Supporting distressed students

Most students will cope well with the stresses of academic life given reasonable support from their friends, family and academic departments. Some may need a bit more than this.

If you feel you need to, or are requested to, give a student extra assistance, it is important to help within the boundaries of what you feel competent to do.

A guide for staff when supporting distressed students:

This guide has been produced to:

  • Help you to recognise when a student may be in difficulty
  • Provide advice to help you respond/refer appropriately and effectively
  • Remind you of the sources of support within the University
  • Raise awareness of issues relating to student mental health

The health and wellbeing of all members of the University is everyone’s concern.

This guide gives you advice on dealing with both crises and more everyday situations. It is important to be prepared for emergencies, but you should be aware they occur very rarely and that expert help is available.

If you are concerned that a student may be a risk to others or to the faculty and learning environment contact the Proctor.

Note: Confidentiality

  • Do not disclose personal information about students to anyone outside the University, including parents, without the student’s explicit consent.
  • If parents wish to contact a student, you can offer to forward a communication or tell the student they have been in touch.
  • Treat personal information about students with discretion.
  • Do not promise absolute confidentiality and advise the student that you may have to consult a colleague.
  • UHSC offers a confidential consultation service to all staff who may wish to discuss their concerns about a student in difficulty.