Wellbeing, Welfare and Support in Accommodation

We want all students to get the most of their time at university, and we recognise that a big part of that is enjoying the time you spend in University accommodation. Health and Wellbeing are crucial ingredients of effective study as well as a rich and fulfilling student experience and we recognise that it is much more difficult to learn and enjoy student life when practical and personal difficulties arise. We are therefore committed to doing all we can to support ‌students ‌to live well while studying with us and recognise it can be daunting moving somewhere new, especially if you haven’t lived away from home before. We are committed to ensuring that students feel supported at every step.

There are lots of different options available to you depending on what you need. 1 in 4 adults in the UK experience difficulties with their mental health at some point in their life, 50% of students say that self-image causes them to worry and 90% say they feel stressed about exams and assessments. This means, whatever you’re feeling, you are not alone and there is always someone you can turn to if things aren’t right, for whatever reason.

GP and Health Services – It can be hard to imagine being unwell when away from home but there is support available. We encourage all students to register with the Student Health Centre on campus when they arrive at Exeter. You can do this online at any point through the Health Centre website and clicking on “Registrations”.

All students at the University of Exeter, including those living in our accommodation, have access to Wellbeing Services. Wellbeing Services offer a whole range of services including:  

  • Online help and support through webinars, workbooks and apps
  • In-person workshops and groups focussing on things including Sleep, Stress, Procrastination, Perfectionism, Giving Presentations, Panic Attacks and Exams.
  • Wellbeing Consultations with a practitioner
  • Counselling
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Mental Health advice and support to students with a range of mental health difficulties including:
    • Ongoing advice and guidance
    • Discussion around adjustments that may be helpful to study and live successfully at University while managing a mental health condition
    • Liaison with GP and other mental health professionals, with consent.
    • Support to apply for Mental Health mentoring through Disabled Students Allowance.

As part of Wellbeing Services, our AccessAbility team offer support for students with a disability (including but not limited to physical disabilities, deaf or hearing impaired, blind or visually impaired), long term health conditions (such as epilepsy, diabetes or arthritis), Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia and Dsypraxia, for example) and Asperger Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Conditions.

All students studying at Exeter, including those living in university accommodation can contact the Accessability team for support and a discussion about what would be most helpful to ensure you can study and live successfully.

We understand that sometimes things arise which we cannot anticipate – this could be a bereavement, a new health diagnosis, a break-up, a sudden change in family circumstances, the breakdown of a relationship, change in finances or insecure housing. We recognise that personal circumstances can have a big impact on how settled we feel, how we work and how we enjoy our life as a whole. All students in accommodation therefore have access to a range of Welfare Support during their time studying with us. We can be contacted via email: wellbeing@exeter.ac.uk

Our Residence Life Team has an in-depth knowledge of the support and wellbeing services on offer and provide support to students living in university accommodation.

Living away from home in a new city (or country) can bring new challenges, so every student living in our accommodation is assigned a Residence Life Mentor who has experience of student life.

You can speak to them confidentially about whatever is on your mind. And they will make contact with you regularly to answer questions, help with any problems, and keep you up-to-date with what’s going on in the University and city. View the Residence Life Team leaflet to see how you can contact them or visit the dedicated Residence Life Team webpage. 

Overnight, members of the Residence Life Night Patrol support Security by visiting residences. If you have a problem late at night you can contact our friendly and professional Estate Patrol (Security) team 24/7/365 and they will arrange for a member of the team to help. They are also first aid trained and their number (01392 723999) can be found on the back of your student card so it is always with you.

The Residence Life Team arrange events and activities for students in accommodation to help create a sense of community.

Our friendly and experienced College Welfare Advisors are available to talk to students in a confidential and non-judgemental space about any academic or personal issue they feel they may need support with, offering practical support as well as access to self-help materials and signposting to specialist advice and support services. You can get in touch with your Welfare Advisor through your College Hub.

The University of Exeter is committed to supporting students to explore faith while studying and living with us. We also recognise that sometimes it is just helpful to have a completely neutral person to talk things through with, regardless of faith. The Multi-Faith chaplaincy is open to all students – including those living in our accommodation - of all faiths or none and provide a safe, confidential listening space, as well as a range of activities and events to bring students together. The Multifaith chaplaincy are available every day and can be contacted by email on chaplaincy@exeter.ac.uk or by phone on 01392 723649.

