Livestream highlights: Student support services video transcript

Luke: We know there is a clear link between well-being and academic success. So, all of our students have access to services which are designed to support them. We’re now joined by Sarah Richardson, who is head of Student Services at Derby. Sarah, hello.

Sarah: Hello.

Luke: How are you doing are you okay?

Sarah: I’m good thank you.

Luke: Good, good, good. So firstly Sarah, could you summarise what Student Services kind of, supports with?

Sarah: Absolutely. So, Student Services is there to provide the bulk of the pastoral support for our students, to complement all the academic support that’s available. Student Services consists of three key teams. That’s our counselling and mental health team, which provides that emotional and mental health support that’s really vital to our students. We’ve got our disability service, which provides key support for our disabled students. And then we’ve got our student life team, that’s there to support all of those other aspects that may… students may find difficulty with during their studies.

Luke: Fantastic, okay. Obviously, mental health is a massive priority for all of us. So, what do we kind of have in place to make sure our students are taken care of in that area?

Sarah: Absolutely. It’s so critical. We’ve obviously got the key services within my teams. We’ve got that clinical support through our counselling and mental health team. They offer counselling appointments and also mental health practitioner appointments. Through our disability service as well, students can access the disabled students allowance, which will also give them access to a specialist mental health mentor. Many of our students find that a really key support. The Student Life team as well offer a whole range of services, coping with difficulties with sleeping, anxiety, managing stress. And then we’ve got a lot of peripheral services around Student Services which are really there just to link in and support good mental health.

Luke: Brilliant, okay. And are there any, are there any costs involved when accessing any of these services?

Sarah: No, absolutely not. All of our services are entirely free.

Luke: Fantastic, okay. So, some students may not need like clinical support, but may have other things going on that can impact their studies. So, is this the sort of situation in which student services can kind of help?

Sarah: Absolutely, we recognise that for students they’re with us for three, four years plus, there’s going to be ups and downs in life that students experience. That we all do. So we’ve got a range of services, particularly the Student Life team – difficulties students may have. Difficulties with relationships, disturbed sleep, anxiety, exam stress. Those are all normal things that can happen during a student’s time with us. So, the Student Life team is absolutely there to help. We’ve also got as well the TalkCampus app, which is a fantastic peer-on-peer mental health support app. It can just allow students to reach out and engage with other students 24/7 around the globe, and they can just link in with students and just talk through some of the life difficulties that they might be experiencing.

Luke: Goodness, brilliant. Okay, and similarly, I know you kind of touched on disability student allowance. So, with regard to students that have disabilities, what kind of things do we have in place to support them?

Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. A huge range of support at Derby. So, we’ve got a dedicated disabled team, disability team, who will ensure that a student once they’ve made contact with that team, is allocated a disability advisor. That advisor will assess the student and talk to them about a bespoke package of support so they’ll be the things that we can support on campus. And that might be extensions, it might be adaptions in the classroom, adaptions in accommodation. We’ll also then support the student to apply for the disabled student allowance and then that disabled… disability advisor will be with the student throughout their student journey and will constantly review that support package to make sure that it’s absolutely supporting the student’s needs.

Luke: Excellent, okay. And how do, kind of students, access Student Services and should they be doing this before they come to the university?

Sarah: Absolutely, absolutely. I would strongly urge students to put it on their to-do list before they come to us. Any student that is looking to come to the University of Derby can engage with the team, with the Student Services teams. They can actually start to put those supports in place so that when they get here, end of September, beginning of October, that support package is in place and they can just get on with study and get on with making friends. So, they can either contact the team via email, telephone, all of those details on our webpages and the teams are already there, happy to support.

Luke: That’s incredible. Sarah, I have no more questions for you so thank you so much for your time.

Sarah: Thank you very much, thank you!

Livestream highlights: Student support services video

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