Mental health aid: ‘Studenterrådgivningen’ offers counselling services in English
Transitioning into life as an international student in Haderslev is sure to be exciting, fun and challenging all at the same time. If you find yourself in need of support at this time or at any point over the course of your studies, free counselling services are only a phone call away.
“Stress, exam anxiety, problems with motivation or focus, social problems, loneliness, family issues…” Martin Clausen, counsellor with Studenterrådgivningen, lists the problems that the Student Counselling Service can help with. Basically, he explains, any issues that affect or interfere with student life are eligible for free counselling. Which, when you are a student, is pretty much any kind of social or psychological problem at all.
For more than 50 years, Studenterrådgivningen (the Student Counselling Service) has helped students thrive in their studies. The national institution, founded in 1964 under the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, offers a range of services to all students in Higher Education, mainly one-to-one counselling with qualified psychologists and social workers.
To access counselling you simply call in to book an appointment. Under normal circumstances you would be able to opt for a face-to-face consultation — the nearest Studenterrådgivning office is in Kolding. However, due to Covid-19, counselling is currently offered via Skype or phone only.
A consultation lasts 50–60 minutes and is completely confidential. Depending on the severity and type of problem a student has sought help for, they receive several sessions with a counsellor. “Many students feel helped after 1–3 consultations,” explains Martin Clausen. “If they need further help, we can direct them to resources in their local area such as a psychologist or their GP.”
Martin has plenty experience counselling international students and, like the majority of his 50 colleagues across the country, is happy to offer counselling in English.
”The challenges of international students are like those of Danish students, but amplified,” explains Martin. “For instance, a Danish student who has enrolled in a university far away from their hometown may feel lonely for not having friends and family close by. This is also the case with international students, only their social network could be thousands of miles away.”
International students typically leave their home countries full of anticipation and with high expectations of what the experience of studying abroad will be like. “It can be difficult for internationals to be open and honest with family and friends back home about feelings of loneliness, sadness etc. when expectations of living abroad may have been quite different,” Martin says.
Happily, free and accessible help is at the ready. It is easier to access counselling services from Studenterrådgivningen than from a psychologist practicing locally, as no GP referral is needed and waiting times are likely to be shorter, too.
Studenterrådgivningen tries to keep waiting times below 4 weeks. “At the moment there isn’t any waiting time so you could phone in and get an appointment for the same day, but this is likely to change as we progress into autumn,” Martin reckons.
How to get help:
Call +45 70 26 75 00. Opening hours are 9am-12pm on all weekdays. When you call, explain that you require counselling services in English so that the secretary can book you in with an English-speaking counsellor.
Find out more about Studenterrådgivningens services at srg.dk/en
Note! If you are experiencing a mental health emergency such as suicidal thoughts, please contact your General Practitioner or the psychiatric emergency ward http://www.psykiatrienisyddanmark.dk/wm514426
By Lisbeth Burich