In response to the SRC Cap Student Numbers Now campaign, the University has stated that between 2017-2022 the average wait time to access Counselling and Psychological Services and Disability services has decreased from 25 days to 14, at the same time as demand increased by 32%. Despite this claim, students speaking to The Glasgow Guardian have highlighted significant failings with the service after that initial appointment was made.
One current student said: “I didn’t wait too long for the appointment, it was more like whether I was able to book them quickly as soon as they were released because they get taken away within minutes and there are not too many appointments available. Honestly, you can count them on your fingers. The overall experience was absolutely terrible. I wish I just didn’t go for it because they just dismissed my issues and said they were too trivial for them to offer me any more help. They said they would check in again with me in 3 weeks but my first experience was so terrible that I chose to not attend the follow up. I think the problem was some of my issues were related to my cultural identity, which would be difficult for a white person to understand, however, I didn’t get the chance to choose the person I wanted to talk to, so the counsellor didn’t understand the gravity of the issues because he was white. I think that’s the problem with a lot of other POC on campus as well since I’ve talked to a lot of friends and they feel generally very displeased with their outcomes.”
Another student cited similar concerns after that initial appointment was made stating that: “With starting the service and getting the actual help with advice and regular therapy, it had been about 3 months. It started with the registration for the service from the website and then getting the emergency consultations for 40 minutes. I found it easier to get a one-off service than the regular one. Even with the wait, there was no better alternative because the NHS waiting lines were worse off.
“It isn’t the easiest service to use at the least, but definitely so helpful in terms of the staff and counsellors helping out. I would genuinely recommend the service for anybody struggling generally with anxiety and other general student issues, for more expertise help, you might want to ask them for a referral. I’ve had my therapist send in notes to my GP to expedite more help in my diagnosis.”
A University spokesperson said: “The health, safety and wellbeing of students and colleagues is the University’s prime concern. It has invested in facilities, student services and in staffing across the University to offer a host of support and guidance, especially in Counselling and Psychological Services (CaPS) and Disability Services.
“Improvements to services have resulted in students being seen and assessed quicker than ever and those exhibiting high levels of distress receiving support and advice more effectively. Improved online mechanisms also means access to support is immediate on a 24 hour basis.”