The University of Exeter recognise that there will be unique challenges for students coming to study with us from abroad. It may be that you’ve lived away from your home country before, or that this is your first time abroad – either way, there may be things you’re unsure of or would like some support with. Our International Student Support Office are here to provide advice and guidance for all non-UK students studying with us and living in University accommodation. The ISSO can offer support with a wide range of things which may impact our international students including, but not limited to applying for a visa, information on the EU Settlement Scheme, Visa Conditions, Working in the UK, Graduate Immigration Route, Opening a bank account and registering with a GP. You can find out more about the International Student Support office, and contact them.

We understand that sometimes, you may wish to get some impartial confidential advice from outside of the University. The Students Guild Advice team offer advice along four main areas – finances, academic difficulties, accommodation and welfare. With regards to accommodation, the Advice team can advise on contracts and landlord disputes, as well as offering mediation where difficulties arise between housemates. It may be particularly helpful to contact the Advice team before agreeing to a private let in the City. You can contact the Advice team by emailing advice@exeterguild.com

We understand that sometimes things will happen and students may need support beyond Monday-Friday, 9-5. In addition to the Residence Life Team, Estate Patrol and Residence Life Patrol, there are additional sources of support students in residences can access 24/7/365.

  • Call the NHS 111 number for advice
  • Visit the A&E department of any hospital where you will be assessed and treated by the relevant health team
  • Call Estate Patrol, the University security service, available 24/7 on 01392 723999
  • The Moorings @ Devon offers out-of-hours mental health support between 6pm and midnight to anyone aged 16+ in the Devon area, from three locations in Barnstaple, Exeter, and Torquay. You can go in person, email or telephone the team for support.
  • The Mooring @ St Leonards GP Practice, Exeter: Athelstan Road, St Leonards, Exeter EX1 1SB, (near the War Memorial on Denmark Road)

As well as the relevant services listed above, you are able to contact the following support and listening services to speak to a trained volunteer:

  •  Nightline is a confidential listening and information service run by Exeter students for Exeter students from 8pm– 8am during term time.
  • Samaritans provide a confidential listening and support service where you are able to talk through your troubles and concerns in a safe and non-judgmental space. You can:
    • Call: 116 123   Text: 07725  909 090
    • Email: jo@samaritans.org
    • Visit: 10 Richmond Road, Exeter, EX4 4JA


Frequently asked questions

It can be really hard to settle in to a new place and it can take time. It is completely normal to miss home, your friends and family and to wonder if you’ve made the right decision to move. The good news is that there are things that might help and there are people who will listen if you’d like to talk it through with someone. You may want to think about the types of activities you enjoy and have a look at the list of student societies and clubs you could join. There might be like-minded people there who you build friendships with. You can find out about societies and clubs on offer here and sports clubs.

If you’re feeling sad and would like a space to chat it through, the Multi-faith Chaplaincy is available to all students regardless of faith (or none) to provide a safe place to talk. Or have a chat to your Residence Life Mentor to see if they have any activities or events coming up that you could take part in.

Finally, make sure you keep in touch with your friends and family from home! Chat to them about the new things you’re doing to help bring your two worlds together. If after a while you’re still struggling, give Wellbeing Services a call on 01392 724381.

It is an awful and sad time for anyone when someone they love passes away. You can feel lost and lonely and sad and confused, as well as being overwhelmed and really missing them. Please know we are here to support you. You may want to arrange a Wellbeing Consultation with one of the Wellbeing Services team to have a safe space to talk it through. You can do this by emailing wellbeing@exeter.ac.uk. You may find that your concentration is impacted or you need some time away to be at home with family. Please contact the Welfare Advisor for your College and they will can help to arrange support, as well as liaising with your course to organisations some time off, extensions, deferrals or mitigation.

It can be really hard to suddenly be living with new people in a new place, especially when learning to share common areas like the kitchen or bathroom. It will take time to settle down but if things are difficult, please speak to your Residence Life mentor or email residencelife@exeter.ac.uk. They can help do some mediation or talk through ways to resolve some of the difficulties you’re having. You can also explore the clubs and societies (See I’m lonely and homesick) to link up with people with similar interests to you.  

27% of students (nearly 1 in 3) experience some form of mental health difficulty while at University. The feelings can seem overwhelming and never ending but please know you’re not alone and that there is lots of support out there for you. Firstly, please make an appointment with your GP. They will be able to make sure that you have the medical support you need and that there isn’t a physical cause for your depression. Secondly, have a look at the Wellbeing Services website. There are lots of online resources which might help. You can also call Wellbeing on 01392 724381 to arrange an initial telephone appointment to make sure you access the best and right support you for you which may be a face to face appointment, or series of appointments with one of the Wellbeing Practitioners. You can also talk to your Welfare Advisor through your College Hub to get support and signposting, including any course adjustments while you access the support you need. If you’d like to read a bit more about depression or how you’re feeling, the Mind UK website has lots of information. Finally, know there is always someone you can call. Please see the Overnight and External Support section above.     

