Aug 10, 2021

Trinity Students Waiting 40 Days on Average for Counselling Sessions

Some 11.4 per cent of Trinity students sought support from the counselling service last year.

Emer MoreauEditor

Trinity’s counselling service has an average wait time of 40 days for follow-up appointments after their initial needs assessment, the Irish Times reported today.

Some 11.4 per cent of Trinity students sought support from the service last year.

College had been “actively working” to minimise waiting lists, which were “persistently high” during the pandemic.


Records released to the Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act show that Trinity spent €1.99 million on its counselling services during the 2020/21 academic year. This was the highest of all universities in the country.

The counselling service’s expenditure included staff pay, travel expenses, equipment and recruitment.

The average wait time for an initial needs assessment appointment was 9.6 working days, while the average wait time for a follow-up appointment was 40 working days.

Trinity told the Irish Times that it was committed to ensuring that counselling services were “readily and easily accessible by all students”. Sessional counsellors were employed during peak periods to deal with lowering waiting lists.

University College Dublin (UCD) spent €880,000 on mental health supports last year. The average wait time for an appointment in UCD’s counselling service ranged from 10 to 14 working days.

Students who felt they needed to meet a counsellor sooner than that, or who met with a GP or a student adviser who felt they would benefit from accessing counselling urgently, were given appointments in two to six working days, UCD said.

University College Cork (UCC) spent € 704,000 on mental health services, with some 3.66 per cent of the student population attending appointments. UCC has a wait of zero to 14 days. The college said there has been “no waiting list” throughout the academic year.

Maynooth University said the waiting time for the 4 per cent of students who attended counselling was “none”. Its expenditure on the service was €264,000.

Dublin City University spent €255,000 on mental health services, with 10.2 per cent of students availing of such services. The average wait for an appointment was five working days, but students “at imminent risk” were seen within 24 working hours, according to the records released to the Irish Times.

Some €537,000 was spent on counselling in NUI Galway, with an average waiting time of 4.1 days for students who sought appointments.

University of Limerick spent €406,000 on mental health services. The wait time for appointments was nine working days.

TU Dublin spent €86,462 and there was an average wait time of “less than one week” for the four per cent of students who sought counselling.

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