health Organisationshttps://www.ait.ie/life-at-ait/student-supports/counselling/mental-health-organisations

    The Centre for Clinical Interventions provides a wealth of online information and resources in relation to various psycholgical issues - https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au