moistcloud
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This is really stressful so I would really appreciate any advice or information anyone can give me

I successfully firmed my offer for medicine a couple of months ago, however I have been flagged by occupational health as I do have a history of self harm that I disclosed to them. The university want to me to fill out another form as a depression and anxiety questionnaire, however I have never actually been formally diagnosed with depression or anxiety despite going to the GP for my self harm in the past (he did offer me some options however I felt that they wouldn't be right for me at the time, so after that initial appointment I chose to work on my own and have been clean for almost two years now).

After I send in the questionnaire I have a video appointment with a doctor at the university where I don't really know what questions they will ask. Ultimately I am concerned because whilst I am currently doing well, I am still worried that I will 'fail' the questionnaire or video appointment and the university will choose to rescind my offer. Can they do this? I'm so worried that they will ask to defer my entry for a year or completely reject me I feel ashamed, and choosing to go for medicine is something that actually helped me get my act together, realise what was important to me and become a better person with a better mentality so losing out on it because of a dark period of my life would be completely devastating.

Sorry for the long message/rant, but any help would be appreciated! If anyone has dealt with something similar or knows the impact of these appointments and questionnaires or what could potentially come up in them I would be so grateful!
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Droui
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(Original post by moistcloud)
This is really stressful so I would really appreciate any advice or information anyone can give me

I successfully firmed my offer for medicine a couple of months ago, however I have been flagged by occupational health as I do have a history of self harm that I disclosed to them. The university want to me to fill out another form as a depression and anxiety questionnaire, however I have never actually been formally diagnosed with depression or anxiety despite going to the GP for my self harm in the past (he did offer me some options however I felt that they wouldn't be right for me at the time, so after that initial appointment I chose to work on my own and have been clean for almost two years now).

After I send in the questionnaire I have a video appointment with a doctor at the university where I don't really know what questions they will ask. Ultimately I am concerned because whilst I am currently doing well, I am still worried that I will 'fail' the questionnaire or video appointment and the university will choose to rescind my offer. Can they do this? I'm so worried that they will ask to defer my entry for a year or completely reject me I feel ashamed, and choosing to go for medicine is something that actually helped me get my act together, realise what was important to me and become a better person with a better mentality so losing out on it because of a dark period of my life would be completely devastating.

Sorry for the long message/rant, but any help would be appreciated! If anyone has dealt with something similar or knows the impact of these appointments and questionnaires or what could potentially come up in them I would be so grateful!
Firstly huge congratulations on getting your offer.
I honestly don’t know, but I’d have thought that the uni have a duty of care to check that you’re ok in the absence of a full GP history on anxiety & depression & that’s all? I’m sure they’re not out to catch you out or anything like that.
Be yourself. You’ve come a long way and you’ve a lot to give - let them see that. I hope it goes well x
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ROTL94
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The purpose of these appointments is probably to assess what support you may need while attending university, tbh, I doubt it's to assess your suitability for the course, because that's already been evaluated hence you got the offer in the first place. You can just ask what the purpose of the appt it, but having an absense of symptoms vis a vis the self harming will look good for you no matter what.
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Turning_A_Corner
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Occupational health exists to identify any potential sources of occupational stress that could impact directly on your health, to identify any reasonable adjustments that could be made, and potentially a management plan as well.
You’ve done the right thing in disclosing your history to the OH service because they’re in a position to help you and signpost you to appropriate services, some of which may be unique to your university. My previous university had a dedicated mental health service that was specific to their student population and I was fast tracked to them via the counselling service and OH together.

What you do have to remember is that you’re doing a course that is stressful to anyone and in which you are going to be interacting with the public and being responsible for other people’s health. The university relies on the occupational health service to look after the health of its students and protect them from occupational stressors and hazards but they also have a responsibility to the public as well to make sure that the students they are sending out are fit for practice. That’s why they have an OH service. They’re not looking to kick people off the course before they even start. They’re just looking out for your interests and those of the public.
There really is no actual reason to be anxious. A bigger problem is when people don’t disclose things. If they don’t know, they can’t help you, and being able to effectively manage your own health is a huge part of fitness for practice. Engaging with the right services is a sign that you’re safely managing. Occupational health is that service and you’re engaging with it.
If you flipped it and saw someone else doing it because the stresses of the course were causing them to self harm, this would be a sign that they weren’t managing the stresses in a healthy way and they were potentially putting yourself at risk. Translate that into a situation where a person is disappearing at work to self-harm and leaving patients unmanaged (I have seen this happen) and you would know that there was a problem that needed to be unpicked. If, however, you take that same person and give them a management plan whereby they feel they can comfortably disclose to a manager or supervisor that they are struggling to cope and that they are finding a particular aspect of the workload or workplace stressful and that they may need some adjustments making, reduction in hours or time off to work on their mental health, that’s safer for them and for the people they care for. It’s no different than a person who has diabetes asking for protected time to manage their condition, a cap on their working hours or someone with kidney failure asking for time off once a week to attend their do their dialysis appointments. I have a stroke patient I’m supporting to return to work at the moment and her OH service are working closely with her to identify what aspects of her condition are going to impact on her ability to do her old job and what adjustments they can make to her duties and workplace environment to accommodate her changed state in physical and mental health and allow her to do her job safely. She won’t be doing 12 hour shifts anymore, that’s for certain, and that’s a reasonable adjustment that can be made. This is what Occupational Health is for. Please don’t be scared of it. They are there to help.
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moistcloud
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(Original post by Turning_A_Corner)
Occupational health exists to identify any potential sources of occupational stress that could impact directly on your health, to identify any reasonable adjustments that could be made, and potentially a management plan as well.
You’ve done the right thing in disclosing your history to the OH service because they’re in a position to help you and signpost you to appropriate services, some of which may be unique to your university. My previous university had a dedicated mental health service that was specific to their student population and I was fast tracked to them via the counselling service and OH together.

