Going to University is exciting, but can also be challenging, not just for the student but for their friends and family as well. Sometimes it can be hard to know how best to support them, especially if it’s the first time they’ve been away from home.
We provide a range of services, from confidential advice and support to medical care on campus. Pointing them to the right place can be the best thing you can do to help, or just encouraging them to get in touch with someone who can do that. Our goal is to make sure they’re healthy and happy, but also that they are independent and capable of looking after themselves.
In this way we can make sure that they are not only capable of feeling in control of their wellbeing whilst they are at Nottingham, we can also help them to build up the skills which will prepare them for life after university.
It’s important to remember that everyone who attends university is an adult. That means we can’t share information about them without their consent.
We can listen and help direct concerns, but we can’t share information with friends and family. We find it’s best to support our students directly, rather than trying to work through their friends and family, and family and friends can best help by encouraging their loved one to talk to us.
Who can I contact in an emergency?
If there’s an urgent serious concern about your loved one’s safety, you can ring the Security Control Office which is open 24hrs a day, every day of the week. They’ll listen and be able to take steps to offer help. That might involve passing details on to some of the other teams at the University.
Contact security now
We can ask them to contact you or let us get in touch, but if they refuse we have to respect their right to confidentiality. If you've contacted us and you’re still worried later, please ring again and we'll do what we can to help.
Where can my loved one get medical advice?
The NHS University Health Centre on University Park provides a range of services including access to specialist services (including psychiatric services) on site. Students should register there when they arrive and can still visit a GP at home as a temporary patient if they need to.
If they haven’t registered, they can still call and get an appointment, with the agreement they’ll register as soon as possible.
Contact the University Health Centre
Students studying at Sutton Bonnington can ask to register with the University Health Centre if they want, but there are also local practices they can register with. We have a close working relationship with the Orchard Practice in Kegworth, where many students are registered.
Who can my loved one speak to within their School if they are struggling?
Every student is assigned a personal tutor who is a dedicated academic to help when with any personal or academic issue. Their tutor will be able to help them work out the best next steps.
A student can also get help from their School Welfare Officer, who works with Student Services. They are specialists in welfare support who can help refer to other services.
Contact welfare support
If they want it, your loved one can request an academic peer mentor in their first term. This is a student from the year above who can give them help with their new studies.
Who can my loved one speak to outside of the School?
If they’re living on campus or at Broadgate Park, St Peters Court, Raleigh Park or Riverside Point, we have a hall pastoral team living on site. They can provide support to the students during evenings and weekends. They provide welfare advice and support, as well as helping to resolve any problems in halls.
If your loved one is living in private rented or other third-party accommodation, they can find help and advice about any issues affecting them in the community by contacting our Off-Campus Affairs Team.
Contact the Off-Campus Affairs Team
How can I support my loved one to lead a healthy life at university?
We’re passionate about health promotion and working with our students to help them keep healthy. HealthyU is our way of providing a wide range of information, and we also run campaigns during the year.
Learn more about HealthyU
Where can my loved one go if they need counselling support?
The University has a free, confidential, counselling service which provides support on every campus. Students who want to see a counsellor can make an appointment without a referral. They’ll usually be seen within two weeks, though this can be longer when the service is very busy. Groups and workshops are also available.
The counselling service is not intended for use in a crisis. If they need urgent help, they should contact their GP for an urgent appointment, or if you have reason to believe they are in danger then contact security.
Contact the counselling service
What support can my loved one have if they have long-term mental health problems?
If your loved one has significant or long-term mental health problems, they might need to access the University Mental Health Advisory Service. This University team provides specialist mental health advice and support. They’re a referral-only service, so students should speak to their GP, School Welfare Officer or Hall Pastoral Team first. Sometimes students might be referred to the service by staff directly without the student being involved.
The service can provide advice and support to help students manage their mental health. They might also help them access specialist NHS services. They provide crisis intervention in situations where students are felt to be at risk or putting others at risk due to their mental health problems.
Find out more about mental health support
What do I do if my loved one is struggling to settle in and make friends?
There are many ways to enjoy yourself and make friends at the University. The Student Union runs dozens of societies and volunteering opportunities. A great way to build up friendships and to find a community is to join a society.
There’s also a guide available that talks about the transition to University for the first time and what support people can access
University life – what to expect in your first term
Find out more about clubs and societies
Volunteering is often a great way to make friends, and the SU team can help your loved one find a cause close to their heart.
Get involved with volunteering
There is a peer support group for students with mental health problems called Student Minds who can help support people struggling with anxiety and depression.
Find out more about Student Minds
Where can my loved one get faith advice?
The University has a multi-faith chaplaincy that provides welfare and spiritual support everyone of any faith or none. There are also faith spaces across all the campuses where students can practise their faith.
Find out more about the Chaplaincy
Who can I talk to if I am worried about how my loved one is doing?
If they’ve come to you for help, then you should make them aware of the support available at the University. Sometimes gentle encouragement is all they’ll need to feel in control. Try checking in a few days later to see how they’re doing.
If you’re not sure the best way to help, then contact the University Counselling Service for advice. The counselling service offers guidance over the phone to concerned family and friends. It’s worth remembering that they’re bound by confidentially, and won’t be able to share any details about your loved one, but they can advise you on the best way to support them.
Advice from the counselling service