Student Support, Health and Wellbeing

Student Counselling and Mental Well-being

Coming to University can be a very exciting experience, offering opportunities for personal development, academically and socially.  Sometimes, however, students may encounter personal problems for which they need help and support beyond that offered by tutors, friends or family. The University offers all students a free, confidential Counselling Service, staffed by professional and experienced counsellors.  Some students may experience mental ill health or be diagnosed with a mental illness.  In addition to the counselling service, the University has a Student Mental Health Adviser who is available to support students with these difficulties.  Further details of the Counselling and Student Wellbeing services are given below.

Student Counselling Service

When can counselling help?

Counselling can help if you are experiencing personal problems, whether long-standing or resulting from a temporary crisis, that affect your academic or social life at University.  Some examples are anxiety, stress, life changes such as pregnancy, or illness, relationship issues, bereavement and loss, depression, sexual and cultural identities, suicidal feelings, eating difficulties and crises such as assault. Sometimes the difficulties may be unclear and speaking with a counsellor may help to make things clearer. Whatever your problem, the counsellors will be glad to talk it over with you.  Deciding to see a counsellor is a positive step towards making things better for yourself.

How does counselling work?

Counselling provides the opportunity to have your thoughts and feelings understood and accepted by someone who neither judges you nor offers instant advice, who is outside of the situation, and who is not anxious or upset by it.  She will help you discover and develop your own resources and will help you resolve your difficulties. Where appropriate, she will put you in touch with other sources of assistance within and outside of the University.

How do I make an appointment?

For an appointment, you can email, or telephone the Secretary to the Counselling Service on 01227 863056.  If you prefer, you can also leave a message on the counsellors’ direct lines 01227 782233 and 01227 782686, stating times when you are available.

What happens next?

We try to arrange the first appointment as soon as possible, usually within a few days. This first appointment is an exploratory session, in which you can talk about what is bothering you with a counsellor and discuss how counselling might help. It is also an opportunity to ask any questions you may have and to identify any other appropriate sources of help. This first session lasts for up to half an hour.

Can I take someone with me?

Very occasionally, a student will bring a friend to help them feel more comfortable in their exploratory session. Ongoing sessions usually involve just the student and their counsellor, and this enables a trusting relationship, in which sensitive matters can be discussed confidentially, to develop.

What happens next?

Following the initial exploratory  appointment, we will arrange an ongoing session as soon as one becomes available. From this point, you will see the same counsellor. Appointments are usually weekly and last for about 50 minutes.

Will my tutors know I am receiving counselling?

No. We will only contact your personal tutor or department if you request this. In such circumstances, you will be asked to agree to the context and extent of such contact.

What if I have to cancel a counselling session?

Because this is a very busy service, it is important that you notify us immediately of any necessary cancellations. You can email, or leave a message on 01227 863056  (24 hrs).

How to get in touch

For an appointment, contact the counsellor direct:

Jill Wiffen on 01227 782686

 Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Secretary, on 01227 863056.

If we cannot take your call personally, please leave a contact number and we will call you as soon as possible.  Alternatively, you may wish to email

Student Wellbeing and Mental Health

The Student Mental Health Adviser regularly meets with students experiencing mental health difficulties.  The main purpose of this service is to offer practical advice and guidance to help minimise the impact of these difficulties on academic progression.  She can help with issues such as time management, motivation and coping with symptoms.

An important part of this service is the provision of advice and guidance to a student's academic department regarding their support needs.  If you have any queries regarding this provision please do not hesitate to get in contact.

How to get in touch

Please contact Harriet Frew on 01227 782630 or email Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Secretary, on 01227 863056.