How do I register for counselling?
The Counselling and Mental Health Support Service (C&MHS) offers free and confidential online support.
We can also provide mental health support via email – you can get in touch with our service on: email@example.com.
To register with Counselling & Mental Health Service please complete the online self-referral form.
Important to know:
- If you are a UK- based student, you must have a GP based in the UK to access the Counselling and Mental Health Service.
- We advise taking a look at our eligibility criteria for more information.
- For key service updates please visit Counselling & Mental Health Support.
What happens to my form when I register?
To register you need to complete the self-referral form. This will be sent automatically to the C&MHS service administrator only.
The next working day after your initial application for an appointment has been received, you will be sent a full online registration form and questionnaire. These forms are confidential and help us offer you a suitable appointment at a convenient time, if possible.
Eligibility criteria: Is this service suitable for me?
Before registering for Counselling and Mental Health Support, please be aware that our service may not be suitable for you, if:
- You require urgent or crisis intervention/support, or have attempted suicide in the last 30 days (please contact your GP, call 111 or go straight to your local Accident and Emergency department). There are a range of crisis helplines easily accessible to students 24/7.
- You are currently being seen by another counsellor/psychotherapist in either in an NHS, charity or private setting.
- You require a medication review or a prescription for medicine (we advise you to contact your GP to discuss medication).
- You would like supporting evidence for a recently submitted Mitigating Circumstances Form but are not interested in counselling or mental health support.
- You have already graduated (based on your actual graduation date, rather than the date of the ceremony).
- The primary difficulty is drug or alcohol use (we would advise you to seek a referral from your GP to a specialist drug and alcohol service). You can find more details about support for substance misuse at NHS: Drug addiction: getting help.
- If you are experiencing symptoms related to a diagnosed or undiagnosed serious mental health condition requiring specialist or long-term treatment (ie. eating disorders, PTSD, psychosis, borderline personality disorder).
- You have been seen in our Service less than three months previously.
To access our service, you need to:
- Be registered with a doctor/GP.
- Have enrolled at the university for a degree programme.
- Not have registered with us within the last week (we are unable to process multiple applications).
- Be currently residing in the UK to qualify for full counselling appointments (non-UK resident students receive 30-minute supportive check-in sessions only).
- Due to the pandemic and subsequent restrictions, our service is running online, so you will need to be able to attend your appointment using MS Teams.
How do I make a counselling appointment?
Before you can make an appointment, you’ll need to register with our service. Once you’ve registered, you’ll have an initial appointment to assess your level of need.
Following this initial assessment, you may be referred for further sessions, which can be either individual or group. Guided Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or psychoeducational groups might also be suggested, and we might recommend a suitable external service.
While you are waiting for the service to contact you, you can register for Togetherall, which is the university's chosen online support platform for mental health.
Important to know: if you are in crisis or feel unsafe, please visit Crisis support: need help now.
If you need to contact the service directly, you can email us.
How long are the appointments?
For UK-based students: Our appointments are 50 minutes.
For overseas-based students: Due to various licensing and registration issues, if you are based overseas, we are only permitted to offer 30-minute welfare appointments. The law in some countries restricts the right to practise as a counsellor or psychologist, and practitioners have to meet the local professional requirements to be legally compliant. This is why 50-minute appointments are available only to students who are based in the UK.
Can I have my appointment face-to-face on campus?
As with many other services across King's, the C&MHS Service has shifted to an online service during this period of remote study for students and remote working for staff, due to ongoing pandemic.
Our aim is to resume our on-campus appointments when UK government restrictions permit.
What is the waiting time for counselling?
Waiting times can vary at different times of the year, and wait times also depend on your level of risk, which we assess for at the point of self-referral registration.
If you are assessed to be at a very high risk level, we should be able to offer you an appointment within a few days of your registration.
If you are assessed to be at a low to moderate risk level, the waiting time can be between 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the time of year. Our particularly busy periods of the year November, February and May. During this time, it’s likely you’ll have a longer wait unfortunately, because demand can be very high.
What can I do while I’m waiting?
While you are waiting for the service to contact you, we recommend registering with Togetherall, which is the university's chosen online support platform for mental health.
There also a range of mental health apps which you may find helpful, and information about support options in our article I’m lonely and homesick, what can I do?
We have also partnered with Pro-Counselling, who can offer support in the evenings, weekends and holidays when you would like to talk about an issue or problem out-of-hours, and feel that you cannot wait to see a counsellor. Find out more about this support in at Out-of-hours counselling support.
If you need to get in touch with the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service while you wait for an appointment, please email us.
Can I register with two Counselling Services?
If you're on the waiting list to join an NHS counselling service, or if you have been told by your doctor to see a therapist, we recommend that you do not register with another service while you are waiting to be seen by a professional. This includes services such as the King’s Counselling & Mental Health Support Service.
Registering with two different counsellors/therapists at the same time can be stressful and can be hard to manage, especially alongside your studies.
If you find that you have been on the waiting list to see a counsellor or a therapist for a long period of time, we recommend that you contact your doctor or the receptionist at your practice and ask if it can be possible to be seen by a therapist sooner.