skip to content

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. Student life may support our sense of wellbeing, belonging and meaning; equally, it is quite normal to face challenges or setbacks which might impact on our wellbeing and mental health while at university. Whether you might be coping but feeling overwhelmed, unsure, worried, or struggling with a mental health difficulty, you are not alone. Many staff members and support services – at your College or the University, and locally in Cambridge - are here to help.

This page provides contacts for when you might wish to access support at Cambridge, and includes some wellbeing information and resources that may be helpful as a first step.

University Wellbeing and Mental Health Support

Wellbeing

As part of its Mental Health Change Programme, the University is currently completing the design and recruitment of its Student Wellbeing Team in the Michaelmas Term of academic year 22/23. For any questions related to the service, please contact Dr Adam Welstead, Head of Student Wellbeing

Counselling

The University Counselling Service provides inclusive, non-judgemental, timely and confidential therapeutic services, and access to a range of professional counsellors and therapy approaches to best meet your needs. To access help through the University Counselling Service, you can complete a self-referral form.

Mental Health

The Mental Health Advice Service supports students with mental health issues who experience a significant impact on their ability to participate in their everyday lives or academic work. The mental health advisors (MHAs) offer two services:

  1. Working individually with students using a solution-focused approach to develop coping strategies and self-management;
  2. Providing advice and practical support to College and University staff.

Support for survivors of sexual harassment and violence

The University’s Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service (SHVSS) supports survivors of sexual harassment, assault or rape, whether this has been experienced recently or in the past. The SHVSS is not a counselling or therapy service, but can offer emotional and practical support, including:

  • supporting you to understand and manage the impact of sexual violence;
  • enabling you to develop positive coping strategies;
  • helping you to re-build your self-esteem and trust in yourself and others.
  • providing you with impartial information and support around your options for reporting both within the University and externally;
  • supporting you through any reporting process you choose to engage with;
  • signposting and referring you to appropriate support services both within the University and externally.

 

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.

External Services

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

  • 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.

Mindfulness: the University’s Mindfulness Practitioner has assembled a range of mindfulness resources for students.

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.