What support is available to students with who experience mental health problems?
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has a dedicated Mental Health Coordinator who is a first point of contact for students experiencing mental health issues at any stage during their studies.
The Mental Health Coordinator 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" guidelines.
If you have concerns about your own mental health and its impact on your studies please email us to make an appointment to meet with the Mental Health Coordinator.
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, the Mental Health Coordinator 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 1:1 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
- Building a nice and confidential relationship with a professional that keeps you motivated, because they try hard to help you and show concern so you want to make them happy by achieving more
- Good practical advice regarding studying skills and any problems affecting ability to study.”
Communicating on your behalf
If you are being treated within the NHS (or other external agencies), the Mental Health Co-ordinator can, if you wish, act as a link person to achieve effective communication between these agencies and the University.
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.