In an Emergency
Porters and Tutors
Porters’ lodges are staffed 24 hours a day – and there is always a duty tutor on call in case of emergency.
NHS 111 (Option 2)
NHS First Response Service is 24 hours and they can:
- Help people talk things through and understand what’s going on
- Help people access appropriate help
- Refer people to a mental health crisis team who can visit them wherever they’re living
- Refer people to Mind’s safe houses
- Refer people for assessment for inpatient treatment
NHS 999 or A&E
If you or someone else is experiencing a mental health emergency, and especially if you/they are feeling suicidal, go to the A&E department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital (Hill’s Road, CB2 0QQ). It’s absolutely vital to take a mental health emergency as seriously as you would a physical health emergency.
Your tutor is responsible for your wellbeing in college, and should be able to signpost you toward the support you need. You can talk to any tutor – just email them to schedule an appointment.
College Nurse or Counsellor
Your college nurse or counsellor can help direct you to appropriate services, and is available to chat about all things health-related, be they physical or mental.
The chaplain is a part of the welfare system and, as such, is a great person to chat to, regardless of your religious beliefs.
It may be easier to speak to a fellow student. Welfare Reps are trained to be able to tell you where to go for the right support, and they’re also just great to chat to.
University Counselling Service (UCS)
The University Counselling Service is free, and available to all undergraduate students in residence and graduate students on the register, including students of the Theological Colleges. The Service primarily offers short-term counselling. As well as individual counselling, it provides Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and access to guided self-help, where this is appropriate. Many people don’t know that they can self-refer to the counselling service. Alternatively, your tutor or college nurse can make a referral on your behalf. Find out more here.
Student Unions’ Advice Service (SUAS)
The Students’ Unions’ Advice Service provides free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to undergraduate and graduate students at Cambridge. You can come to the service with any issues or problems affecting your student experience – from questions or concerns about your education, university procedures or difficulties in college, to relationship problems, mental health issues and welfare concerns. The Students’ Unions’ Advice Service can support you in a number of ways. They can discuss your concerns with you, explore what options are available to you, and represent you at university or college level if necessary. They also act as a signposting service – if they can’t assist you, they can help you work out what other sources of support are available that might better suit your needs. Find out more here.
Disability Resource Centre (DRC)
Many people aren’t aware that long-term mental illness is a form of disability. The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) can provide support to students with long-standing mental illnesses including, but not limited to, depression, schizophrenia and anxiety disorder. The Disability Resource Centre can help you make alternative arrangements for exams, help you with your application for Disabled Student Allowance (for UK students), or help you find other sources of funding. They can also help with study skills sessions, and can act as a liaison between you and your academic supervisors. You may get in touch with the DRC before you arrive, or at any point during your studies at Cambridge. The DRC can then find you a suitable adviser for you, and help them to assess your needs. They will then be able to offer you practical advice and support, and can help in developing useful strategies to manage your mental illness. Find out more here.
SU Liberation Officers
Liberation Officers work to represent the welfare of specific groups of students (including, but not limited to, students who identify as LGBT+, women, disabled, and BAME.) Any of them can be contacted for advice on how to access support, particularly where issues relate to their specific role. You can find out who your Liberation Officers are here.
Nightline is a listening service run by students for students. Every night of term, trained student volunteers answer calls, emails and instant messages from their fellow university students about anything that’s troubling them. The service upholds a number of key principles:
- Confidential – what callers discuss with Nightline volunteers will not be shared outside of Nightline.
- Anonymous – callers don’t have to give any identifying details about themselves.
- Non-judgemental – Nightline volunteers don’t judge, supporting callers through whatever it is they’re going through.
- Non-directional – meaning callers decide what they want to talk about, with the Nightline volunteer giving them a safe space to do this.
- Non-advisory – Nightline gives the caller space to make their own decision, and supports them in this rather than telling them what to do.
You can ring 01223 744444, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or find out more here.
Student Minds is a mental health charity operating across the UK, empowering students and all members of university communities to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, to support others, and to create positive changes within their institutions. In Cambridge, Student Minds is aiming to engage with students and university staff about the subject of mental health in the university, to campaign for better provisions inside the university and, by changing the culture of high intensity terms and competitive teaching styles, to promote the idea of being mentally healthy. Student Minds Cambridge runs campaigns and events throughout term-time. All of these are aimed at increasing awareness of mental health amongst the student body, and promoting a safe and open environment for conversations about mental health between staff and students alike. Find out how to contact us here.
You can consult your local GP in Cambridge – try to get registered as soon as you can.
NHS Mental Health Services
Reach out to NHS Mental Health Services here.
Phone: 0800 917 7650 (24-hour helpline)
Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 7.30pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 2pm)
Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults) or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)
Cruse Bereavement Care
Phone: 0808 808 1677 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
Men’s Health Forum
24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Mental Health Foundation
Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily, 10am to midnight)
National Gambling Helpline
Phone: 0808 8020 133 (daily, 8am to midnight)
Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.
Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge
Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.
Phone: 0845 390 6232 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge
A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.
Phone: 0333 212 7890 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Young suicide prevention society.
Phone: HOPELINEUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm, and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays)
To find your local services phone: 0808 802 9999 (daily, 12pm to 2.30pm and 7pm to 9.30pm)
Phone: 0808 168 9111 (24-hour helpline)
Advice on dealing with domestic violence.
Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)
The UK’s largest provider of relationship support.
Rethink Mental Illness
Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)
Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare
Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum
Shout is the UK’s first free, confidential, 24/7 text support service. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope. Text SHOUT to 85258.
Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)