What support is available to students who experience mental health difficulties?
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has two dedicated Disability Adviser's (Mental Health and Autism) who are the first point of contact for students with a mental health diagnosis at any stage during their studies.
If you would like to discuss support for Mental Health Conditions and the impact of this on your studies, please contact DDS to make an appointment to meet with a Disability Adviser (Mental Health and Autism).
Students with no existing mental health diagnosis but who are experiencing issues with their mental health should contact the Advice and Counselling Service to see a Mental Health Adviser in the first instance.
What to do if you have concerns
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.
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 Supporting students in urgent situations [PDF 618KB] guidelines
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.
The Disability Adviser (Mental Health and Autism) advisers can help with:
- Problems you are experiencing as a result of your mental health condition
- Making reasonable adjustments to ensure that you are not at a disadvantage
- Talking to tutors/other staff on your behalf
- Applying for Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
- Finding/changing a mentor or other non-medical helper
- What to do if you think you are autistic
- What to do if you think you have dyslexia or dyspraxia
- What to do if you have academic problems
- Advice on extenuating circumstances and 'fit to sit'
- What to do if you have accommodation problems
If your academic work is being affected by a mental health condition 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 which is a one-to-one support tailored to support students address the barriers to learning created by a particular impairment, e.g., mental-health conditions, or autism.
What is Specialist Mentoring?
Specialist mentors can support with:
- time management and planning;
- maintaining a study routine;
- help with motivation;
- developing effective learning strategies;
- building confidence and resilience;
- coping with anxiety and stress;
- dealing with concentration difficulties;
- support with self-management and self-care;
- ensuring a study-life balance.
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 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 Disability Adviser (Mental Health and Autism) 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.
For more resources for mental health please see our Useful Links page