Temporary Conditions Of Service Use
Online & Telephone Counselling
Student Counselling & Development UCC
Due to COVID-19 social distancing directives, Student Counselling & Development (SCD) is working remotely. Counselling support is available via telephone sessions and face-to-face sessions are available online using MS Teams.
Counselling is intended to support students in managing challenges related to their academic and personal development. It is offered alongside other supports including our online CBT programs, self-support resources, and workshops that are available throughout the year. Student Counselling is not intended to provide emergency or long-term support and the number of sessions is determined by the Student Counsellor’s assessment of need and available resources. The service is available to registered students free of charge.
Urgent Support: Should you need urgent support, please go to this section for a list of support services.
Online & Telephone Counselling Conditions of Service Use:
Student Counselling & Development UCC
To avail of an appointment, it will be necessary for you to confirm that you have read and accept the following Conditions of Service Use:
Confidentiality: The information that you provide within Student Counselling & Development is confidential to the Service except in the following exceptional circumstances:
a) If there is a serious concern that there may be a threat to the safety or life of yourself or another person.
b) In the context of criminal behaviour and disclosures required by legal process.
c) SCD staff are legally obliged under the Children First Act 2015 to report child protection concerns/retrospective disclosures of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional and neglect) to Tusla.
d) Any telephone/email/internet contact remains confidential as per professional ethics. However, UCC/SCD cannot guarantee that this method of contact is completely secure due to limitations of technology beyond UCC/SCD's control.
If it becomes necessary to break confidentiality it will be done sensitively on a need-to-know basis and your Student Counsellor will make every effort to discuss it with you before taking that step. It will be standard procedure for your Student Counsellor to initially ask you to provide an In Case of Emergency contact name and number and your Eircode.
Record Keeping: In keeping with the code of ethics and practice for psychotherapists/psychologists, confidential records of consultations will be maintained by Student Counselling & Development. These records will be destroyed after 7 years. For detailed information see our privacy statement (GDPR) in this section.
Session Terms: Student Counsellors will engage in tele/online work during normal office hours only. At the beginning of your first appointment the following information must be provided to SCD:
- Your Date of Birth
- Student ID Number
- Current Address including Eircode
- Mobile Phone Number
- Your GP
- In Case of Emergency contact (name and phone number).
· The Student Counsellor will always aim to talk to you prior to contacting your ICE person.
· Should you change your mind about engaging in online or telephone counselling please speak to your Student Counsellor about this. If you feel that you cannot do this, please email email@example.com to inform us that you do not wish to engage further with the SCD service at this time of remote working.
· Phone/Online sessions are 40 minutes duration.
Cancellations: If for any reason you cannot attend or wish to reschedule your video/telephone consultation with SCD, we would please ask that where possible you contact us at least 24-48 hours before your allocated appointment time. This allows time for us to give the allocated slot to another student. Every effort will be made to reschedule alternative appointments for you, within a reasonable timeframe.
Please note if you miss your first scheduled video/telephone consultation and you have not made contact with the service to rearrange, we will assume you are no longer interested in seeking counselling. Your registration will be closed off with the service. Please note you are welcome to re-register at any time.
Unless there are exceptional circumstances which are discussed with your Counsellor, if you miss or cancel two appointments further sessions can only be offered subject to availability, and students already on the waiting list will be prioritised.
To Cancel Your Appointment
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not contact your Counsellor directly as they may not pick up messages in time but also this will not allow us the opportunity to offer your allocated time to another student.
Telephone Counselling: In order to arrange an initial telephone appointment, please email us at email@example.com stating that you accept these Conditions of Service Use, and giving your current mobile number and free times. You will then receive a call from a Student Counsellor at the time allocated to you by the SCD reception team. Please note that the Student Counsellor will make two attempts to contact you by phone. Therefore, please ensure that you have given the correct telephone number on which to contact you.
Online Counselling Engagement: When engaging in online support, it is agreed that you:
· Are logged onto the Microsoft Teams app using your UCC email account
· Will not contact your Student Counsellor on Teams outside of your scheduled appointment
· Treat the session the same as you would a face to face session
· Be ready for the session
· Be in a confidential and quiet space
· If using camera, sit facing the camera
· Assume you can be seen and heard by one another while the call is connecting
· Keep pets and children out of the room
· Ensure that you are not interrupted by friends/family
· Have practiced use of Microsoft Teams prior to the session
· Keep alternative modes of contact on mute throughout the session
· Your Student Counsellor will never intentionally disconnect the call during the session. However, should the system fail, the Student Counsellor will attempt to contact you by phone. If using a different device to access MS Teams, please also ensure that your phone is charged and with you during your online appointment time for this purpose.
· The Chat Function should never be used. MS Teams is used by the Student Counselling & Development Service for counselling sessions only.
Recording of Sessions:· No online sessions should be electronically recorded. Failure to comply with this will lead to intervention from the University under GDPR legislation.
Suggested Security Advice: Although online counselling sessions can never be guaranteed 100% secure, there are some proactive steps that you can take to ensure the highest levels of security:
· Always use a password to access your device (phone, computer, iPad) and update this password frequently
· Ensure that the security software on your device is updated
· Update your communication software regularly
· Ensure that you have a quiet, confidential space in which to engage in the session
· Close all unnecessary browsers and programmes on your device to maximise your internet connectivity during your online counselling appointment.