COVID-19 Student Support - information for advisors
Page last updated on 2nd September 2020.
Supporting students through this difficult time can be challenging for advisors. Do remember however your students are communicating, their language could be due to feelings of anxiety.
Please bear in mind that online comms are tricky to get right, those on the receiving end have a tendency to interpret written messages as more negative than they may have been intended. If at all possible a voice or facetime call works much better. If you do not have time for this try and convey your message in a positive way e.g.
‘I am happy to say that’
When having conversations with students be mindful that they may not have the privacy to have a fully open dialogue. If you sense that a student might like to say more but is being hindered by their situation you may;
1) Ask them to consider taking a walk and calling you back
2) Switch to using the chat function so you are not asking them to give responses aloud.
3) Follow up your conversation with an e-mail outlining support that is currently available.
The following sections list some of the support available to students during the pandemic. The list is not exhaustive, information will be added as we move to different stages of the pandemic and respond to feedback from students and staff.
The Queen Mary Coronavirus advice and updates website provides the latest information regarding available support for students and staff.
Counsellors in the Advice and Counselling Service are currently offering appointments online. If students are based in the UK, they will now be offering online counselling sessions, either one off or brief counselling contracts, using video or audio calling software. They can also offer wellbeing checks and phone support to students who are currently residing overseas.
In terms of welfare advice, the advisers are now able to offer students appointments using MS Teams (or the phone) in much the same way as usual. Because Advice and Counselling are reliant on so many offline (paper) files, they won’t be able to do quite as much for students as they would were they in the office (e.g. being able to advocate directly for students), but the advisers will explain to students the parameters of what they can do.
As such, please continue to direct students to the Advice and Counselling webform and their frontline team will respond. The COVID-19 and your wellbeing web page includes lots of information about services and resources supporting mental health and wellbeing at this time.
DDS are offering a business as usual service to students, albeit one delivered via MS Teams, Skype and Zoom. Student Support Summaries will continue to be generated via MySIS; appointments for advice, study skills and specialist mentoring are all being run us usual. The only activity that DDS have stopped, at least for the time being, is referrals for dyslexia or dyspraxia diagnostic assessments. These have to be done in person and with the current government advice about social distancing, we are unable to offer this particular strand of support.
Although the St Benet's chaplaincy and other campus prayer and contemplation spaces are currently closed, the Reverent Ella Sharples is available to chat with at 07740-547-689 or at email@example.com. The Student Life team can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library Teaching and Learning is providing additional academic study skills support during this time by offering virtual office hours through Microsoft Teams. Taught students can ask questions and receive advice related to their academic study in areas including: revision and exam preparation, academic integrity, time management and motivation.
Virtual Office Hours: 09:00 – 13:00, Monday to Thursday. Available through Microsoft Teams: Contact Olu Popoola, Academic Skills Coordinator: email@example.com.
Personalised support for students with specific questions around writing development and assignments is available through 1-2-1 tutorials, which can be up to one hour. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Faculty Librarians continue to offer information literacy and research support through an online enquiries service. This can include one-to-one support or bespoke sessions for specific student groups. The Library Subject Guides website provides further information.
If students are affected by any incident of hate, or they experience difficulties such as relationship or familial abuse at all, especially during this period of social distancing, please encourage them to seek support and contact Report & Support. Please note that if students make a report and request contact from a member of staff, they may be offered a phone appointment or email liaison rather than a face to face appointment until further notice.
Student Enquiry Centre
The Student Enquiry Centre are responding to email enquiries. Students can email directly (email@example.com) or submit an enquiry through their MySIS account (SEC Online). There are some services that have been temporarily suspended. These include degree certificate production, issuing replacement student ID cards and hardcopy official documentation with a stamp or seal. For further information please direct students to the Student Enquiry Centre website.
Although the Student Health Service premises at Mile End had to close, the GPs and administrators are working from the main site of Globe Town Surgery. Globe Town Surgery premises are open but there is 'controlled' access i.e. appointments only, triaged and checked for COVID-19 symptoms. For registered students most services are available online or through Globe Town Surgery, whereas new students can register online. For more information please visit Student Health or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for practical or social support during the Covid-19 outbreak is available via Mutual Aid Groups.
Covid-19 Mutual Aid Local Groups are small groups of people setting up independently in communities to support vulnerable people in their local area through the outbreak.
For self-isolating students support may be available through their local boroughs/councils. The contact details for practical support for all London Boroughs are below.
Phone: 020 8604 7787
Phone: 0800 368 5201 - Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm. Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm.
Phone: 020 7527 8222
Phone: 020 7926 2999 - 8am - 8pm everyday