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New partnership for student counsellors

Bangor University, Grwp Llandrillo Menai, and the Primary Mental Health Counselling Service (PMHCS), part of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), are forming an exciting new partnership, working together to support MSc Counselling students.

As part of their Masters degree in Counselling students have to undertake a work placement, carrying out counselling in a controlled and supervised environment with a recognised body. To date students have struggled to obtain the number of hours required and also to find suitable placements. 

The PMHCS has been recruiting, training and supporting student counsellors for over 20 years and has developed a robust system for training and mentoring students whilst also offering vital supervision and support services. 

Director Dr Fay Short at Bangor University said:

“We are delighted about this exciting and innovative new collaboration with BCUHB, as this new partnership will provide students on our new MSc in Counselling with real-world experience to sit alongside the psychological theory, empirical research, and practical training on the course.” 

The new initiative will see students from the University placed directly into the PMHCS programme, working in primary care, offering individual patients between 8 to 15 sessions each, principally in dealing with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and self-esteem along with prescribed medication addictions. Each student needs to build up 100 hours of work with clients over the course of the two-year programme. 

This new partnership will enable the university to offer a guaranteed placement for their Masters students whilst providing the PMHCS a guaranteed source of students who already have some level of counselling knowledge, drastically reducing their recruitment process. 

Service manager within Adult Mental Health & Social Care, June Lovell, said:

“The Masters degree in Counselling will provide us with a further source of quality counsellors alongside our existing providers, reducing our recruitment process whilst providing the university with placements for their students. We are now looking forward to starting this process later this year.” The first new students will go onto the programme in September 2017 (subject to the course successfully completing all validation procedures in August). 

For further information please contact June Lovell, Manager Primary Mental Health Counselling Service – 01352 706725 or Dr Fay Short, Bangor University.

Publication date: 5 July 2017