Accessing an appointment and what to expect:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE BOOKING: Initial ‘First Step’ appointments are released for the next working day at around 4pm Monday-Friday. Please note that you click on the date of the next working day and then click either the morning or afternoon slots. Once the appointment slots are populated at 4p.m. they can be booked. At peak times they can go quickly. If you can’t find any available slots this indicates that they have already been booked into.We ask for your patience and recommend that you try a few times. If you are struggling with this, feel unable to book on-line or need to speak someone more urgently Call 0161 275 2864.

Click HERE to book (From 4pm)

Frequently asked questions:

What is a "First Step" appointment?

A ‘First Step’ appointment is a 20-minute initial triage or screening appointment. You can request this as either a phone or TEAMS call. Once booked a Triage and Support Practitioner (TSP) will contact you at the time you book on to. If you miss the call, then there will be 2 further attempts to reach you within the time slot. If you miss the follow-up calls please re-book or if you need to speak to someone more urgently please call us.

Please note we ask for you to:

  • Use your UNIVERSITY EMAIL to arrange the appointment
  • Provide an up-to-date phone number
  • Be in a private space for the duration of the appointment

What will I be asked?

You will be given opportunity to discuss difficulties that may be affecting you. You will be asked some specific questions about your mood and other aspects of your mental health. Our TSP staff are trained mental health practitioners and will understand your anxieties and will support you with this process. Before your appointment please think about what you may want help. We understand you may be unsure about this. The TSP will decide with you on what the most appropriate next step may be with.

What Support is available?

The Counselling & Mental Health Service offer the following support and interventions:

  • Psychoeducational workshops or therapeutic groups: Workshops
  • Social Prescribing
  • Self-help tools
  • 1-1 appointments: 1-1 appointments are available with a range of therapeutic and mental health professionals.
  • Signposting: We may consider other services that may be able to support you both internal and external to the university.

Mitigation: If you are interested in how we may be able to support an application for mitigation please read: Mitigating Circumstances

What can I expect from a 1-1 appointment?

You may be offered a 1-1 appointment with a Counsellor, a Mental Health Practitioner, a Social Prescriber or a Triage Support Practitioner. All staff will give you time and will listen very carefully to your needs. The support or intervention that you are offered will depend on the skill set of the practitioner you are working with. You are very much part of this process. We aim to collaborate with you and help you start a journey towards a more positive university experience. More information can be found here: How we can help

How many sessions can I have and how often will I be seen?

We do not give an exact number as everyone’s needs may be quite different. Often two to three 1-1 sessions in combination with self-help materials/therapeutic groups/workshops can be enough to help you manage things better and get back on track. If you need more we can discuss this with you and work together to develop a plan or consider referral to a more specialised service. At peak times appointments may be spread out between 2-4 weeks but again this may depend on individual need.

What can’t you offer?

We can offer a very helpful ‘first step’ towards addressing a mental health need and we have lots of resources available to help you. However, please be aware that we do not offer long-term and regular, weekly counselling or more specialised intensive therapy. Our practitioners are very experienced and we have a wealth of knowledge about local services. If you require a more specialist and longer-term support we can help you access this. Please also note that the service does not offer diagnoses of mental health conditions or neurodiversity and we cannot prescribe medication. If you want guidance in this area your first point of contact would be a General Practitioner: Find a GP - NHS

I already have a counsellor or mental health support – can you still help me?

It is not good practice to replicate what you may already be getting. However, if you have seen something on our website that interests you (for example one of our therapeutic groups or social prescribing) please discuss this with your current mental health worker and make an appointment to ask about access to this.

Can you help me if I am not in Manchester?

We can offer on-line appointments wherever you are. Please note however that we may lack knowledge of your local services, particularly if you are currently overseas. We encourage you to also seek information on local provision of mental health support and we request that you ensure that you are registered with a local doctor to ensure that your mental health needs can be managed safely.

I would like to make a specific request to work with someone from a minority ethnic group or gender. Can I do this?

Yes, you can make a request. For more information on this see here: Diversity

Where is the service and can my access needs be accommodated?

We are located on the fifth floor of Crawford House (Building #31 on the campus map) at the junction of Oxford Road and Booth Street East. Enter Crawford House at street level via the Central & West Entrance on Booth Street East. There is a lift that can take you to the 5th floor. Most of our 1-1 appointments and groups are in person but we can offer on-line alternatives. You will be asked about any access needs at your ‘First Step’ appointment.

How long will I have to wait?

We do not have a waiting list. Following a ‘First Step’ triage if you require a longer 1-1 appointment this should be available to you within 1 to 10 working days. Around 100 ‘First Step’ appointments are available each week and there are multiple options for follow-up support and interventions including groups, workshops and 1-1 support. Counsellors and mental health staff will work with new and existing clients of the service. We do not want you to face any barriers accessing the help that you need so please do call us if you need more urgent support or if you are struggling to access a ‘First Step’ Appointment. Please note you can also call Health Assured for one at a time counselling calls: Health Assured

Are you a confidential service?

The Counselling & Mental Health Service is confidential. We would only consider sharing information in very exceptional circumstances if there was an identified need to protect your safety or that of someone else. Please read more here: Confidentiality

How can I contact you?

Our phone line is open from 9.00am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. If you have a general enquiry or want to reschedule or cancel an appointment please ring the service on 0161 275 2864.

You can email us at

Our inbox is manned by Duty Practitioners Monday to Friday 9-4.30pm. These practitioners will prioritise responding to urgent queries but will aim to help with more general queries within 2 working days. Please note your email may be passed on to the Triage Support Team if your query is a more general enquiry about appointment bookings.

How can we help?

Online tools for students and staff