University of Bath

How to get a counselling and mental health assessment

Find out how to book a counselling and mental health assessment and what to expect from your appointment.

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In your assessment, you'll agree what further support you might need

Who is an assessment for?

If you’re struggling with emotional difficulties like anxiety or low mood and think you’d benefit from some confidential mental health support, you can book an assessment with us.

If you’re not sure you need an assessment, or if you just need to see someone soon, you could go to see one of the Wellbeing Advisers instead. They can help and advise on all kinds of wellbeing and welfare issues and are available at daily drop-in sessions on campus and in the Virgil Building.

How to book an assessment

Just come in to the Student Services helpdesk in the Roper Centre in 4 West. Make sure you have your timetable with you so we can arrange an assessment when you are available.

Alternatively, you can contact us by phone on 01225 383838 or by email. If emailing please make sure you include your full name, University email address and mobile phone number.

We offer assessment appointments on campus and in the Virgil Building.

On the day of your assessment, please come to the helpdesk 10 minutes beforehand so we can give you some paperwork to complete. This includes a short questionnaire to help us better understand your difficulties and their impact on you.

If you can’t attend in person, for example if you're on placement, we may be able to offer a Skype or telephone appointment, for which you’ll need to find a quiet, private place to talk.

What to expect from your assessment

The assessment is an initial consultation where one of our team will ask you what you’re struggling with and what your goals are. We’ll also ask some questions to establish whether you are at risk.

During the assessment, we’ll talk to you about the kinds of help that are most likely to meet your needs and we’ll agree next steps with you. For instance, we might recommend that you:

  • undertake some guided self-help
  • take part in one of our workshops or courses
  • work with one of our counsellors or cognitive behavioural therapists
  • work with our Mental Health Advisers
  • seek support from a service outside the University.

What is counselling?

Counselling may involve talking about your feelings, thoughts and ways of behaving as well as your life experiences and relationships. The counsellor will listen and try to understand in a non-judgmental way. Sometimes your counsellor may gently challenge you but s/he will always respect your values, choices and lifestyle.

Counselling is not about giving advice or opinions, nor is it a friendly chat with a friend. Instead, it is an opportunity to explore your feelings, understand yourself better and discover what lies behind whatever seems troubling or confusing.

Counselling can help with making decisions or changes that allow you to resolve your situation or cope better with it.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

During times of mental distress, our thoughts can become extreme and unhelpful. This can worsen how we feel and cause us to behave in ways that prolong our distress.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) practitioners help people identify and change their extreme thinking and unhelpful behaviour. The result is often a major improvement in how people feel and act.

What is a Mental Health Adviser?

Our Mental Health Advisers offer assessments and care management plans to students who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties, such as significant mood disorders, psychosis, eating disorders and substance misuse.

Following an assessment, our advisers work one-on-one, using a solution-focused approach to promote coping and self-management. When it’s more appropriate for treatment to be offered by services outside the University, advisers will signpost you to these agencies and liaise with them as necessary.