Edinburgh University students made to wait up to 12 weeks for a counselling appointment

They can wait four weeks for a consultation and an additional eight for an appointment

Edinburgh University students are being made to wait up to 12 weeks to get a counsellor using uni mental health services, The Tab Edinburgh can reveal.

Emails obtained by The Tab show that a student using the service only received an appointment today, January 11th, when she initially applied on the 22nd October.

The student had a consultation appointment on the 23rd November to assess her individual risk and was then informed by her counsellor that she would likely not have an appointment until the new year.

The student’s initial inquiry email, dated the 22nd October

She did not receive an actual appointment until almost eight weeks later.

The student’s email in which she was offered a consultation four weeks after her inquiry

This news comes during a mental health crisis for university students across the country as students are dropping out, submitting suicidal posts to confessions pages, and in some of the most tragic cases, found dead.

The student’s email offering her an appointment for the 15th of January

The student told The Tab: “I understand that this is because I’m not a ‘high-risk’ case, but delays like this are how people become high risk.

“The actual service [with the counsellors] has always been amazing but it appears underfunded and overly worked.

“I just don’t understand how the uni didn’t anticipate this surge in demand.”

A spokesperson for the university told The Tab Edinburgh: “Supporting our students’ mental health and wellbeing is an absolute priority – especially as we adapt to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. We are currently in the process of recruiting to additional counselling posts.

“There are a range of services available for all students, including the Student Counselling Service, 24/7 support from our Listening Service, and from the Students’ Association’s Advice Place.

“While most of the support is now online, in-person counselling can be arranged, where needed, for those students in Edinburgh. An on-the-ground team is also available to support those students staying in University accommodation.”

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