Edinburgh College must reverse decision on counselling students – Kezia Dugdale

Edinburgh College. Picture: Toby Williams
Edinburgh College. Picture: Toby Williams
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With only a fortnight left in the Edinburgh College academic term before the summer break, students will be starting to wind up their course work and exams and start looking for their summer jobs.

Despite all the positive experiences being student brings such as going out with friends, enjoying discounts and meeting new people, it can be a challenging and stressful time, putting strain on individuals’ mental health. That is why I’ve written to the Principal of Edinburgh College to share my concern over the imminent closure its student counselling service.

The service was launched last year and initially set up as a pilot programme run by two members of staff, helped by four volunteer counsellors, and has been an invaluable asset to many students studying at the college, in fact demand is so great there is currently a waiting list of over 30 students.

Last month the college decided not to continue operating the service past the end of this academic year, which will severely damage the retention and success of many students who rely on the service to support them with ever-increasing pressures and those struggling with their mental health.

Those students who are living with mental health issues just want to get on and make a success of their studies and just need a little support and guidance to ensure they are able to stay engaged with their college work and able to continue on their courses.

Without this service, many will not and I hope that Edinburgh College will review this decision and ensure that appropriate support is provided to those students who need it.