Mental Health

Mental health issues are complex, individual, and vary with time. Regardless of the severity of the issue, if you feel troubled there is always help around and a listening ear available.

For just a general chat about anything at all troubling you, contact any of the welfare officers here, and we’d gladly have a chat with you discreetly or point you towards the relevant information appropriate to your case. All information provided to us is strictly confidential unless we suspect there is a serious risk of harm to yourself or someone else.

How can I tell if I’m experiencing a serious mental health issue?

Mental health issues don’t come in a standard packaged form, but if you are concerned you could seek professional advice from the following resources. It is always fine to seek help even if you don’t think it’s a particular mental health problem.

  • The NHS offers a self-assessment for depression , anxiety  and eating disorders amongst other mental health conditions that you could try out before you seek further help.
  • College nurse: Jo Livingstone (+44 1223 36133). Jo is available in the college surgery at the times advertised outside the TAS office in 31C. E-mail her in the first instance if you’d like an appointment.
  • College Counsellor: Veronica McDouall (+44 1223 364127). You can pop to room 1H on Tuesdays between 1:30 and 2:15 pm during full-term for a drop-in session.
  • University Counselling Service (www.counselling.cam.ac.uk/studentcouns)
    • Pre-counselling form and consultation
    • Self-help leaflets.
    • Individual and group sessions
    • There can be a long wait during term time, so try other resources during term if possible.
  • Students’ Unions’ Advice Service (www.studentadvice.cam.ac.uk/)
    • A professional listening and signposting service that provides free, non-judgmental and confidential support to Cambridge students.
    • Independent from colleges
    • Deals with mental health issues, academic issues, complaints, disciplinary issues, intermission, etc.
    • Email, ring or drop-in!
  • Other popular counselling services and helplines:
    • SANE ,
    • Nightline (previously known as Linkline) at 01223 744444,
    • B-eat (Eating disorders helpline; www.b-eat.co.uk also provides comprehensive information on eating disorders!)
  • Visit your GP as soon as possible if:
    • If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts
    • You’ve been feeling depressed for more than a few weeks
    • Your anxiety is affecting your daily life
    • You have been self-harming
    • You have been purging or consistently restricting your food intake.

NB: Sometimes you may feel that the services provided by just contacting some of the people listed here don’t work for you; if the concerns still persist please do contact the welfare officers or try the other resources listed until you find something that fits the bill.

What should I do if about the mental health of a friend/family member ?

If you or someone you know is dealing with a mental health crisis, please contact 111 (Option 2) for urgent care or 999 for an emergency!

In general however, such situations are extremely sensitive given that you are dealing with the privacy of another individual. There are some general guidelines posted by rethink.org that you can follow if needed.

What should I do if my mental health condition is affecting my work?

Of course, the most important thing is to ensure that you are OK and that measures are being taken to cope with your condition as best as possible. Informing the college nurse and meeting with her regularly is one such way to proceed.

From an administrative perspective however, if you are comfortable with divulging such information, you could also contact your college tutor (and perhaps even your supervisor to ensure a clear line of communication). This would ensure that they can keep tabs on your progress and help you out as is necessary with the technicalities (e.g. intermission/ extensions)