6 June 2018
RECORDS MANAGEMENT SECTION
The University of Edinburgh
File ref: T3/26/396
Edinburgh EH8 9YL
Ms Alisa Wylie
Direct Dial 0131 651 4099
Switchboard 0131 650 1000
Sent by email: request-486238-
Dear Ms Wylie
Your freedom of information request
Thank you for your email of 19 May 2018 requesting information about the University
The University of Edinburgh is a global university, rooted in Scotland. We are globally
recognised for our research, development and innovation and we have provided world-
class teaching to our students for more than 425 years. We are the largest university in
Scotland and in 2016/17 our annual revenue was £929 million, of which £265 million was
research income. We have over 39,000 students and over 9,700 full-time equivalent
staff. We are a founding member of the UK’s Russell Group of leading research
universities and a member of the League of European Research Universities.
Mental health support provision
The University is committed to providing a positive academic experience and equality of
opportunity for all students, and encourages those encountering mental health difficulties
to make these known to the University. The University operates a devolved management
structure and comprises three academic colleges, subdivided into twenty-two schools,
and three support groups, subdivided into some seventy support services. Central
services that support students with mental health conditions include the Student Disability
Service (SDS), the Chaplaincy and the Student Counselling Service (SCS). Further
information about each of these is provided below.
Colleges, Schools, Personal Tutors and Student Support Teams
The University operates a framework of academic and pastoral support for students
which comprises a blend of localised provision within schools and colleges, the Personal
Tutor System, and student support services. Personal tutors (PTs) assist and encourage
students in their academic studies and help students to feel part of a community of
learners. One of the main responsibilities of student support teams (SSTs) is to provide
appropriate information to students, which can include directing students to local and
UNIVERSITY SECRETARY Ms Sarah Smith
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336
central support services. Academic and pastoral support within a school or college is
provided to all its students. Each school informs their students about the academic and
pastoral support available to them and how to access it. Schools identify when and
where the need for targeted support may be at its most acute and concentrate provision
accordingly. Please note that mental health support provision provided by the University
is intended to supplement and enhance, rather than replace or duplicate, NHS provision.
More information about the Personal Tutor System and student support teams is
published at www.ed.ac.uk/staff/supporting-students.
The Advice Place
The Edinburgh University Students' Association's Advice Place offers students free,
impartial and confidential information delivered by a professional advice team. The
Students’ Association is a separate legal entity from the University of Edinburgh, and is
not a ‘Scottish public authority’ as defined by the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002. This means that the University is unable to answer requests for information held
by the Students’ Association, and the Students’ Association itself is not subject to the
legislation. If you are seeking information from the Students’ Association, or wish to read
more about the Advice Place, contact details and information are available online at www.eusa.ed.ac.uk.
Student Disability Service
The SDS provides support to students with mental health conditions in a number of ways
depending on the student's study needs. SDS can tailor a learning profile of adjustments
for students which can include adjustments such as extra time in exams, extensions,
lecture slides in advance, permission to record lectures, and equipment to study at home.
SDS can also suggest study skills support for students if appropriate. This might be
through the University's Institute of Academic Development study skills tutors, which are
available to all students or through one of their Mental Health Mentors who offer
emotional and study skills support to students with significant and long-standing mental
health issues which impact on the students’ course of study. Further information about
the support offered by the SDS is published on the University website at www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/student-disability-service.
The University’s Chaplaincy provides pastoral and spiritual support for students and staff
of all faiths and none. Support includes the provision of mindfulness meditation sessions,
tai chi classes, various religious services and prayer sessions, opportunities for individual
meetings with chaplains, and discussions and events which touch on mental health.
Further information about the services offered by the Chaplaincy is published on the
University website at www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/chaplaincy.
University Counselling Service
The University Counselling Service provides free confidential professional counselling
service to staff and all matriculated students of the University of Edinburgh. The Service
also seeks to enhance and encourage the emotional well-being and mental health of
University of Edinburgh students and those who support them. The Service seeks to
reach this objective by facilitating personal development and psychoeducational groups
and workshops for students; encouraging students to support themselves through the
Bibliotherapy Scheme and other online resources; offering advice and support to
academic staff concerned for the mental and emotional well-being of their students; and
contributing to training and development programmes organised for staff and students by
other departments of the University. The University has signed up to the Big White Wall
initiative which allows University of Edinburgh students free access to 24 hour
psychological support online: www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling/self-help/support-
The Service offers some form of help to all students who approach them. The
nature of the help depends on the outcome of the initial appointment between student
and counsellor. Further information about the services offered by the University
Counselling Service is available on the University website at www.ed.ac.uk/schools-
The University Counselling Service is an organisational member of the British
Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). This is the leading professional
body for counsellors and psychotherapists in the United Kingdom, with approximately
44,000 members. Since 2006 the Service has had Accredited Service status awarded by
the BACP. The BACP Service Accreditation Scheme provides status and validation for
the accredited service, and also provides robust evidence of service quality and
professionalism. In addition, accredited services are bound by the BACP Ethical
Framework for the Counselling Professions. All BACP Accredited Services have
demonstrated a high quality of service delivery, meeting benchmark standards that are
maintained by annual monitoring and reporting.
The University Counselling Service also provides training for Personal Tutors, Student
Support Officers, other academic staff as well as welfare staff in the Students'
Association aimed at helping staff support and refer students who have mental and
emotional health problems. Accommodation Services has a Residence Life Team who
will support students living in University Managed Accommodation and link them with
other University services as appropriate. All staff are made aware of the 'Helping
Distressed Students' guide which is available on the University's website to aid staff in
dealing with students in distress or crisis at www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/student-
University Counselling Service statistics
For the 2016/17 academic year, you requested the number of students seeking
counselling, as well as information about response times and service effectiveness. The
University Counselling Service’s Annual Report 2016-2017is published on our website at https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling/about/annual-reports.
Section 3 of the report
contains information about the number of students accessing the Counselling Service,
whilst Section 8 contains information about response times, and effectiveness indicators
(CORE (Clinical Outcomes Routine Evaluation) and CIAO (Clinical Impact on Academic
Please note that as this information is available to you through the University website, it
is technically exempt from the University’s obligation to answer requests for information
under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. The information is exempt under
section 25 of this Act, because it is available to you by another route. This exemption is a
technical matter only and does not affect your ability to obtain the information on-line.
If you do not have access to the Internet or would prefer to receive information in hard
copy please let me know and I will arrange for printouts from the appropriate web pages
to be sent to you.
Right to review
If you are dissatisfied with this response, you may ask the University to conduct a review
of this decision by contacting the University's Records Management Section (www.ed.ac.uk/records-management/about/contact) i
n writing (e.g. by letter or email) or
in some other recorded form (e.g. audio or video tape). You should describe the original
request, explain your grounds for dissatisfaction, and include an address for
correspondence. You have 40 working days from receipt of this letter to submit a review
request. When the review process has been completed, if you are still dissatisfied, you
may appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner using the guidance at www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal.
If you do not have access to the Internet, please
let me know and I will provide a copy of the relevant web pages.
The University of Edinburgh's privacy notice, which describes how we use the information
you have supplied about yourself and your request, is available on-line at Privacy Notice.
Information Compliance Officer
If you require this letter in an alternative format, such as large print or
a coloured background, please contact the Records Management
Section on 0131 651 4099 or email email@example.com