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Counselling Service

About

Mary Immaculate College provides a professional Counselling Service available to all students, free of charge during the academic year. We are currently offering a blended service of online and on-campus in-person therapy sessions. Whilst some students only need one or two session to address their issues, we are able to offer students contracts of up to six online or face-to face counselling sessions, generally weekly with each session lasting up to 50 mins. We also run a range of support groups, workshops, talks and well-being courses for students.

General Information

One-to-One Counselling support

The service here at MIC provides all students with the opportunity to talk in a confidential* setting about any issues which they may not feel comfortable discussing with anyone else. A counselling relationship is one of warmth and safety, where a student feels supported and listened to.

Support is provided for many issues, such as: Stress, panic/anxiety attacks, crisis pregnancy, loneliness, eating disorders, bereavement, exam stress, post-abortion, depression, relationships, sexual/emotional/physical abuse, gender issues, bullying, confidence/self-esteem issues, feeling suicidal, family issues, addictive behaviours, and others.

Students can make an appointment in the following ways:

MIC Limerick

Our team of counsellors are available to offer you support, online or in-person, Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm. The Counselling Service is located in rooms T311 & T312 on the third floor of the TARA building along the corridor from the Medical Centre.

1. By calling to ‘Drop-In’:

Drop-In is an hour set aside daily where you can call up to the Counselling Service without an appointment to meet  one of the counsellors  for an informal chat and arrange subsequent sessions if needed. 

Drop-In is 11.30 am-1pm, Monday to Friday in rooms  T311/ T312 

2. By Email: If you are not on campus or this drop-in time doesn’t suit your timetable you can email: counselling@mic.ul.ie to arrange a time for an initial meeting on campus or via TEAMS.

 

MIC Thurles

See email and phone contacts below.

 

Are you unsafe or in a Suicidal Crisis/Emergency out of hours?

It is very important that you keep yourself safe so, if you feel increasingly at risk please reach out to gain support and contact immediately:

  • Your GP
  • Free Text: MIC to 50808 (Text 50808 is a 24/7 Crisis Text Line where you can engage via text with a trained volunteer)
  • Pieta House: Freephone 1800 247 247 or Text HELP to 5144
  • If your life is in imminent danger, please call 999.

Other supports include:

  • Shannondoc: 0818 123 500
  • A&E dept.for mental health crisis: 061 301 111
  • The Samaritans: (Free-call) 116 123
  • AWARE: 1800 804 848
  • Rape Crisis: 1800 311 511

 

Confidentiality

The Counselling Service operates within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by accredited professional associations (IACP, IAHIP, ICP). This means that nothing you talk about is disclosed to anyone outside of the service/supervision process without your expressed permission, except in exceptional circumstances regarding safety/at risk situations, the disclosure of on-going or past child abuse, or if records are subpoenaed by law.

Contact
MIC Limerick
Monday-Friday: Paula Seth
+353 61 204300 / +353 85 8775827
Contact
Counselling Service, MIC Thurles
Monday-Friday: Fiona O'Dwyer
+353 504 32033 / +353 87 9088710
Text MIC to 50808 for support 24/7 for any concern
Text MIC to 50808 for support 24/7 for any concern

Guidelines for Online and Telephone Counselling

Protecting your own privacy

  • When a telephone/online-counselling session is offered, you will receive a call at your scheduled time or have received a link for the secure online session via Microsoft Teams. You need to be in a private location where you can speak openly without being overheard or interrupted by others to protect your own confidentiality. If you choose to be a in a place where there are people or others can hear you, your counsellor cannot be responsible for protecting your confidentiality.
  • If you feel you will not be able to access a private place to speak with a counsellor please let us know.
  • To help your privacy we suggest you wear a headset and reduce as much as possible the chance of interruptions for the duration of your scheduled appointment.

Connection Loss

  • Distractions at home can interrupt the phone call or online appointment, this could also occur for the Counsellor if they too are working remotely.
  • During Online Sessions: If we lose our connection during a Teams session, your counsellor will call you to troubleshoot the reason for lost connection. If they cannot reach you, they will remain available to you during the entire course of your scheduled session, should you manage to reconnect.
  • If the loss of connection is not resolved, you can opt to continue the session over the phone or reschedule your appointment.

Phone Sessions

  • Please ensure your phone is charged and your connection is good in advance of the session.
  • Phone connection might fail before or during the counselling session, if this occurs your counsellor will call you back twice before the assigned time ends for your session and follow up with a text if the session ends abruptly.
  • Body language, or non-verbal reactions to what you are discussing are not always picked up over the phone. For example, if you become emotional or shivering you may need to ask for the session to pause whilst you fetch a tissue or a drink, turn on the heating or get a coat. You may also feel that you need to describe your feelings, thoughts, and/or actions in more detail than you would during a face-to-face/Teams session.

Recording of Sessions

Please note that recording, screenshots etc of any kind of any session is not be permitted.

