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Mental Health

In the case of a mental health crisis, or if you feel a danger to yourself, to others, or are concerned about the wellbeing of another student please follow the advice in the blue box at the bottom of this page.

 

Your mental health needs to be looked after just as much as your physical health, particularly in times of stress, and we should all try to proactively support our mental wellbeing as best we can. The University Student Wellbeing pages offer ideas and guidance on how to support your mental health and wellbeing at University.

Sometimes self-care may be insufficient and reaching out for support or advice will be important. Many people work through problems by talking to friends, family or staff in their College or Department. If you feel comfortable doing so, often contacting your Tutor is the quickest first step in accessing general support and advice, and to seek tailored guidance on specific issues. If you are uncomfortable speaking to your allocated Tutor, you can always speak to the Senior Tutor.

Sometimes looking up information about things which are concerning you can be helpful and the University Counselling Service has a wide range of self-help information available. You may find it useful to consult these pages following conversations with your Tutor.

However, there are times when a supportive conversation or written materials are not enough and you may wish to speak to a professional Counsellor or access mental health support outside the College.

Fitzwilliam students have access to direct support from a number of sources:

Fitzwilliam provides a free and confidential Counselling service for all undergraduate and postgraduate students registered at the College. Our College Counsellor, Mary Cavander Attwood, is available for appointments during term via Skype or telephone, and in person, COVID restrictions permitting. Please email for an appointment with Mary: counsellor@fitz.cam.ac.uk

Students have full access to the University Counselling Service (UCS), to whose funding the College contributes substantially. Counsellors are available Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm throughout the year except for brief closures at Christmas and Easter. Hours may be reduced at certain times during the summer period. The UCS has BAME counsellors available upon request. The UCS also runs many groups and workshops and has a very useful self-help page.

See information on how to arrange counselling.

The Mental Health Advisors employed by the UCS offer assessments, help with crisis management and ongoing support to students experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties. They are usually contacted via your Tutor or College Nurse.

Your GP (General Practitioner) can offer advice on your mental as well as physical health. You are free to register with any GP but most Fitzwilliam students register at the practice closest to the College, the Huntingdon Road Surgery.

If you need to seek this help overnight or at a weekend, call the NHS First Response Service by dialling 111. If appropriate, they will be able to guide you to out-of-hours support.

The local NHS Trust (CPFT) provides a Psychological Wellbeing Service through which you can self-refer for a range of psychological therapies.

The College Nurse will gladly talk to any student about these matters during her surgery hours. For her contact details, and more general information on health see https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/welfare/health. See also the University’s detailed guidance to various aspects of NHS provision: https://www.studentwellbeing.admin.cam.ac.uk/nhs-and-healthcare.

Cambridge students can access free online support with Togetherall, a 24/7 online global community. Togetherall provides a safe space online to share your thoughts, get creative, and to access resources and courses to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing.

Adults who live in Cambridge are eligible to sign-up for a free account with Qwell, an online counselling and wellbeing platform. Qwell provides chat-based counselling, peer support, self-help resources and articles and posts from experts and users. The Qwell service is free and requires no referral. Counsellors are online and available between 12pm and 10pm on weekdays and between 6pm and 10pm on weekends.

Papyrus, a national charity for the prevention of young suicide, provide HOPELINE UK, a confidential support and advice service for people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, or anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide. Their trained staff give non-judgemental support, practical advice and information between 9am and midnight every day of the year. They can be contacted by telephone (0800 068 4141), text (07860039967) or email (pat@papyrus-uk.org).

Nightline (formerly known as Linkline) is a listening service run by students for students and volunteers are available from 7pm to 7am during University full term. As an independent service, it is able to provide anonymous, confidential, non-judgmental and non-directive support and information to Cambridge University students.

www.cambridge.nightline.ac.uk  email@cambridge.nightline.ac.uk   01223 744444   Chat: im.cambridge.nightline.ac.uk/webim

We have also collated a useful list of mental health resources, with the support of the JCR and MCR, which can be viewed here.

In the case of a mental health crisis, or if you feel a danger to yourself, to others, or are concerned about the wellbeing of another student, please contact the Porters immediately on 01223 332000 who will support and advise you.

If you need an emergency ambulance, call 999 without delay, then immediately inform the Porters so that they can offer you support and ensure that the paramedics can gain the required access to buildings immediately.

Alternatively, in an emergency you can go to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) at Addenbrookes hospital on Hills Road in Cambridge.

In any mental health crisis you can contact the First Response Service at any time by dialling 111 and selecting option 2. This enables you to access immediate advice, support and appropriate treatment from trained NHS staff 24/7.

The Samaritans provide confidential emotional support to people in distress or despair, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Phone 116 123 (free).