Staff helpline & counselling service

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Staff helpline: 0800 028 1947

If you're looking for a practical way forward to a problem, feel free to use this confidential helpline.

The staff helpline and counselling service is provided by an independent external provider, Health Assured and is a means for all staff and their immediate families to access practical help, information, advice and support to address and resolve problems and issues they may be facing at home or at work. The service is free, independent, confidential and available 24 hours a day.

Health Assured is the leading Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider in the UK dealing with many of the UK’s leading organisations across private, public and non-profit sectors. They have vast experience and a proven track record in delivering innovative and robust solutions which benefit employees.

Balancing everyday life together with the requirements of work and home can create pressures for all of us. To assist you in achieving this balance, Health Assured’s qualified staff can help you find practical ways forward when you feel overwhelmed by problems. The advisors are highly trained to quickly find what you need and help you get back in control of your life.

You may wish to use this service for independent advice on a range of issues that may be affecting you at any one time. You may also wish to utilise this service for access to telephone or face to face counselling. To help provide an overview on what is covered in this provision, we have put together the below guide to provide practical advice and information.

How could counselling help me?

Counselling is a type of talking therapy that allows you to talk about your problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment. This may be for a one off concern or for an issue that requires a series of conversations. It can provide a safe space for you to talk and explore difficult feelings. The counsellor is there to support you and respect your views. They will not usually give advice, but will help you to find your own insight and understanding of your problems.
Please note that the counselling service is fully inclusive of sexual orientation issues, including instances of homophobic and biphobic bullying.

What happens when I call the helpline?

When you phone Health Assured, you will be greeted by music followed by a recorded message explaining that you are through to the University of Sheffield Health Assured employee assistance helpline and that your call will be treated as confidential. You will then hear some music while your call is directed to one of the telephone advisers or counsellors.

How do I access face to face counselling?

During your initial telephone call, your suitability for counselling will be considered by the telephone counsellor and you will be given more information about the most appropriate plan for you. This could be telephone counselling or face to face counselling appointments.

The number of sessions you receive will vary depending on your presenting issue and progress however you may have up to 8 counselling sessions, per issue, per annum. If another form of help would seem to be more appropriate, the counsellor will discuss other options and point you in the right direction.

The counsellor is there to support you and respect your views. They will not usually give advice, but will help you to find your own insight and understanding of your problems whether these be personal difficulties or work-related issues.

Where do face to face counselling sessions take place?

You are asked in the initial call, where you are based and could travel to, this is to facilitate the most appropriate local counsellor to place you with. All subsequent counselling sessions will take place with the same counsellor, at the same location, unless notified of any changes once the series of sessions are underway. Sessions will take place at a mutually convenient time.

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What happens in a face to face counselling session?

The initial meeting usually involves contracting and initial enquiry and introduction, as well as housing an opportunity for you to ask any questions so that you are comfortable with the structure of the sessions. Throughout your sessions the counsellor is there to support you and respect your views. They will not usually give advice, but will help you to find your own insight and understanding of your problems whether these be personal difficulties or work-related issues.

I have a protected characteristic, is this service applicable to me?

Please note that the helpline is inclusive to all those individuals with a protected characteristic, for example it is applicable to sexual orientation issues, including homophobic bullying and harassment. Health Assured is a member of the Diversity Champions programme, run by lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity Stonewall.

I am deaf/hard of hearing, can I access counselling?

If you are unable to access the counselling service via telephone, you can submit a self-referral form via email.  Health assured will then match you to a counsellor within the next 3-5 business days.  You can find the referral form in the 'downloads' section on the right hand side of this page.

Will there be any feedback to third parties?

Due to this being an independent and confidential service, your information and anything you discuss in sessions is treated as personal sensitive data, and will only be shared with the University with your consent.

Can my family access this service?

Immediate family members such as spouses, partners and children aged 16-24 in full time education, living in the same household can access welfare advice and counselling (legal support is exempt here).

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Is there a way to access this resource online?

Health Assured website is an online resource containing engaging and useful information and advice. To access the Health Assured website visit

Once you have entered the site you will be prompted for the below login details:

Username: Sheffield
Password: University

Topics covered include:

• Emotional Support
Informative factsheets and invaluable advice, video presentations by a leading counselling supervisor.
• Fitness Advice
Easy to follow fitness exercises and complete programmes with video guides - delivered by the UK's leading fitness professionals.
• Personal Coaching
Questionnaire giving invaluable feedback and advice on all health, stress and relationship matters.
• Health Assessment
Online health assessment providing healthy eating plans, stress plans, eating diaries, nutrition diary and much more.
• Medical Factsheets
Specialist medical factsheets offer detailed yet easy to understand medical information at the click of a mouse.

Health Assured also have a Mobile App, which is free for you as an employee to use - please go to the App store and search for ‘Health e-Hub’, to download to your own device. This app offers proactive wellbeing measures from the palm of your hand.

Can this service help me with my financial wellbeing?

The helpline service can help you with a wide range of financial problems and issues, for example:

  • Organising your finances
  • Dealing with debt
  • Budgeting
  • Investments
  • Taxes
  • Housing - mortgages, renting
Can this service help provide legal advice?

The helpline service can help you with a wide range of legal problems and issues, for example:

  • Wills
  • Consumer issues
  • Insurance claims
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Housing - house purchases
Is there anyone I can contact for more information on this service?

This is a confidential service, so you may wish to call the helpline directly for any personal enquiries.

If you do have any questions about the service itself, you are welcome to email for further information. Where possible Juice may be able to provide posters and leaflets for staff to take away, and for promotion in your local area.