Terms of Service
Counselling Contract between ATU Sligo Student Counselling Service (SCS) and the Student
- The SCS offers each student a maximum of 6 Fortnightly sessions per academic year, this is inclusive of any sessions missed by the student, whereby the student has not notified the SCS in advance.
- Depending on circumstances, the SCS offers face-to-face, online, or telephone appointments (please refer to the IT Sligo Online and Telephone Support Policy). The Student and Student Counsellor both agree not to make a recording of any kind of appointments.
- The Student Counselling Service will send reminder email and/or text message to the student’s IT Sligo email or provided mobile number the day before scheduled appointments. You can opt out of such contact at any time.
- Students will be contacted by the SCS through their college email address or the mobile number provided below. Students are advised to use their college email in all correspondence with the SCS.
- The student agrees to cancel their appointment with the SCS within a reasonable time, if they are unable to attend.
- In the case whereby a student does not attend an appointment without notifying the SCS, and subsequently requests another SCS appointment they will be placed on the Student Counselling Waiting List (if a Waiting List is in place).
- The Student Counsellor is required to keep confidential notes relating to each session attended by the student. These case notes are stored electronically on CORE Net software and are password protected. In line with best practice, this student record will be securely electronically stored for 7 years.
- The Student Counselling Service opening hours are 9.00a.m. – 4.00p.m. Monday to Friday, Outside of these Hours, in the case of an emergency the Student agrees to contact:
- 999 or 112 in the event of an emergency;
- ED: visit your Emergency Department.
- The SCS will contact a student’s contact person in the case of an emergency (an emergency involves any situation whereby the SCS has reason to believe that there is a significant or immediate concern that a student is at risk of harming themselves or others).
- IT Sligo SCS does not provide reports or witness testimony for any Medico / Legal involvement students may have.
- Letters of Consideration will only be provided when the student has been under the care of the SCS for at least two consultations;
- You may receive emails from time to time with invitations to respond to a feedback survey used to improve our service. You can opt out of such contact at any time.
Student Consent Policy
I understand that the Student Counselling Service operates as part of the Student Health Service team and that information pertaining to patient health and wellbeing may be shared amongst the team members.
I also understand that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed in the following circumstances:
- If there is significant or immediate concern that a student is at risk of harming themselves or others. Cases will be managed in line with the IT Sligo Student Mental Health Policy.
- If there are concerns about the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult, counsellors have a responsibility to refer that concern to the appropriate body (Children First Act, 2015). A concern about a potential risk to children posed by a specific person currently or in the past in terms of neglect, or sexual, physical, or emotional abuse will be reported to Tusla and the Gardaí.
- Criminal Activity
- If the counsellor records are subpoenaed by law.
IT Sligo Online and Telephone Support Policy
Rationale for this policy
This policy is for the personal protection of both the student and IT Sligo Student Counselling Service (SCS) team member[i] . The policy is designed to provide clear guidelines for both parties about how to professionally interact online[ii]/on the phone. This type of online etiquette is termed “netiquette”.
The SCS provides online and telephone appointments to full-time, part-time, and online students based in the Republic of Ireland:
- The IT Sligo SCS team will engage in their work throughout their normal working hours during the week.
- All session times refer to Greenwich Mean-Time (GMT).
- Due to cost, international calls are not possible, but Microsoft Teams is available in both audio and visual formats.
- Prior to setting you up with a team member, a trusted contact person must be named and their telephone contact number provided in the Registration Form sent to you. IT Sligo SCS will only use that contact should you (the student) be considered at risk by a team member. We will always talk to you if possible, prior to contacting your named person.
- You do not have to agree to phone, email, or online support. You are welcome to decline this support. However, should you engage in such support you are demonstrating that you have agreed to do so. Should you change your mind about wanting to work in such a way, please talk to your assigned team member about this. If you feel you cannot do that, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us that you no longer wish to engage in support this way.
- Phone and online support requires you to use your words. This is more important than in face-to-face support because we cannot read your emotions over the phone, unless you communicate it to us. This is a condition of our support.
IT Sligo Students travelling abroad on a Erasmus (This statement will only apply when the COVID-19 guidelines currently in place in relation to international travel are lifted).
IT Sligo students travelling abroad can avail of a maximum of two check-in psychoeducational support appointments. If additional support is required students will be encouraged to access mental health supports locally in the country they are completing their Erasmus in.
International Students returning to their country of Origin (This statement will only apply when the COVID-19 guidelines currently in place in relation to international travel are lifted).
International students returning to their country of origin will be encouraged to access mental health supports in their country of origin as required. The SCS does not provide online or telephone appointments to students based outside of the Republic of Ireland.
Online Students based outside of the Republic of Ireland
The SCS does not offer online or telephone appointments to online students based outside of the Republic of Ireland. Online students based outside of the Republic of Ireland can access online well-being and psychological support modules through Silver Cloud and Living Well, Being Well.
IT Sligo SCS can engage in online support via: Microsoft Teams and Phone. These are each outlined below.
IT Sligo SCS uses Microsoft Teams to engage students in online visual support. Please keep an eye on your IT Sligo emails and Microsoft Teams calendar, as the SCS team member will set up the sessions via email. If you are a Erasmus student outside of Ireland, it is possible for you to choose Microsoft Teams audio only as your medium for support.
If you do not have a way of engaging with online support or if you feel it doesn’t suit you, you are welcome to engage in support over the phone.
When engaging in online and phone support, both parties (student and team member) should:
- Treat the session the same as you would a face to face session
- Be ready for the session
- Be up, dressed, and alert
- Be in a confidential and quiet space
- If using camera, sit facing the camera
- Assume you can be seen and heard by one another prior to knowing for sure (i.e., do not talk to or about other people whilst the session is connecting)
- Keep pets and children out of the room
- Ensure that they are not interrupted by friends/family
- Have practiced use of online system prior to the session
- Agree a back-up plan in case online system fails (e.g., team member will immediately phone/email student)
- Keep alternative modes of contact on mute throughout the session
- Contract and set the boundaries around the support (e.g., length of sessions, number of sessions, DNA policy)
Although you may be in contact with the IT Sligo team member in an online capacity, this is not a typical online relationship. Team members do not accept friend requests or follow requests for personal social media accounts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, etc.). You are asked not to share the team member’s online contact with anyone else. Likewise, no team member will request your friendship on such accounts nor share details of your online contact with anyone else outside of the centralised counselling database.
Recording of sessions
To ensure confidentiality, no online or phone support sessions should be electronically recorded by either party. Failure to comply with this will lead the service to reconsider the offer of support.
[i] Team member refers to any member of the IT Sligo counselling team, including Administrators, Intern Team Members, and Student Counsellors. Emails and phone calls from the administrator should also be treated with confidentiality and netiquette, as outlined above.
[ii] Online psychoeducational support refers to any form of support occurring over the internet, including Microsoft Teams (including audio only and audio-visual), or messaging via Microsoft Teams