The Progression of Online Counselling
Students are expected to be happy, having the time of their life with a growing sense of independence. But what if this is not always the case? University life receives a lot of media attention with endless portrayals of how life should be as a student.
The Education Sector Manager of Endsleigh has called for this ‘carefree’ image of students to be dropped. Transition to university as a student can be a difficult time for many. The images of long parties, consistent happiness and a carefree life isolate those that are not experiencing these feelings.
The online platforms that so many students are familiar with are to be turned around and used to encourage people to open up about their concerns. The case for using online counselling services is strong. So long as the digital streams used are ‘proven to be as private and secure as face-to-face counselling’ it is believed that partaking in online sessions would hugely encourage students to seek help.
PlusGuidance.com is an online agent that puts those in need of counselling in touch with their ideal counsellor. There is security, privacy and anonymity offered.
“By making access to counsellors immediate, online and confidential (with the option of anonymity), we are removing the biggest barriers that most people face when considering counselling: lengthy waiting lists and process, geographical restriction, embarrassment and fear of being judged.” says CEO Nathaniel Smithies.
This service is immediately available and from the comfort of their own homes or rooms. This avoids the lengthy waiting lists that we are all too familiar with. The counsellors are working in an area that the student ‘already lives’ – the digital era.
Ged Flynn, Chief Executive at Papyrus, a leading charity in suicide prevention in young people, has said ‘it’s not about traditional or right when it comes to getting counselling, it’s about what is right for the person needing the service.’
Online counselling is seen as a welcome addition to the current counselling services that are already in place, especially given the huge demands we see the NHS face with budget cuts but an increased demand. Communication is the most important factor, not the medium that it takes.