Support at university

Many universities  offer a wealth of support for their students, with face to face counselling, mentoring and out of hours services. students can also access support externally from their university such as nhs services. it is worth knowing about the different support available so you can advise your young person should they need to access it



    Pretty much all universities offer face-to-face support on campus. This can range from campus security officers and resident wardens in student halls to mental health practitioners and counsellors. Please be aware that some support, such as counselling appointments, may have a waiting list.

    Most university support services are available during office hours only, although there often is some provision for 24-hour support, for example during term time.


    This might be therapeutic sessions led by a trained counsellor or they might be workshops led by other students. The sessions usually have a theme so that everyone who attends can share and learn from each other.


    Many universities have mentoring and/or buddy programmes, for example to help new students settle in to student life by pairing them up with a year 2 or year 3 student.


    Some universities offer online counselling, for example in the evenings or at weekends. This is usually provided by accredited counsellors external to the university.

    Your young person can also join online support groups which are usually anonymous and provide a space to share experiences and help each other.


    Self-help resources can offer you information, tips and advice about a range of issues that affect your young person's mental health and wellbeing. They access these in their own time, any time, usually without having to register. The resources may point them in the direction of further support, both within their university and outside.


    There are several ways in which your your young person can use their phone to access support.

    They can call university support services (usually during office hours) or local and national charities (often 24/7 or out-of-hours). Their university website will have a list of local and national charities including their contact details.

    There are also charities, such as Shout,  that offer a textline. If they are in distress they can text and someone will reply 24/7. Shout can be reached by texting 85258.

    Finally, there are numerous apps available to download that help them look after their health and wellbeing. For example, SAM is an app which helps them manage social anxiety.


    Your young person should make sure that you register with a GP surgery where they live during term time. This could be a local GP practice or it could be a health centre based at the university. Any support that the university offers is designed to complement the help that is available through the NHS, not replace it.


    Support services on campus are not an emergency service. If your young person or someone they know are in immediate danger, please contact the emergency services. If they or someone they know are in crisis or distressed you can also contact the Samaritans or the charity Papyrus.


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