Durham students of colour to have access to “culturally-appropriate” counselling

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Students of colour at Durham will be able to access “culturally-appropriate” counselling in a new partnership between Durham University’s counselling service and Black-led charity, Nilaari.

In a statement published on its website, the University said: “We are pleased to announce that the Counselling & Mental Health Service is forming a partnership agreement with Nilaari. This partnership means that students of colour at Durham will be able to access culturally-appropriate talking therapy directly from this group”.

The charity, which is also used by Bristol University, aims to “reach out to People of Colour” and work towards “redressing the acknowledged under-representation of these groups in primary services”, according to their website. 

Durham University’s counselling service experienced a 39% increase in the number of appointments attended in 2019-20, as a result of Covid-19. 10.1% of students were known to the University Counselling Service in 2019-20. However, it is unknown how many BAME students accessed the service because students are not required to specify their ethnicity when self-referring to counselling.

“It’s incredibly important that people of colour at university can access counselling services that are able to identify issues that people of colour predominantly face”

DPOCA

Commenting on the partnership, Durham People of Colour Association (DPOCA), which has previously campaigned for councillors of colour to be employed by the University’s counselling service and “a network of councillors of colour to tackle the racial trauma”, told Palatinate: “It’s great to see the partnership between our University’s counselling service and Nilaari.

“It’s incredibly important that people of colour at university can access counselling services that are able to identify issues that people of colour predominantly face and the adverse impact this can have on their welfare. 

“We are looking forward to seeing a more holistic approach towards counselling services for students of colour and know this will be beneficial and highly appreciated.” 

More information about how to access the Nilaari Service will be available at the start of Michaelmas term.

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