What support is available to students with who experience mental health problems?
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has a Mental Health Coordinator and a Mental Health and Autistic Spectrum Disorder Adviser who are the first point of contact for students experiencing mental health issues at any stage during their studies. Please see here for more information about ASD specific support.
The Mental Health team can also provide information, training and advice to staff within QMUL in relation to student mental health. Members of staff who have concerns about the mental health of a student should refer to the " Student in Distress [PDF 3,861KB]" guidelines.
If you have concerns about your own mental health and its impact on your studies please contact us to make an appointment to meet with a member of the team.
We have institutional membership with the University Mental Health Adviser Network (UMHAN) which seeks to share good practice and influence developments across the sector.
Disabled Students’ Allowance
If you have a diagnosed mental health condition you may be eligible for support through the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). The Mental Health Co-ordinator can help you apply.
If your academic work is being affected by a mental health difficulty, your adviser can discuss support that might be helpful, and, if you consent, liaise with your faculty to ensure that they are met. The most common form of support for students is specialist mentoring.
What is Specialist Mentoring?
Specialist mentors provide highly specialist, specifically tailored, one to one support which helps students address the barriers to learning created by a particular impairment, e.g. mental-health conditions, or autistic spectrum disorders. This could include a range of issues, for example, coping with anxiety and stress situations, how to deal with concentration difficulties, time management, prioritising workload and creating a suitable work-life balance. Specialist Mentors should not act as advocates or counsellors. Their role is to help students recognise the barriers to learning created by their impairment and support them in developing strategies to address these barriers, particularly at times of transition, e.g. when starting at university or when planning to move on from it. For some students this support will need to be ongoing while for others it might be gradually phased out or only be required at certain points of their course.
How does mentoring help?
“The mentoring has really helped me getting back on my feet, becoming less stressed and instead organised and ahead of my work. Every time I see my mentor I'm ill at ease but I always leave a lot lighter. It has really helped me to get my confidence back and I always feel welcome and nothing is too little or unimportant to ask about.”
“Mentoring helped to get into a routine when first starting, I was able to create a plan for my work which I probably wouldn't have been able to do as well without the mentoring. It's also good to know that there is someone who can help should I come into any difficulties.”
“I really wished I had discovered this service earlier. I have found mentoring helpful for the following reasons:
- Regular weekly meetings with someone who's actually interested in helping you achieve your goals.
- Help to set goals and breakdown tasks that otherwise seem insurmountable”
Communicating on your behalf
If you are being treated within the NHS (or other external agencies), your Mental Health Adviser can, if you wish, liaise with your home mental health team to ensure a successful transition to university or, if you are returning from a period of interruption, to discuss any reasonable adjustments and ongoing support.
How are we different to counselling?
Like the Advice and Counselling Service we aim to help students who are experiencing emotional or psychological difficulties. However, the main difference between us is that the emphasis of our work is on practical support rather than therapeutic interventions.
Are you a confidential service?
Yes. We won’t disclose details about you, or any support you receive, without your consent, unless there are exceptional circumstances where there may be a significant risk to the safety and wellbeing of yourself or others. Even in those circumstances we would still attempt to seek your consent before taking further action.