A new student support line was introduced on campus last Tuesday by the Counselling and Personal Development Service of DCU.
Lorna Galligan, administrator of the counselling service and one of the people behind the idea said that the line was set up for three main reasons. Primarily, the line will provide students with support after 5.30pm, after the DCU counselling services have closed for the day. The line will also aim to accommodate students who study at DCU but might be away on INTRA or placement, who may not have access to the service on campus, but still, need support.
The initiative also allows anonymity for students who may not be comfortable coming to an appointment with a counsellor.
Psychotherapist Anne Dempsey from Third Age Ireland brought about the initiative, while a subgroup of volunteers from Third Age Ireland will offer their services to the helpline.
Though Galligan explained that the line offers support from trained adult volunteers who had previously worked for helplines, the volunteers received extra training focused specifically on student issues.
She said that they received further training to “really take their skills and develop them further in the context of DCU”.
The helpline will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 5.30pm and 8.30pm and is available strictly for DCU students.
Galligan said “Students in DCU should know that no issue is too small to discuss. The helpline is set up to support students no matter their problems.”
There are two numbers available to students to call for support, depending on which network students are with. The helpline is a pilot programme and will continue throughout the semester until Thursday, May 25th.
Image Credit: Zainab Boladale