How and where to find mental health support at university
Caring for your mental health at university is hugely important for us students.
Uni might be the first time you’ve ever lived away from home, had to handle your finances, or not been in a class with friends.
Combine all that with being in a new city, with new academic pressures, and the challenges can start to mount up. For many students, the stresses associated with uni can become overwhelming.
This Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to remind any students feeling this way that you’re not alone.
We’ve detailed 5 different ways you can access help and get the support you need to see you through uni.
1. Use your university services
UK universities have dedicated student-services teams where support on tuition, accommodation, careers and, importantly, wellbeing can be found.
Simply sharing your issues with a trained advisor and having them listen can help massively, but they can also facilitate deadline extensions, extra exam time, counselling services and personal tutoring should you need it too.
Find the contact details for student services at 124 UK universities here.
2. Visit your GP
If your mental health symptoms worsen, or if they’ve persisted for a long time, visit your GP.
They will be able to arrange treatment like prescribing medication or referring you to a specialist.
If you’re not already registered with a GP at university, the process is really simple. You can find out how to do it via the NHS website here. Alternatively, ask your student support services at uni and they’ll point you in the right direction.
3. Call a helpline
If you need support urgently, or at a time when your GP and uni is closed, helplines offer a way to get help from the comfort of your accommodation.
You’ve probably heard of the Samaritans. You can call them on 116 123 at any time of the day or night for a free and confidential chat. Alternatively, if it helps to put things in writing, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a response within around 24 hours.
Many universities also offer campus ‘Nightline’ services via telephone for a more tailored service through term-time. Find yours here.
If you need urgent medical advice call the NHS on 111 for England & Wales or 08454 242424 for Scotland.
If you need immediate medical attention call 999 or visit A&E.
4. Tap into trusted mental health resources
Student Minds: This page offers resources for various different issues you might be facing at uni, including managing money or exam stress. They’re written for students specifically so should be directly relevant.
Mind: Mind has a wealth of resources on all sorts of mental health issues, and there is a bespoke hub for students. Here you can find a full guide on coping with student life, and read advice from fellow students who have battled their own mental health struggles at university.
CALM: The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. They have support articles for various issues and offer advice on how to help a friend too.
Find a fuller list of resources websites here.
5. Take a break from university life
Sometimes, time at home can really help to reboot your mental health.
Swapping libraries and halls for familiar faces and surroundings is OK; you don’t need to spend all your time at university.
So, head home for the weekend or for reading week, and practise some self-care by doing things you enjoy with people you feel comfortable with.
If going home regularly isn’t an option, joining a society or volunteering at uni can help to take your mind off work pressures, and develop a network of like-minded friends outside of lecture rooms or student accommodation.
Visit your student union on campus for information about all societies.
University can be a completely overwhelming experience, both academically and socially. This is true for many more students than you probably realise, so don’t feel that you’re unusual if you’re struggling.
The most important thing to remember is that you’re never alone and there are always people to talk to.
For further help, visit our Mental Health Hub.