Staff Counselling

Video appointments on Microsoft Teams

We now offer video appointments on Microsoft Teams. This is an option that we may offer at your assessment. We have set out a list of FAQs to help with any queries you may have.

Why use Microsoft Teams?

We have chosen Microsoft Teams for its high level of data security (data is encrypted in transit and at rest) and it is available to all University of Edinburgh students and staff. 

Will you be sending me an invite with a link for my appointment?

We do not send out calendar invites – your counsellor will call you directly via your Microsoft Teams account. Please ensure you are logged into your MS Teams account at the time of your appointment.

How do I access Microsoft Teams?

All staff at the University have Microsoft Teams linked to their email account.  You just need to login to your Teams account and wait for the counsellor to contact you.  Follow this link to everything you need to know Microsoft Teams Information.

How do I prepare for my session?

It is a good idea to make sure you are somewhere private where you feel able to talk openly for the appointment, which will be for approximately 45 minutes.

It is important you are logged into Microsoft Teams via your University email address so your counsellor can call you. For support with setting up and using Microsoft Teams please see this link: Help With MS Teams

Please only contact us via Staff.Counsellor@ed.ac.uk (please don't use the chat function on MS Teams as this will not be checked).

What can I expect to happen on the day?

The counsellor will call you on the day and time arranged (only pre-arranged contact will occur through Microsoft Teams) unless you contact us to say the time is not convenient. 

The counsellor will call you from a secure environment, free of being overheard and overlooked.  The Counsellor will also set their status to ‘do not disturb’ so that there will no interruptions during the session.

The session will be for approximately 45 minutes.

The counsellor will also discuss arrangements should the connection fail at any time.

My appointment has been confirmed and I am logged into Microsoft Teams but I haven't received a call

You may have turned on your 'do not disturb' facility which means the counsellor is unable to contact you.  If you are online and don't receive a call on Teams please email staff.counsellor@ed.ac.uk.

What if I cannot access Microsoft Teams, what can I do?

If there is any reason why you cannot access your account, do not have a good enough internet connection or cannot be in a private space for the appointment please let us know a soon as possible by emailing staff.counsellor@ed.ac.uk so that we can look into alternative options. 

Can I wait for a face-to-face appointment?

It is inadvisable to wait if you are in need of support now.  Although we are working towards being able to offer face-to-face sessions we cannot guarantee when this might be or what capacity we will have.

Can I use the phone function of Microsoft Teams, instead of video?

You can choose to use audio only if you wish, if so please let us know so that the counsellor knows what your preference is.

I prefer Zoom, instead of Microsoft Teams - can I choose?

Due to high standards of data security and the nature of counselling the University only supports the use of Microsoft Teams for this purpose.

Why is it not possible to use the chat function

Counsellors do not check their chat as standard and so may miss any important communications from you, you must send all communication though staff.counsellor@ed.ac.uk  Also, for confidentiality, security and data protection reasons the chat function is less secure.

My internet connection isn't stable - what are my options?

If you do not have a stable internet connection just let us know so that we can offer you telephone appointments . 

How many sessions do you offer on Microsoft Teams?

The platform by which the support is offered does not affect the number of sessions you are offered, so this would be the same if it was by telephone, Microsoft Teams or face-to-face.