More About Us

Our team comprises approximately 20 counsellors; one-third of the team are from BAME backgrounds. If you would prefer to be seen by a BAME counsellor, you can request this when you ring to make your appointment.

We are part of a wider network of help and support; we can advise on where else to seek help within the University and make referrals to NHS mental health services.

The Counselling and Mental Health Service is committed to ongoing training to understand the mental health burden of discrimination and the diversity of experience among our students and staff. We work to understand the experience of all students and staff, especially when this is influenced by issues of culture, ethnicity, gender; sexuality and religious belief.

Commitment to Equality and Diversity

The University’s commitment to “providing an environment free from discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation, where all members of its community are treated with respect and dignity” is set out in its Equality and Diversity policy. The University understands nonetheless that discrimination exists and that LGBT students can face difficulties in feeling they are equal participants in university life and experience barriers to succeeding in higher education. The LGBT Staff Network and LGBTQ+ Society work hard to address these and many other problems and the Counselling and Mental Health Service is part of the wider network of support. The University has participated in Stonewall's Employer Index for workplace equality for the past five years and was recently ranked 16th in Stonewall's Employer Index for Workplace Equality 2018. The University is in Stonewall's top ten list as a trans employer.

LGBTQ+

Sexuality refers to all aspects of sexual behaviour. Physiology, psychology and social factors all play a part in determining who attracts us and how we attract others. Gender identity denotes a person's innermost concept of self as man, woman, a blend of both, or neither. A person's gender identity informs how they perceive themselves and what they prefer to call themselves. Gender identity can be the same or different from a person's sex assigned at birth. It’s complicated and defies neat classification. So lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans become approximate labels for what is an intensely personal experience of sexuality and/or gender identity. Hence the catch-all Q for ‘queer’ or ‘questioning’ at the end of the LGBTQ acronym. As we have developed a more nuanced appreciation, the plus symbol has come to represent inclusion and embracing of the spectrum of sexuality and gender identity.

Knowing your sexual orientation and feeling proud and happy about it comes easily to some people from an early age. For others it emerges much later and can be a difficult and, or, confusing process.

Common problems include coming out to yourself and coming out to others. Talking through the issues, your feelings and your experiences, is often critically important and there are plenty of places to get help.