Student Support Services

We have many different support services on offer to ensure that you receive the best possible experience whilst studying at West Lothian College.

Covid-19 student support  

There are a range of student support measures in place to support you during this period. You can fund information on them below.

Student support team

Our student support team are still working throughout the summer. Some of the services provided include:

  • Conversations about dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism or any other specific learning difficulty
  • Discussions with care experienced students/ applicants or young carers to let them know what additional support they can access
  • Meeting with students/ applicants to carry out needs assessments and create a support plan
  • Working with lecturers to plan support for students/ applicants
  • Helping students/ applicants studying/ applying for a course at H.E level apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) applications
  • Discussing support with students/ applicants who have anxiety, or difficulties with their mental health
  • Responding to any other enquiries which relate to support, concerns or worries a student might have

Please email supportlearning@west-lothian.ac.uk for any help, support, guidance or even just a chat. 

Togetherall professional support

West Lothian College students going through a tough time can also access free online support with Togetherall. You will have access to a 24/7 online global community and professional support from trained professionals.

To get access during the summer break email supportlearning@west-lothian.ac.uk.

More info on Togetherall is available below.

Emergency support

If you are struggling with your mental health or have suicidal thoughts and require immediate attention please contact your doctor, NHS111 or one of the organisations listed here.  

Other useful support and guidance

Read the SAMH guidance on Coronavirus and your mental wellbeing here: www.samh.org.uk/about-mental-health/self-help-and-wellbeing/coronavirus-and-your-mental-wellbeing

SAMH have also put together a directory of support for students here: SAMH Mental Health Support

You can find a full list of useful organisations who can provide help and support here. Please be aware some of these organisations may be operating under amended opening hours due to the current situation.

The Student Support Team

Our Student Support Team are available to help you with any additional support you may need for your studies whilst at college.

We work with students across the college in all centres, providing help with all learning issues. Students can access one-to-one support or help in small groups. There is also support available for you if you have specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, a medical difficulty, a mental health difficulty or any other support need. In order to ensure you receive the best assistance possible our Student Support Team will meet with you to discuss what support you need and how we can help you.

Free counselling service

We have launched our new counselling service at the college. If you are a student, this free service is available to you and you can get up to six counselling sessions with a qualified counsellor who is a BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) member. The sessions will initially be offered on-line through Microsoft Teams where you can choose to talk via video, audio calls or by messaging. To access this service please e-mail student support services on counsellingservice@west-lothian.ac.uk. A counsellor will then contact you to arrange an appointment.

To find out more about our counsellors and the service read our introduction to the counsellors.

Personal Matters and Advice

We are here to help you with all aspects of college life and give you both practical and emotional support. We are fully committed to providing support or making referral to agencies who can help you if you have any difficulties during your studies. We believe that inclusiveness is a fundamental principle and we are committed to widening access and participation for all students.

We also provide support if you are at at risk of withdrawing from your course. This could be due to problems in class, with other students, with lecturers or because of difficulties at home. This support can begin before you start your course to help you settle in, and can continue if you require it on a one to one basis or within class throughout the year. It is recognised that some students may experience personal difficulties during their time at college, such as homelessness, bereavement, changes to your mental or physical health, and issues with your confidence and self-esteem. A confidential service is available, where trained and experienced staff can offer you advice and support. Where appropriate and with your consent, you could be referred to an external agency for specialist support. We work with a range of support services who can provide specialist help and information. We are also happy to work alongside your lecturers or any other professional you are involved with, to ensure the best support possible is in place for you.

If you are struggling with any issues whilst you are at college or would just like to talk things through, please don't hesitate to get in touch by visiting us in the Street Building.

Our Student Support Officer will work with you to resolve any issues which are affecting your attendance. Please contact the team if you need to take time off for any reason.

Chaplaincy Team

A Team is available to offer spiritual guidance and practical support, or to simply listen. West Lothian College also offers non-denominational prayer spaces for personal worship that students and staff can make use of as required. If you would like to make use of prayer spaces for daily observances, or for more specific religious events, the college will be happy to try and accommodate your needs.

Information about prayer spaces and The Chaplaincy Team is available from the Student Support Team in the Street Building.

Carers

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a family member or friend who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction problem, cannot cope without their support.

If you care for a family member, partner, friend or neighbour of any age please share this with us and we will be able to arrange the appropriate support that you will require while studying at West Lothian College. This will help us to arrange any extra support we can give you which will help you have a positive learning experience and resolve any issues which might arise whilst you are a student.

We have a team of staff who support students with various needs. If you are a carer, the two named staff who you should contact initially are:

Helen Wilson hwilson@west-lothian.ac.uk 

Lorna Jenkins ljenkins@west-lothian.ac.uk 

You can meet Helen and Lorna and discuss what being a carer means for you and what we can do to support you and ensure you can access college and have a good experience. If we know about your caring responsibilities we can be much more flexible with you in relation to attendance, time-keeping and submission dates. We will work alongside lecturers to ensure they are aware of the additional responsibilities you have.

We also work with Carers of West Lothian so if you are in touch with them, they could join you at an initial meeting with us. If you’re not already receiving support from Carers of West Lothian or you want to know more about what they do, here is a link which gives more information on the advice and services which they provide: http://carers-westlothian.com/

Email: office@carers-westlothian.com | Tel: 01506 448000

Here you can find info on support for carers both in West Lothian and other regions of Scotland: http://www.careinfoscotland.scot/topics/support-for-carers/carer-centres

Young Scot also provide support and a Young Carers Package which includes digital vouchers, access to subscriptions and exclusive opportunities– click on this link for more information: https://young.scot/get-informed/national/young-carers-package

If you are thinking about coming to College and would like to have a chat about support and what we can do to help you, please get in touch by emailing SupportLearning@west-lothian.ac.uk.

You can read more about the support available in our Carers Policy.

Also keep a look out on our College Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for news, updates and events for Carers.

Students from a care-experienced background

If you come from a care-experienced background (you are or have been in care, looked after or are a care-leaver), we have staff who are trained to understand your needs and we can offer tailored support.

For more information on any student support services mentioned or if you would like to discuss these, please contact the student support team on the first floor of the Street Building. 

You can find information about bursaries for care-experienced students in further education here.

You can find information about bursaries for care-experienced students in higher education here.

Equality & Diversity

For information on Equality and Diversity, please visit our Equality and Diversity page

ICT Support

We are aware that not everyone studying at West Lothian College will have a working knowledge of computers. With that in mind, you can find out more about tackling computers and getting online with our Introduction to ICT online guide.

External Support Services

We work closely with a range of groups and external organisations to provide you with support required. The agencies can offer specialist advice and support in a range of issues including mental health, drug & alcohol support, homelessness, counselling and victim support. 

Togetherall 

West Lothian College students going through a tough time can access free online support with Togetherall. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or unable to cope,Togetherall can help you get support, take control and feel better.

You will have access to a 24/7 online global community and professional support from trained professionals. Togetherall provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings, get creative and learn how to self-manage your mental health and wellbeing.

On Togetherall, you are totally anonymous to other members in the community, and your personal information is kept secure while you are on the site (see Togetherall’s privacy statement here). West Lothian College will not be informed if you’ve signed up to Togetherall or know of your activity on the service unless they are seriously concerned about your safety.

Most members report feeling better and more able to cope with their workloads as a result of using the service and nearly 90% use Togetherall outside of 9-5pm.

To join us, simply go to https://account.v2.togetherall.com/register and sign up under ‘organisation’ with your academic e-mail address.

Other external support services

To find out more about student support services available at West Lothian College email supportlearning@west-lothian.ac.uk