RCS provides access to specialised counselling

Universities UK’s Stepchange Framework looks at student mental health and wellbeing through four ‘domains’ of Learn, Support, Work and Live. Universities currently resource a wide range of services to support those experiencing mental illness, as the following example shows.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) aims to ensure that all students receive the support they need during their studies and that the RCS is a place of open communication. Due to the nature of their courses, students at the RCS experience high levels of in-person teaching and face to face contact with staff. This means that teaching staff are often involved in initially supporting students experiencing mental health issues.

In addition to this, RCS recognises that students may require more specialist mental health support and services. Practically, RCS have augmented counselling services so that students are able to access counselling from a number of specialised professionals including Person-Centred Counsellors (including a British Sign Language Counsellor), CBT and ACT therapists, and intersectional identity counsellors, as well as employing a Disability Adviser who works directly with those students whose mental health is appropriately served through Learning Agreements.

During the pandemic, when face to face support was not possible, the RCS launched a dedicated platform ‘Wellbeing during Lockdown’ to help the RCS community with signposted resources. The Conservatoire also continues to offer 24/7 mental health support via Togetherall, an online mental health support service.