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, Phyllis Smith, is available for appointments during term online and in person, Covid restrictions permitting.
Phyllis is a BACP accredited counsellor. She adopts an integrative approach in counselling. Counselling sessions last 50 minutes and sessions are weekly by appointment. The sessions are fully confidential and information is not shared without your permission, except if there are serious issues of risk to self or others.
All students also have ongoing access to the University Counselling Service to which they can self-refer to anytime by following this link https://www.counselling.cam.ac.uk/studentcouns
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.
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.
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 (email@example.com).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 01223 744444 Chat: im.cambridge.nightline.ac.uk/webim