As students, we're lucky to have counselling services available to us. Ryan McDonnell profiles Maynooth University's counselling services.
“If all is not well, or there’s a sense that things are not going well, that’s enough to come talk to us,” says Kathleen McNutt from Maynooth University’s counselling service. Whether it’s academic problems, personal issues or mental health, Maynooth University’s counselling service, located on the top floor of the Student service centre on North Campus, is supportive space accessible for students free of charge.
The counselling service works on an appointment basis along with a drop in service which is strictly first come first serve between 2:00pm and 3:00pm daily. The drop in service is a great opportunity for students unsure about visiting the service. It’s a great opportunity “if (students) just want to check us out to see if this where they want to be and see if they feel safe enough to come and talk to somebody,” says McNutt.
The counselling service recommends people interested in drop ins should come 15 – 20 minutes before 2:00pm. Maynooth University students are extremely fortunate to have a free counselling service offered by a professional team of qualified counsellors.
Counselling services for students with mental health problems can have waiting lists of up to three months compared to other colleges. Kay Cairn’s case study on DIT student, Toryn Glavin in 2015 for the Irish Examiner is an example of how fortunate Maynooth University students are to have a convenient counselling waiting list. After a failed promise to receive counselling by her doctor, Glavin turned to her college’s counselling service and was put on a waiting list for three months until she was given an appointment for a CIPC counsellor (Counseling in Primary Care).
For Maynooth University students, the max wait time for an appointment if there’s space, which there usually is according to the counselling service, is 5 – 7 days. Keeping in mind that there may be clashes with timetables and appointment availability. However the university’s counselling service seemed more than happy to make availability for me when I called them to clarify this for first time goers.
Alternatively, students could use their drop in service if they do not wish to make an appointment. As for appointments, the way the service works is a student will come in for their first appointment, the initial assessment, which is 30 minutes long. Here is when the counsellor will decide if the student needs further counselling and if they do, future sessions will be an hour long.
The counselling service is also extremely flexible in terms of visits. It doesn’t require students to commit to a particular amount of sessions. When a problem is solved, a problem is solved and the student can call their counsellor and tell them everything is fine again.
The counselling service is open Monday to Friday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. They are closed for lunch each day from 1:00pm – 2:00 pm and can be contacted at 01 708 3554.