Accessing Sessions from Abroad

We would like to make our online support available to all students even when you are on Erasmus or accessing college online from your home which may not be in Ireland. We are aware however that in some countries, or in some local areas within a country, receiving online counselling is not permitted or the counsellor needs specific permission or licences which as Irish based practitioners we do not have. For example, we cannot provide online counselling to students temporarily resident in the State of California. It will be up to you to let the counselling service know if you are aware of any legal restrictions to receiving online support.

Information for Concerned Parents/Guardians

Supporting your Child

We do not offer a crisis service so if there is immediate risk to the safety of the person you are concerned about please contact your GP or the Emergency Services.

For Non-Urgent Concerns

When a young person begins their studies at MIC it can be both an exciting and challenging time for parents and guardians. Some students settle into student life quickly and you can relax knowing they are enjoying new experiences. Others may not adjust so well and in such a situation you may become concerned that they are not enjoying student life, making friends or doing well in their studies. If the young person you care for is unhappy it can leave you feeling upset and powerless to help.

There are staff at MIC who are here to support students if they are struggling in some way. The first step is to urge the young person you are concerned for to seek the appropriate College support:

  • Disability Support through the Access Office
  • Academic learning support
  • Chaplaincy
  • Medical Service
  • Student Union

Student Counselling

If your concerns are around your child’s mental and emotional well-being, then the first step is to encourage them to contact the service themselves. It is our policy to only initiate contact with a student who has already engaged with our service and NOT on the basis of a parent/guardian’s request.

If your child is unwilling to access support you can email the counselling team at counselling@mic.ul.ie  to arrange to speak to a member of staff about your concerns. Please note that apart from very exceptional circumstances, if a student attends the MIC Counselling Service  no-one outside the counselling team would know they have attended, what was discussed, and nothing will be entered on their academic or medical records. This confidentiality agreement with the student extends to parents and guardians so whilst we can listen to your concerns and offer general advice, unless agreed with the student in advance, we cannot share any information about your child, even if you only want to know if they have contacted us.

Mary Immaculate College respects students as independent adult learners and is obligated under data protection law to hold your child’s personal data confidentially. We do appreciate that this can be distressing and frustrating for parents and we aim to help within these limitations.

Online Mental Health Support

Remember that all MIC students can access free online anonymous mental health support through the Togetherall platform anytime, any day. Please encourage your child to register with their MIC email and to become familiar with the resources and peer-support available: Togetherall
 

 

 

FAQs

MIC offers a professional counselling service available to students to help you as you progress through College life.

Most personal or relationship issues can be helped through counselling; this includes self-esteem/confidence issues, exam, stress, panic/anxiety attacks, depression, feeling suicidal, family and/or relationship difficulties, sexual problems or identity issues.

It also includes adjusting to a new environment, or dealing with difficult decisions, as well as more specific problems such as addictions, eating disorders, crisis pregnancy, post-abortion, bullying, bereavement and abuse.

You can contact any one of us directly by email or phone. Sometimes people just drop in for a chat once to see how it feels and then decide whether or not to come back. It's up to you.

Counselling is not the same as giving advice. It is basically a relationship with another person where you are free to talk about issues you may not feel comfortable discussing with anyone else. This relationship will be one of warmth and safety, where you feel supported and listened to.

Yes; the service is confidential and operates within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by the PCHEI  (Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland) Code of Ethics and Practice.

This means that nothing you talk about is disclosed to anyone outside of the service without your expressed permission, except in exceptional circumstances regarding safety.

The service is free and is available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students of Mary Immaculate College.

If there's something really overwhelming you and dragging you down, please come and talk to us. That's why we're here.

Togetherall: Mental Health Online Support for MIC Students

Community, Mental Health Courses & Resources

Togetherall is a safe, anonymous, online  community for mental health support. It is a place to express yourself and support each other. You will have access to  a range of different courses on topics of concern such as anxiety, procrastination, self-harm, problems sleeping etc. There are assessment tools and articles to help you understand how you are feeling and techniques to help you manage your mental health.

Togetherall is free to all MIC Students. Just register with your academic email: 

https://togetherall.com/

 

Variety of people smiling at the camera
Togetherall: People helping people

Staff

Nessa Breen


Counsellor
Counselling Service
  • Phone: +353 61 204919
  • Email: Nessa.Breen@mic.ul.ie
  • Location: T311

Bríd O'Connell


Counsellor
Counselling Service
  • Phone: +353 61 204948
  • Email: Brid.OConnell@mic.ul.ie
  • Location: T312

Dr Paula Seth


Student Counsellor
Counselling Service
  • Email: Paula.Seth@mic.ul.ie
  • Location: T312
  • About
  • Guidelines for Online and Telephone Counselling
  • Information for Concerned Parents/Guardians
  • FAQs
  • Togetherall: Mental Health Online Support for MIC Students
  • Staff