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Student Support


In emergencies, or circumstances where you or another student have any immediate concerns for safety, please see: Crisis Information and Contacts.

Life at university can bring a range of experiences, changes and new opportunities. Many staff members and support services – at your College or the University, and locally in Cambridge - are here to help.

Please fill in our referral form to request support, and we’ll be in touch within a few days to offer you an appointment. That might be from a wellbeing adviser, a counsellor, a mental health adviser or a harassment adviser, depending on what you need. 

Waiting times for an appointment are typically less than ten working days. We review all appointment requests daily to allocate support as promptly as possible based on individual needs.

Our support services are free of charge and open to registered students. The services operate all year round except for brief closures at Christmas and Easter.

If you have any queries relating to support, including an existing request for support, please email

For information about confidentiality, please see our Student Support confidentiality and privacy statement.


The Student Wellbeing Service supports taught and research postgraduates.


The University Counselling Service (UCS) provides therapeutic services such as counselling, groups and workshops.

Support for survivors of harassment and violence

The University’s Harassment and Violence Support Service (HVSS) supports those who have been subjected to any form of sexual harassment or violence and/or intimate partner abuse, and those who have been impacted by religious or racial discrimination or violence.

Mental Health Advice Service

The Mental Health Advice Service (MHAS) supports students with mental health issues who experience a significant impact on their ability to participate in their everyday lives or academic work. You will need to be referred by a member of staff to access this service. Please speak to your tutor or College nurse if you think this might be for you.

Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre

The Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC) supports disabled students at Cambridge:

  • We recommend adjustments to the teaching and learning environment
  • Disability Advisers discuss a student’s needs with them on a 1:1 basis
  • Advisers can write a Student Support Document for students
  • All students have a named Disability Adviser

Please complete their student information form to request support.

There’s also lots of support provided by Colleges and external institutions:

College wellbeing support

Students with College affiliation can access health, wellbeing and pastoral (tutorial) support locally at their College. Students can avail of a named first point of contact in their College Tutor, who can assist with a range of information, advice and guidance on academic and personal matters. Tutors and other College staff can signpost or refer to professional welfare support in College, including the College Nurse, a Wellbeing professional or the Chaplain/ Dean. Colleges are well-connected with University and NHS services where referral for specialist or medical services is appropriate.

College wellbeing information pages

National Health Service (NHS) mental health support

For swift or urgent mental health care, you can dial 111 and select option 2 to access the local NHS First Response Service for mental health crisis. The service is available within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough 24/7, 365 days a year.

During daytime hours, you can contact your NHS GP practice to request an urgent appointment or access help or information.

NHS medical advice and help is available 24/7 by dialling 111. You can also access general NHS mental health information and advice.

You can access the following local NHS mental health services free of charge:

External services

There are a number of services external to the University that students can access.

  • Qwell offers online peer support, self-help resources, an online magazine and chat-based counselling for adults in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. You can sign up immediately and anonymously to access their free online support and wellbeing community.
  • You can contact the Samaritans service in Cambridge, who offer both in-person services (see link for opening hours) or you can call Samaritans any time 24/7, 365 days a year for free by dialling 116 123.
  • Lifecraft is a user-led organisation in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area for adults who have experience of mental health difficulties in their lives. They offer a range of services including Lifeline, a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mental health helpline contactable between 11am to 11pm every day. Freephone: 0808 808 2121.
  • Shout is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. The service is run by trained volunteers, under the supervision of Clinical Supervisors. To access shout, text 85258.
  • Switchboard: LGBTQ+ Helpline. Switchboard’s helpline provides an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and trans people. To access Switchboard between 10am to 10pm, call 0300 330 0630.
Peer support: Nightline

Cambridge Nightline is an anonymous, confidential, non-directive and non-judgemental listening and information service for students of the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University. Nightline is run by students, for students.

If you would like to speak to a trained student peer listener during term time (7pm-7am), you can contact the Nightline listening and information service anonymously by live chat, telephone call, email or skype).

Wellbeing and mental health resources

Be active – NHS resources: access 24 free instructor-led videos across aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga categories.

Centre for Clinical Interventions - mental health self-help resources: The CCI have assembled a range of self-help resources for a range of mental health areas including anxiety, assertiveness, bipolar, body dysmorphia, depression, disordered eating, health anxiety, panic, perfectionism, procrastination, self-compassion, self-esteem, sleep, social anxiety and worry.

DistrACT: The DistrACT app provides information and links to support for people who self-harm or may have suicidal thoughts.

Five Ways to Wellbeing: Learn about the evidence-based Five Ways to Wellbeing (CPSL Mind) and personalise your own Five Ways to Wellbeing Booklet (NHS).

Get Self Help - CBT resources: Get Self Help offer CBT-informed resources for a range of challenges and mental health areas.

Stay Alive App (NHS): A suicide prevention resource with useful information and tools to help with staying safe in crisis. The app includes a personalised safety plan, a Lifebox for photos and memories, strategies for grounding and guided breathing exercises, an interactive Wellness Plan and customisable crisis resources.

VIA Institute’s Character Strengths Survey: The free VIA Survey is a tool in the field of positive psychology that assesses an individual's character strengths. Research shows that understanding and applying your strengths can help to boost confidence and subjective wellbeing.

Personalised Eating Disorder Support

The University has established a partnership with the Cambridge Eating Disorder Charity, PEDS (Personalised Eating Disorder Support). Support is available to students, aimed at those at risk of developing an eating disorder. Students can either be referred or can self-refer to PEDS via their online form
PEDS works collaboratively with the central Student Support services. They also work with welfare teams at the Colleges.  

PEDS works as part of a stepped care approach. They work alongside the local specialist NHS Eating Disorder Service. This is run by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) Adult Eating Disorder Service (AEDS).   

Where a student meets the criteria for NHS secondary care services ie CPFT Adult Eating Disorder Service (AEDS), PEDS will obtain consent from the student to liaise and refer as required.

Get in touch

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