Information for Parents, Family and Friends

The transition to University can be a happy as well as anxious time for both students and parents alike. The ability and speed of adjustment depends very much on the individual and their personal circumstances.

Not only in the initial phase, but throughout their time at University when difficulties may arise, students are best supported by knowing they can turn to their friends and family and find a listening ear. Family and friends can often guide a student to support available at the University.

Support Services and Resources
If for some reason a student is unable to pursue their studies, or their performance could be seriously impaired, they need to inform their academic department. If they are unable to do this for themselves then a third party can pass on this information so that the specific situation can be taken into account in regards to the student’s academic performance.

Further information on mitigating circumstances can be found on:

There are situations when family members feel the need to impart important information to the Service. They need to be aware that both counsellor and wellbeing advisor would inform the student about this contact should they use the Service.

If a student is very unwell but refuses to seek help the University may in some circumstances make pro-active contact with the student via e-mail to offer support and refer to the appropriate Services.

No feedback or information can be given without the student’s express consent (see below).

While it is perfectly understandable that a worried friend or relative may want information about a student who they know is struggling, unfortunately due to the Data Protection Act we cannot give out any information about any student without their written permission, be that to confirm that they are actually at this University or whether or not they are using any of the Services offered, such as Counselling or the Mental Wellbeing Service.

However, all Services listen to concerns and provide general advice. They will take action, as appropriate.

Support Services and Resources
It may be reassuring and helpful to know that there is a wide range of Support Services available to be able to guide your son, daughter or friend if the need arises:

Medical Health Centres/GP Practices
The Health Centre or GP practice closest to a student’s accommodation will give information on therapies and other services offered by the NHS (the National Health Service).
The health centre closest to the University is the Victoria Park Health Centre:

The GPs (General Practitioners) offer access to Open Mind, a service to help with common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. As there can be a wait for this service, it is good to approach them as soon as possible.

The Counselling and Wellbeing Service
The Student Counselling Service offers brief counselling, both in individual and group sessions, dealing with personal issues and difficulties. The Mental Wellbeing Service offers support and advice for students managing mental health issues as well as assisting students to access the range of services available within the University and in the wider community. This Service also offers psycho-educational groups for all students at the University.

Please note: The Counselling and Wellbeing Service operates a Monday to Friday appointment-based service. It is not designed to be an Emergency Service.
If anyone close to a student is aware that there is danger to their life (or to a third party) they may need to contact Police or Ambulance Services themselves by dialling 999 explaining the situation and specific circumstances, as this will avoid unnecessary delays.

The AccessAbility Service:
Students may be entitled to apply for DSA (Disabled Students’ Allowance), which will allow access to specific support for academic studies, such as special equipment or mentoring. You can contact this service regarding the application and assessment process for this.

The Welfare Service:
You can approach this Service for advice on financial, accommodation or visa matters.

Pastoral Support
For students living in Halls of Residence the University provides Residential Advisers who help students settle in and provide information and advice outside normal office hours.

Personal Tutors
Each student is allocated a personal tutor who can be approached, not only for academic, but also personal welfare issues and who can guide and refer accordingly.

On the University website you will find information about other forms of help and support, such as Nightline (a term-time nightly telephone helpline run by students for students) and The Samaritans, a telephone helpline for people in distress - 08457 90 90 90 or 0116 270 00070.

You will find a list of further resources on:

Finally, we would encourage students to e-mail us directly so that they can ask any questions or access further help, if needed.

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Please use the on line registration form to self-refer into the service.

If you have any questions you can email us at

We are open 9.00am-5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Some appointments may be available after 5.00pm (term-time only).

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