University, and especially Cambridge, is a stressful place, so it is normal to have some lows. However, it is still important to look after your mental health: this may involve giving yourself a space to wind down outside of work, practising mindfulness, ensuring your physical health or seeking additional help.
There is no shame in seeking support or having a Mental Health Condition, no matter the circumstances. This means when revealing that you have a condition to a mental health professional or the Welfare team, we will listen without judgement. Likewise, if you are told by a friend that they have a mental health condition, please act, and listen, with empathy and kindness.
The JCR Welfare Team is happy to talk to you about anything (no issue is too small!) or refer you, with your permission, to someone else who can offer better help and expertise. The Trinity Hall and University support networks are also available, to help you through whatever you’re facing, long or short term. Please do not be afraid to reach out, the people/organisations listed are happy to help.
This page lists a number of great organisations that provide mental health support covering a wide range of issues. But if you can’t find one that sounds quite right, extensive lists can be found here
Mental Health Emergencies
Anybody can experience a crisis, for many different reasons and in many different ways: You may be feeling overwhelmed by your emotions to the point at which you feel you can’t cope anymore; you may be having thoughts of suicide or self harm; you may also be hearing or seeing things that are frightening you – or perhaps are gripped by anxiety to such an extent that you fear for both your mental and physical health.
Whatever your experience, it is nothing to be ashamed of and talking to someone could be the first step to feeling better. If you do not want to yourself, you can ask a friend to act on your behalf and stay with you every step of the way:
- Call 999 or go to Addenbrookes A&E. The porters (01223 332500) can help organise ambulances/transport to hospital
- Call NHS direct on 11, option 2,
- Text SHOUT to 85258
- Call Samaritans (116 123)
- Call Lifeline (0808 808 2121)
If you would like one, then just pick a Mental Health Information card from Central Site Porter’s Lodge (this has a short-list of mental health contacts for both non-urgent and crisis situations). The options for help in a mental health crisis are explained well on the Rethink website.
01223 744444 (7pm – 7am everyday, during term)
Nightline is a student-run listening service, where you can speak to someone anonymously and with full confidentiality. Alternatively, you can email, chat online, skype someone and read their confidentiality policy, by looking at their website.
116 123 (24/7 all year round) or email@example.com
The Samaritans are a suicide-prevention charity which run a confidential, anonymous helpline. You can call in to talk through suicidal thoughts, or then can help you through other mental health emergencies. If you want to know more about their services, their website includes their confidentiality policy, lists of signs suggesting you are struggling to cope, informaiton on how to support a friend, suicide myth busting and support groups for those who have suffered a bereavement from suicide. They also have a self-care app you can download.
0800 068 4141 (9am – 12am/Midnight everyday) or text 07860 039967 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide in young people under 35, Papyrus takes you through how to get help for young people who feel suicidal and supports friends and family worried about loved ones. They also have virtual event spearhead online campaigns.
0808 808 2121 (9am – 11pm Mon-Fri, 2pm – 11pm Sat-Sun and Bank Holidays)
A Cambridgeshire Mental Health Helpline provides a listening ear, support and information on local and national resources and self-help groups.
0300 123 3393 (9am – 6pm Mon-Fri except for bank holidays), text 86463 or email@example.com – Mind Infoline
The Mind infoline provides information, advice and support for people with a wide range of mental health problems and depression.
The charity also has services based in Cambridge and Peterborough which provide counseling and other forms of support for university students and new mums. If you are interested then check out their website, call 0300 303 4363 (9.30am – 5.30pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org for queries about their services.
0845 456 455 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri), or email@example.com
Rethink is 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, more information on which can be found here. Their website also has information on mental illnesses, their symptoms and treatment as well as mental health emergencies.
0800 634 9494 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri)
Information on both the practical and emotional sides of bereavement, covering the necessary legal steps following a death, common financial questions, and how to access bereavement counselling.
Centre 33 – 33 Clarendon Street Cambridge
0333 4141809 (12 – 4pm, Mon-Fri), text/Whatsapp 07514 783745 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As well as offering the helpline, Centre 33 offers counselling as well as information and support on sexual health, housing, money, jobs and benefits for under 25s. You can find more information about this on their website, as well as their confidentiality policy.
0300 330 0630 (10am -10pm every day), or email@example.com
Switchboard is an LGBT+ helpline offering support and information on sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional wellbeing. The helpline is fully confidential and all volunteers are LGBT+. You can also chat with someone online or read their confidentiality policy on their website. Not for you? Check out the LGBT+ page for more helplines and resources.
The NHS Website has information and recommends talking to your GP as soon as possible if you think you may have an eating disorder. However, it is good to remember that a GP treats you physically, not emotionally. Eating disorders are mental health conditions, so often people find it helpful to talk about their journey with someone. Mind also has a lot of information on eating disorders, but if you want to talk to someone anonymously about it first, you can contact:
- 0808 801 0811 (12-8pm Mon-Fri, 4-8pm Sat-Sun)
- Beat is a well known charity offering support and counselling to those affected by eating disorders. If you cannot get through or do not want to call someone, you can chat online via their website. It also has lots of information on eating disorders, every step of the recovery process, as well as guides to help diagnosis and resources for friends and family members.
- 01482 718130 (9:30am – 5:00pm Mon-Fri)
- SEED is a great charity which has a large number of resources and offers services such as counselling, online support groups, email buddy schemes and meal planning tools. If you do not want to ring someone, you can fill in the contact form on their website and they should reach out to you on the same day. Their website has a great deal of information on body image, self harm, eating disorders in men and pregnancy as well as staying safe, to name a few topics.
- 01494 793223 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- This registered charity has a fully confidential helpline and an online self-help group twice a week (7:30pm – 9pm Mondays and Thursdays). Look at their website for more information on this and eating disorders.
- Anorexia & Bulimia Care
- 03000 11 12 13 (9am – 1pm Wed-Fri) or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Their helpline is fully confidential and you can call as needed. However, you can also book a phone call appointment via their website, to save waiting in a queue. Anorexia & Bulimia Care also has a befriending scheme, along with resources for friends and family supporting loved ones with eating disorders.
- National Centre for Eating Disorders
- 0845 838 2040
- As well as the support line, this organisation has a wealth of online information resources covering different disorders, symptoms, treatment, finding a good counsellor, effects of the media, disorders in schools and much more. In addition you can sign up for a 1 hour no-obligation, confidential, eating disorder assessment in person, by phone, Skype or Zoom for £65. From this they will recommend a professional whom you can contact if you would like to receive counselling. Alternatively, they have a private counselling directory you can use (you can call +44 (0)845 838 2040 and someone will help you through this).
Sexual Violence Support:
It might be a good idea to have a look at the Consent and Sexual Assault page for more specific College/Univeristy support or the Sexual Assult Support Services document for other, possibly more specific helplines. Otherwise, you can contact: