The Mental Health Officer
It is well known that life at Cambridge University is high pressure, with our short eight week terms pushing us intellectually and physically, trying to find the time to fit in extra-curricular activities alongside demanding supervisions and deadlines. It can be difficult to be prepared for these pressures, and managing the heavy Cambridge workload alongside your personal life over your time here can present a challenge to your mental health.
Mental health problems that students experience can range from worries we all experience from time-to-time, to serious long-term conditions. Students coming to Cambridge with pre-existing mental health problems may also have additional concerns about their health, and so getting in touch early on about the help available will help adjustment to university life, and aid in the process of recovery.
Here at Cambridge there is a wide range of systems of support that are available for individuals facing mental health problems, which are readily accessible in times of need. Looking after your mental health is essential and should always take precedence, particularly if you find your illness to be a barrier in your every day life. There is no shame in addressing your mental health although it is often difficult, so please approach someone if you believe this is the case for you or someone you know.
Approximately 1 in 4 people experience a mental health condition at some time during their lives, and we are committed to tackling the stigma around mental illness and raising awareness of the needs and ways in which individuals can maintain a positive mental health.
If you are suffering from a mental illness which is encumbering your ability to work, let your tutor, your Mental Health Welfare Officer, or healthcare professional know as soon as possible. This will make the process easier should you need any exam allowances.
More info about the current Mental Health & Disabled Students Welfare Officer
For more info on the current Disabled Students Welfare Officer's profile and plans for the year check out this page, introducing you to this year's welfare sub-committee.
Useful & Important Information and Links
College Counsellor: Helen Acton
Trinity has a College Counsellor who has years of experience working therapeutically with students, and is a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. She is based in college during allocated hours, and can be reached on the following e-mail.
College Nurse: Teresa Crouchman
She is available to discuss, in confidence, any health issues related to physical and mental health. Her open surgery is found in Nevile’s Court, and no appointments are necessary. Full term hours are as follows:
Tel: 01223 338471
Mental Health Advisor: Juliet Bristow
Trinity's Mental Health Advisor, Juliet Bristow, has recently increased the
number of hours she is available for Trinity students each week. She has a
wealth of experience dealing with students, and is able to offer specialised
advice about mental health and wellbeing. She is now accepting
Tel: 01223 747505
University Counselling Service
The Counselling Service offers free, professional and confidential counselling to all students and staff. A number of groups also exist for students, and more information on a range of issues can be found on the website.
*To make an appointment with the UCS:
*They also run self-help groups and workshops: the timetable for which is found here:
*An A-Z of self help leaflets covering a variety of problems people suffer e.g. anxiety, perfectionism, self harm…
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.
*To make an appointment with the SAS:
*They also offer dropin sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 12pm-2pm at the Graduate Union (17 Mill Lane)
*More useful information can be found here:
The University's Mental Health Advisers
Emily Farrar MHA and Jane Gaffa MHA are the University's Mental Health Advisors and they provide support, advice and guidance to students experiencing complex or enduring mental health problems; as well as providing information and advice to staff across the Colleges and University in relation to student mental health. The MHA can offer a quick response to students who are experiencing acute mental health difficulties, and can do a mental health assessment either in College or at the Counselling Service.
To access the MHAs students need to be referred by College or University staff such as your tutor or the Senior Tutor. The MHAs are unable to take self-referrals from students or their family and friends.
Emily Farrar and Jane Gaffa can be contacted via the following email addresses:
This is the Student-run confidential listening service available from 7pm-7am every night of full term for Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin students.
Tel: 01223 744 444 or 01223 367 575 – both will numbers go through to their phone line. They don’t have call display, so they can’t see what number you're calling from nor can they find out.
Email: email@example.com - They will always get back to you within 48 hours. Their email service automatically strips your email address from the email, so they cannot see your email address.
Skype: linkline.cambridge - You can call them for free on Skype 7pm-7am every night of the CU full term. Calls from Skype go straight through to their phones like any other call – they can’t tell if a call comes from a phone or from a computer.
Samaritans (Cambridge Branch)
This is a non-religious organisation which offers a similar service to Linkline and are the people to contact outside of Linkline's opening times (they're open 24hours).
Tel: 01223 364455 or 08457 909090
(National mental health charity) - http://www.sane.org.uk
SANE runs a national, out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. They are open every day of the year from 6pm to 11pm
Tel: 0845 767 8000
(National mental health charity): http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/
----The Cambridgeshire offshoot: http://www.mindincambs.org.uk/
----The Mind infoline provides information on treatments and advocacy and details of help and support in your local area. Tel: 0300 123 3393.
(Local mental health charity): http://www.lifecraft.org.uk/index.asp
----The Lifeline providing a freephone confidential support service across Cambridgeshire between 7.00pm and 11.00pm, 365 days a year:
Tel: 0808 808 2121
----A (dated but useful) handbook with a wide range of information can be found here.
Disability Resource Centre
The DRC is the University of Cambridge's disability service, providing advice, information and support to all disabled students. The DRC supports individuals with any disability, medical matter or injury, including those with mental health issues.
Contact Mary Harvey, Trinity’s Disabled Students Welfare Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Centre on +44 (0)1223 332301.
Address: Keynes House, 24a Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 9am - 5pm, Friday 9am - 4pm
Your local GP is either Newnham Walk surgery or Bridge Street medical practice. Both practices have fantastic GPs who are able to put you in contact with counselors, or discuss treatment options with you.
CUSU Resources for Specific Issues (NOT JUST FOR WOMEN)
CUSU Women's Campaign (NOT JUST FOR WOMEN): http://www.womens.cusu.cam.ac.uk/welfare/mentalhealth/
----For Eating Disorders: http://www.womens.cusu.cam.ac.uk/welfare/eatingdisorders/
--------A leaflet on eating disorders
--------The B-eat (national eating disorders charity) helpline, youthline or messaging service is a confidential helpline number which offers support to sufferers, family and friends.
----For Alcohol and Drug Addiction: http://www.womens.cusu.cam.ac.uk/welfare/addiction/
----For Self Harm: http://www.womens.cusu.cam.ac.uk/welfare/selfharm/