Supporting students with mental health disabilities

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Charlie Waller Memorial Trust E-Learning Package

The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust has developed an e-learning package that is designed to give non-specialist staff the skills, knowledge and confidence to offer a first line of support to students who may have mental health issues. The package consists of six, easy-to-follow 20-minute sessions: key principles; signs to look out for; key helping skills; knowing who else to involve; supporting students at risk or in crisis.

All University staff should consider undertaking the e-learning package as part of their induction or continuing professional development. It is a good idea to identify another colleague who has yet to complete this training and organise two or three discussion sessions to review what you each have taken from the training. In addition, talk to your line manager about what you have learned, and what your reflections are about how it will influence your approach with students.

Mental Health Awareness Training

The Counselling Service offers Mental Health Awareness Training for any staff member who may find themselves supporting students in distress with the aim being to enable staff to feel more confident and equipped to manage those situations. The training is ideally delivered to groups of 10 or more individuals, in-house, in departments and colleges.  For further information please contact Dr Ruth Collins.

Counselling Service

The Counselling Service has very useful advice for staff on when to refer a student to the Counselling Service, and what to do if you think the issue is urgent. Students can also make an appointment themselves at the Counselling Service, but some students may need the encouragement of a staff referral, or might agree to a referral in circumstances where they themselves would not proactively make an appointment.

Effective communication

Samaritans: having a difficult conversation

This excellent webpage provides hints and tips about tackling difficult conversations and active listening approaches.

Mind resources and training

Mind is the UK’s leading mental health charity. It not only supports anyone experiencing a mental health problem, and campaigns to improve services, it also provides training and resources for people who want to be able to spot someone who is experiencing mental health difficulties, support them and refer them to appropriate help.

Mental Health First Aid England

MHFA England courses are accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health, and is a social enterprise that offers guidance and training to support mental health. It has courses specific to Higher Education, from ½ day to two-day courses, which can be booked by individuals, or institutions/departments can ask MHFA to develop a bespoke session for them.

Students Against Depression

Primarily a website focussed on self-help for students, this website also has a useful guide on how to approach helping others.


BEAT is the UK’s leading eating disorder charity and has lots of resources on supporting somebody with an eating disorder. They also have a course specifically for University staff.

Counselling Service

Students can make an appointment with the Counselling Service, which offers a brief and focussed therapy to help address personal or emotional problems. The Counselling Service also offers self-help resources for students.

Students Against Depression

Developed by the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, the Students Against Depression website provides a portal for students experiencing mental health issues and symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and sleep-loss to access relevant self-help.

Student Minds

Their website has many useful self-help resources for students and a helpline.

Download a pdf version

The information on this page is available for you to download as a pdf


Contact us

Disability Advisory Service

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