What you do have to remember is that you’re doing a course that is stressful to anyone and in which you are going to be interacting with the public and being responsible for other people’s health. The university relies on the occupational health service to look after the health of its students and protect them from occupational stressors and hazards but they also have a responsibility to the public as well to make sure that the students they are sending out are fit for practice. That’s why they have an OH service. They’re not looking to kick people off the course before they even start. They’re just looking out for your interests and those of the public.
There really is no actual reason to be anxious. A bigger problem is when people don’t disclose things. If they don’t know, they can’t help you, and being able to effectively manage your own health is a huge part of fitness for practice. Engaging with the right services is a sign that you’re safely managing. Occupational health is that service and you’re engaging with it.
If you flipped it and saw someone else doing it because the stresses of the course were causing them to self harm, this would be a sign that they weren’t managing the stresses in a healthy way and they were potentially putting yourself at risk. Translate that into a situation where a person is disappearing at work to self-harm and leaving patients unmanaged (I have seen this happen) and you would know that there was a problem that needed to be unpicked. If, however, you take that same person and give them a management plan whereby they feel they can comfortably disclose to a manager or supervisor that they are struggling to cope and that they are finding a particular aspect of the workload or workplace stressful and that they may need some adjustments making, reduction in hours or time off to work on their mental health, that’s safer for them and for the people they care for. It’s no different than a person who has diabetes asking for protected time to manage their condition, a cap on their working hours or someone with kidney failure asking for time off once a week to attend their do their dialysis appointments. I have a stroke patient I’m supporting to return to work at the moment and her OH service are working closely with her to identify what aspects of her condition are going to impact on her ability to do her old job and what adjustments they can make to her duties and workplace environment to accommodate her changed state in physical and mental health and allow her to do her job safely. She won’t be doing 12 hour shifts anymore, that’s for certain, and that’s a reasonable adjustment that can be made. This is what Occupational Health is for. Please don’t be scared of it. They are there to help.
Thank you so so much for your detailed response! This was so relieving to hear and the way you phrased this helped a lot When you say you were fast tracked to their mental health service, was it per your request or did the university automatically do this? I have spoken to counsellors at my college, so I kind of know how that feels or works and it definitely did help me whenever I was really stressed last year.
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moistcloud
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(Original post by ROTL94)
The purpose of these appointments is probably to assess what support you may need while attending university, tbh, I doubt it's to assess your suitability for the course, because that's already been evaluated hence you got the offer in the first place. You can just ask what the purpose of the appt it, but having an absense of symptoms vis a vis the self harming will look good for you no matter what.
Thank you for your reply! Do you think it's okay if I email OH before my appointment and just if this could affect my place on the course, or would that be a bit too much?
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moistcloud
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(Original post by Droui)
Firstly huge congratulations on getting your offer.
I honestly don’t know, but I’d have thought that the uni have a duty of care to check that you’re ok in the absence of a full GP history on anxiety & depression & that’s all? I’m sure they’re not out to catch you out or anything like that.
Be yourself. You’ve come a long way and you’ve a lot to give - let them see that. I hope it goes well x
Thank you!
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ROTL94
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(Original post by moistcloud)
Thank you for your reply! Do you think it's okay if I email OH before my appointment and just if this could affect my place on the course, or would that be a bit too much?
I honsestly don't think it would. While I have only been working in (NON MED) admissions for a week, if there was something that was disclosed during the application process that would affect your suitability for the course (aside from grades), they wouldn't have made an offer and waited for the OH's report as to your suitability. They wouldn't get your hopes up to that extent just to crush them like that. Contrary to what some people believe people who work in universities are empathetic and they do care about their students.
Last edited by ROTL94; 1 month ago
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moistcloud
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(Original post by ROTL94)
I honsestly don't think it would. While I have only been working in (NON MED) admissions for a week, if there was something that was disclosed during the application process that would affect your suitability for the course (aside from grades), they wouldn't have made an offer and waited for the OH's report as to your suitability. They wouldn't get your hopes up to that extent just to crush them like that. Contrary to what some people believe people who work in universities are empathetic and they do care about their students.
Okay - I really can't thank you enough. You have helped me so much and I feel way less stressed about this I have just emailed the OH team and asked if they didn't mind giving me more info on what happens after I return the questionnaire and do the video appointment, so hopefully that will reassure me some more.
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