Deputy Director (Head of Counselling & Wellbeing Team)
Ruth Unsworth has worked in Student Services for the past ten years and has responsibility for Counselling and Wellbeing Services. The service has recently undergone an internal review and as a result we are trialling a Matched Care system. Ruth is responsible for the three teams that comprise Matched Care:
Life and Wellbeing
The teams provide a range of evidence based interventions designed to help students overcome or manage the problems that are affecting their experience of University. The principles behind our Matched Care approach include endeavouring to provide reasonable access to the growing number of students seeking these services, and promoting the autonomy and independence of students by collaborating with each student to agree the most appropriate but least intensive intervention.
This semester, Ruth is supporting the trial of online appointments which provide direct access to Counsellors for a single session therapeutic conversation and to the Mental Health Coordinator for a conversation about access to NHS care for those with a mental health diagnosis. http://universitystandrewsstudentservices.simplybook.me/v2/#book/service/1/provider/5/
In total Life and Wellbeing Advisers, Counsellors and Mental health Coordinators offer over 350 appointments each week during semester.
Each semester, Ruth supports the development of a Wellbeing Programme; a series of talks, workshops and groups designed to inform and assist students help themselves or their friends as they navigate University life. Ruth has additionally sought to improve accessibility to web-based resources, and has been instrumental in facilitating University access to the CBT guided self-help programme, Silvercloud. She has expanded library resources to cover a comprehensive range of problems experienced by students, so that there are now a large number of self-help books and E-Books available.
Ruth has worked with students and colleagues in mental health promotion events for several years, and continues to support the development of these events.
Ruth was involved in setting up Volunteer Zambia, a leadership development project that works with students and other University departments to enhance the pupil experience of a small primary school in a remote village in Kazemba, Zambia.
Ruth is particularly interested in how students can draw upon their range of strengths in order to overcome the difficulties they may experience during their time at the University of St Andrews, thus equipping them to respond with resilience to similar future difficulties after University. Ruth is an Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist BABCP