If you are applying for special consideration on psychological grounds in relation to an exam, your supporting evidence must include an original recommendation (or certified copy) from a registered psychologist on letterhead showing the full name and contact details of the psychologists or psychology practice. In your application form you must draw a connection between the psychological condition and its effect on your performance in each exam covered by your application.
Psychologists in JCU's Counselling Service – and those in private practice as well – are qualified professionals. Any documentation you request will be the expert opinion of the psychologist, based on the evidence provided by you and in light of their professional training/knowledge/experience. Psychologists in the Counselling Service offer counselling help and support for students suffering from a range of personal and psychological disorders that may present as: stress, emotional distress, depression, extreme anxiety, panic attack or in other ways.
Please note the following points:
A psychologist may refuse to provide you with a written recommendation in support of your application.
A psychologist’s recommendation is only a request to the examiner to take relevant psychological factors (emotional distress and/or mental health issues) into account in making a decision about granting special consideration. The psychologist does not make any decisions regarding your application, but provides written recommendation for the express purpose of assisting academic staff to make an academic judgement.
When deciding whether or not to support a student’s case, any or all of the following may be considered: the presenting issue, mental health status including assessment, previous case notes, academic record/performance during semester, documentation provided by the student, and information provided by others.
If your distress or mental health is related to a recent unplanned or unexpected event, condition or circumstance, then the psychologist may want to see documentation about this as part of their assessment of you and any ongoing treatment.
It is easier for a psychologist to make an assessment and provide support for your application for special consideration if you have previously visited the psychologist for assistance. If you are a new client, it can be very difficult for the psychologist to recommend special consideration, as they will not have background information and/or knowledge of your situation.
The psychologist may, where appropriate, and after discussion with you and an assessment of your situation, provide you with a letter, or complete the relevant section of your application form.
JCU counsellors are generally not able to provide a recommendation for an application based on psychological grounds unless you have seen them prior to applying for special consideration.