Everyone experiences anxiety to some extent – it is part of our flight or fight response which keeps us safe – but when anxiety starts to impact our everyday life, we need to get a bit of help and that’s ok. Firstly, please make an appointment with your GP to talk through how you’re feeling. They will be able to talk through how you’re feeling and make sure you have all of the medical support you need. Have a look at the Wellbeing Services website for some online tools and resources. There is a brilliant online programme called SilverCloud which is fantastic at using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to shift our thinking. You can also contact Wellbeing Services to arrange an initial telephone appointment with a practitioner who will talk through how you’re feeling and suggest appropriate support which may include a face to face appointment (or series of appointments) with someone from our team. Finally, please contact your Welfare Advisor for support and advice about applying for extensions, deferrals or mitigating circumstances around your exams.

It can be incredibly worrying to hear that a friend is really struggling and are expressing suicidal feelings. Firstly, please know that if you feel they or anyone around you are in danger, you can call 999 and ask for an ambulance. If you don’t think they are in immediate danger, please call Wellbeing Services on 01392 724381 or email wellbeing@exeter.ac.uk. You will need to give us your friends name – this may feel scary but know you are doing it so that you can help them. Wellbeing Services will then contact your friend and make sure they get the right support put in place for them. We can also make sure that you have any support you need, including space to talk, as we understand that when someone is feeling unwell, it can impact on those around them too.

We understand that there are times when money becomes tight and it can cause a lot of worry. Please contact the Students’ Guild Advice Unit on advice@exeter.ac.uk in the first instance. They can support you in applying for the University’s Hardship and Retention Fund and provide Food Bank Vouchers while waiting for your finances to be a bit more sorted. 

There is a very common misconception that everyone at University drinks a lot and while some students do, a lot of students don’t. We are committed to ensuring that for every event which involves alcohol, there is one which does not during the arrivals period. Have a look through the Events Guide and see if there are any of the activities (Sports taster sessions, quizzes, bowling, baking competitions, tours, day trips) that you might enjoy and could help you to meet a wide range of people.

If you are worried about your drinking, a good place to start is by booking an appointment with your GP. They will be able to look at how much you’re drinking and what the impacts are for you. You may also find it helpful to get in touch with the Exeter based organisation “Together” which works with people who are struggling with alcohol. Wellbeing Services can also provide support and if you are finding that your alcohol use is impacting your course, please speak to your Welfare Advisor.

Coming away to University can sometimes enable us to explore thoughts and feelings that we haven’t had the space to before. You can always talk things through with the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy who are happy to provide a safe space to talk and explore your feelings. You may also find it helpful to contact Wellbeing Services and ask for an initial telephone appointment to chat through what the most helpful support might be. This might include a one off or series of appointments with one of the Wellbeing Practitioners. You may like to talk through how you’re feeling over the phone with someone impartial – Switchboard is a charity with a dedicated helpline for those thinking about or questioning their sexuality.

Settling into a new course can be really hard – even a subject you have always really enjoyed can feel different when studying at University. Please don’t worry. Often these things settle down and there are options to improve things for you. Start by making contact with the Welfare Advisor for your College. They can talk you through options and arrange a meeting with your course, if that would be helpful.

We are committed to ensuring all students can enjoy living fully in University accommodation and will do all they can to ensure reasonable adjustments are put in place to support this. Please contact the AccessAbility team on accessability@exeter.ac.uk as a first step. They will be able to help you arrange what you need within your accommodation as well as any other support which may be helpful.

Yes! The University wants to make sure all students can study successfully and have teams and systems in place to make sure that all students get the support they need. As a starting point, please email accessability@exeter.ac.uk and explain your circumstances. They will arrange for you to speak to an advisor and then look at what support or adjustments would be most helpful for you.

Yes! We know a new diagnosis can lead to lots of different feelings and questions. The Wellbeing Services Mental Health Team are here to help and support you. They can talk through any questions you have and explore the different options which may help including reasonable adjustments for your course, practical support, advice and information and liaison with other people on your behalf, if you consent to this. You can contact the Mental Health team through a simple online form.

Everyone at some time in their life feels overwhelmed and just doesn’t know where to start – you are not alone and there are people who can help, who will listen and help you find a place to begin. Please email wellbeing@exeter.ac.uk or call 01392 724381 and they will arrange for you to speak to someone. If Wellbeing are not open, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123. There is support there for you and things can get better.