Support at university
Keeping track of your mental health and wellbeing can be challenging without the right support, however, many universities put together plenty of support available. Below is a list that we’ve put together of the type of support you can expect.
Almost every university will offer face-to-face support on campus. This is usually from mental health practitioners and counsellors, but in cases of emergency campus security officers and wardens are always there to help. It’s worth noting that these services will usually involve a waiting list.
Most of these services are only available during allocated office hours, although there are sometimes instances where 24-hour support is available.
Group support could mean therapeutic sessions led by trained counsellors, or they could be workshops lead by other students. These sessions usually revolve around a theme so that attendees have the opportunity to share and learn from each other.
Mentoring and buddy networks
The majority of universities offer mentoring and/ or buddy programmes to help new students settle into student, by pairing them with second or third year students. This is a great way for students to build their confidence and knowledge of university life.
Universities also offer online counselling, often during the evening or on weekends. This service is usually offered by accredited counsellors that aren’t necessarily a part of the university. More so, anonymous online support groups exist to provide a safe space to share experiences and help each other.
These are resources that offer information, advice and general tips about a range of issues that can affect your mental health and wellbeing. These can be accessed in your own time, at any time, without the need to register. The resources available may help you with getting further support, which can either be from your university or not.
Via your phone
For example, you can call university support services within office hours, or both local and national charities (often 24/7). Your university website should have a list of local and national charities, including their contact details.
Charities such as Shout offer a textline, that you can use whenever you are in distress, this is a 24/7 service and their contact number is 85258. You can find the Shout website here.
Lastly, there are a wide range of apps available for you to download that help you to look after your health and wellbeing. For example, the app SAM offers help for managing social anxiety.
Wherever you move to university, it’s important that you register with the nearest GP surgery. This could be a local practise, or a health centre based within the university. The support that the university offers is designed to complement the help available via the NHS, and not to replace it!
Support services on campus are not classed as emergency services, so if you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please contact the emergency services on 999. If you or someone you know are either in distress or in a crisis you should also contact the Samaritans or Papyrus. You can the Samaritans site here, and you can find the Papyrus site here for more info.