Supporting students with mental health difficulties

It is likely that at some point while working at the University you will work with a student who is experiencing mental health difficulties. Research suggest that as many as 1 in 4 students are likely to experience mental health problems at some point in their academic career. Many of these will become unwell for the first time whilst at university.

The Disability Discrimination Act, 2005, placed a duty on Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) to take into account the needs and circumstances of students who experience mental health difficulties. Support and reasonable adjustments then have to be considered and put in place to ensure that students with mental health difficulties are not placed at a disadvantage.

The University has developed a variety of documents and guidance that will support you when supporting students. These include:

  • Guidance on supporting students with mental health difficulties
  • Data protection guidance: confidentiality
  • Data protection – summary page
  • Fitness to study (section on our website)
  • University Fitness to study procedure
  • Personal tutor manual 2010/11
  • Helping distressed students booklet
  • The role of the mental health team – leaflet for staff
  • Support for students experiencing mental health difficulties – leaflet for students
  • Student support chart

When a student is experiencing mental health difficulties that you consider are beyond your ability, remit or role, it is important to consider what other support is available to them and signpost them to someone more appropriately trained.

If you are supporting a student you are concerned about. the Mental Health Advisors at AccessAbility, the staff at the Student Counselling Service, and the Student Health Centre GPs offer a confidential service to talk through these situations. When using this service please maintain the student’s anonymity.

Mental Health Advisors:                                                    Tel: 01392 723880

The Student Counselling Service:                                      Tel: 01392 724381