Case Studies

The University of Sheffield's Counselling Service provides students with an opportunity to talk in confidence with fully-trained counselling specialists.

We have helped many of our students deal with difficulties or worries that are affecting them, offering emotional support or assisting them in finding appropriate ways of coping.

Here are three stories our students have shared of how the University's Counselling Service has helped them.

Georgia Speechley, 19, BSc in Psychology

Georgia Speechley"The University has supported me an unexpected amount. I was scared that moving to university would cause me to become just a number with a series of corresponding grades meaning my disability - an anxiety disorder - would go unnoticed and unsupported. However, the services at the University of Sheffield make me feel as though I am more than a number and they treat me as an individual in comparison to a disordered case.

"The support I receive is firstly a friendly face to talk to each week; I have an education mentor that helps me to ensure my disorder doesn’t interfere with my ability to achieve my potential. She helps me with many things including planning and prioritising, as I tend to stress and panic about getting everything done all at once, as well as supporting me in communicating within group projects and within seminars.

"As well as this I have received special software on my laptop which helps me to focus and organise myself. I have also received support from the university health service and they have been brilliant at listening to me and sign-posting or referring me to other services that might be able to help me. I think I am well catered for because support services here really care about what I need and nothing is too small of an issue, I am treated as an individual and the support I receive is tailored around me and not just typical anxiety related symptoms.

"Student well-being is vital as it helps us to be able to work at our best potential but also ensures we are happy, we do not feel as though we are just numbers and that we grow as people too. I think that universities really care about students on a personal level and the support services that they offer reflect that perfectly. I would definitely recommend the services here as they have definitely given me a piece of mind and are easy to access."

Helena Kaldre, 37, PhD student in Archaeology

Helena"I came to Sheffield from Estonia in 2012 with the ambitious goal to write my PhD in three years. Everything seemed easy, I was happy to find Sheffield was a friendly and student-focused city and a wonderful place to live. But life doesn`t always go as planned and the initial three years have almost doubled up.

"During my study years I have faced all kinds of different problems in my personal lifethat have had a direct effect on my mental and physical wellbeing. Being a single mother, facing financial and relationship problems and at times struggling with staying motivated with my research has caused me to battle with depression and anxiety. Being away from the supportive system of family and close friends hasn`t helped either.

"Luckily I have a very understanding supervisor and some of the GPs at the University Health Centre are just wonderful. They also work closely with the University Counselling Service through which I got into one-to- one counselling quickly and easily. I believe that without my GP and my counsellor at the UCS I would have probably quit my goals, packed my bags and returned home without my degree. But instead I am now looking positivey into the very near future to hand in my thesis.

"I would highly recommend any student having wellbeing problems to talk to their GP or someone at UCS directly and ask for help. These people have the experience in dealing with a range of issues that students at all levels face and they can help you to tackle the problems so that you can continue with the studies with more self-belief, confidence and happiness." 

Greg Clixby, 27, PhD in Chemistry

Gregory"I've used the University's Disability and Dyslexia Support Service and the University Counselling Service for several reasons during my time studying at the University of Sheffield and have been incredibly grateful of the support I've received. As well as overall support, the team have given me guidance in being able to apply for things such as the disabled student allowance, which was something I didn't even know existed prior to starting at Sheffield.

"Through talking to staff I've been offered support in a range of areas, including the counseling service when things have been difficult. I suffer from Asperger syndrome so can sometimes find University life tricky, but the service listened to my concerns and helped put in place specific mentoring and study skills support, which have played a big role in helping me with my studies.

"The pressures on students can be really tough at times and more students than ever across the UK seem in need of services to help with wellness and well being, so it's crucial the right infrastructure is in place for students at their own university.

"At Sheffield the service has offered me a confidential place to go for a chat and advice if I'm not sure where to turn and I've always ended up with the support I've needed, so I would 100 per cent recommend it to other students.

"Going to university if a real journey. Students learn not just about their areas of study but also valuable life skills. If something in their lives is impacting on them in some way it can really make university a negative experience so the right support is incredibly important."