University of Otago management has confirmed that eight people will lose their jobs as part of a shake-up of its mental health service.
Staff were told last week that seven part-time counsellors and a health educator role will be replaced by three clinical psychologists and four new health and wellbeing counsellors.
Each of the new roles will be full-time, a change the university said was necessary because of increased demand for student mental healthcare.
The Otago Daily Times reported last month that the new appointments would be focused on issues associated with drugs and alcohol.
However, focussing on drugs and alcohol must not lead to fewer services for those students experiencing a complex range of mental health issues, the TEU cautioned.
“The university needs to be offering a broad scope of services to students,” Shaun Scott, one of the organisers of the Tertiary Education Union branch at the University of Otago, said.
Concerns were raised by students last month about the lack of consultation on the proposals.