Mental Health Support
Current estimates suggest that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health condition at some point in their life, and given this statistic is based on numbers of people who have actively seeked out help, so actual numbers may be much higher.
‘Mental health conditions’ covers a vast spectrum of issues, and although they are often grouped or labelled, mental health conditions are often more complex and individual than their name suggests.
Broad categories of mental health conditions often experienced by students include depression, anxiety, self-harm, bipolar disorder, manic depression and eating disorders. This list is by no means exhaustive and many conditions will not fit neatly into one category or another.
Regular exercise, plenty of sleep, and healthy food not only keep your body but also your mind healthy. Make sure that you always take breaks when working and that you allow time for socialising and relaxation, without letting work take over your life too much.
Even if you remain fit and healthy it is possible to still experience a mental health condition as a student.
Here at Trinity Hall Welfare we strive to keep college as happy and (mentally) healthy as possible. Talking about mental health is not taboo, and the welfare team regularly run events to help promote understanding and stamp-out the stigma surrounding mental health.
If you begin to feel that your mental health is suffering, it is important to seek out help. As always, you can talk to one of the Welfare officers, arrange to speak to the college counsellor/nurse, or arrange a visit to your GP.
In an emergency, and you feel that yourself or one of your friends is at imminent risk of harm, it is important to phone 999 or go straight to Addenbrookes A&E. The porters (01223 332500) can help organising ambulances/transport to hospital. You can also phone NHS direct on 111 in a non-life threatening emergency for more advice.
Some of the other support available in and around Cambridge are listed below.
Virginia Elliot – College Counsellor
Virginia is a professionally trained counsellor who is completely separate from college tutors and who you can visit in the strictest confidentiality. She can offer help and support in a wide range of issues past or present causing anxiety such as eating disorders, bereavement, self-harming, relationship difficulties, work stress, home-sickness, etc.
She is very willing to help and flexible in the time she has to offer. Virginia is nearly always in College on Wednesdays but is flexible about appointments. She sometimes works over the weekend and usually sleeps at least one night a week in College and so is available to see people late into the evening or in the very early morning. She works in college and can be met on an informal basis, according to needs, for sessions from ten minutes to one hour subject to how you feel.
University Counselling Service
2-3 Bene’t Place, Lensfield Road, CB2 1EL
Tel: 01223 332865
The University Counselling Service provides free, confidential and professional counselling to all students. The Counsellors are friendly, non-judgmental and very experienced in what it is like to be a student in Cambridge. To make an appointment, simply fill in a form on their website and they will get back to you with a time that fits into your timetable. Useful leaflets are available from the offices or on the website.
Student Advice Service
The Student Advice Service offers free, confidential and independent support to all Cambridge University students. You can come to the service with any issues or problems that you might experience as a student, from questions or concerns about your education or University procedures to a health enquiry or a mental health issue. They can discuss your concerns with you, explore what options are available to you, and represent you at a college level if necessary.
Phone: 01223 367575 / 01223 744444, every day of full term 7pm – 7am
Linkline is a listening and information service run by students for students. You can talk to them about anything – they are non-judgemental, anonymous and completely confidential. They are open from 7pm until 7am and you can call them for free from your bedroom on the Cambridge University extension number: 62212.
CUSU Welfare and Rights Officer
Old Examination Hall, Free School Lane, CB2 3RF
The Welfare and Rights Officer provides individual student support on any welfare matter and leads CUSU’s welfare and student rights campaigns. They can also provide information about finance, accommodation and any other concerns that affect students.
Barrere House, 100 Chesterton Road, CB4 1ER
Tel: 01223 311320
Cam-Mind provides information, advice and support for people with a wide range of mental health problems and depression. It runs a variety of support groups, social groups and a befriending scheme.
Tel: 0845 456 455 (9am-5pm weekdays)
A major UK charity dedicated to assisting people affected by severe mental illness. They also run a support group in Cambridge for carers of people with mental health problems. Meetings are usually held at 7:30pm on the penultimate Wednesday of the month.
Tel: 0845 767 8000
The website gives practical advice of mental health issues. Saneline is a confidential helpline offering practical information and emotional support, open from 12 noon until 2am each day.
4 Emmanuel Road
Tel: 01223 364 455 (local number)
08457 90 90 90 (national 24hr helpline)
Confidential listening service, available 24 hours a day. It is run by volunteers, who offer non-judgemental, non-directional support.
Tel: 01223 521 521, 7-11pm all year round
This Cambridge mental health phoneline provides a listening ear, support and information on local and national resources and self-help groups.
33 Clarendon Street Cambridge
Tel: 01223 316 488
This free confidential counselling and information service for under 25s also supplies condoms and pregnancy tests.