The Therapy Company provides support to students affected by Hurricane Irma.

Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma last autumn, more than 700 students and staff from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) in Sint Maarten arrived in Preston last October to continue their studies at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

AUC students utilised the University’s academic facilities for teaching, and students and staff have been accommodated in numerous halls of residence and houses within Preston City Centre. To assist some of the students experiencing trauma from the hurricane, as we all cope with exam stress and adjust to life in Preston, The Therapy Company has been providing counselling services to a number of AUC students. Their work complements AUC’s own wellness services, providing students and faculty with comprehensive support.

A team of 4 counsellors from The Therapy Company who specialise in providing a range of treatments from qualified therapists covering the whole spectrum of mind, body and wellbeing, have treated 22 individuals from AUC, dealing with a range of psychological issues over the course of numerous therapy sessions.

Diane Ogden, Director at The Therapy Company commented, “We’re delighted to have been selected by UCLan to support the students from AUC. We have utilised a range of support mechanisms such as counselling, trauma therapy (EMDR) and cognitive behaviour therapy to help them overcome the stress they are experiencing. We have been accommodated by UCLan at their premises, and AUC team have been very understanding and appreciative of our input.”

Professor Mike Thomas, UCLan Vice-Chancellor, commented, “The huge logistical feat of evacuating the students and university staff was organised in just nine days and came about because of the AUC’s links with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS trust, where it sends students on work placements each year. It has been a real privilege to be able to assist the displaced students and their families and enable them to continue their medical studies.”

The Therapy Company will continue to provide counselling services until the spring/summer when AUC plans to fully return to the Caribbean.

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