Students in Crisis

It is important to be aware that the Counselling & Wellbeing Service is not an emergency service.

If you are in crisis and feel that you or someone else is at risk or harm, you should contact your GP or the emergency services.

If you have an academic concern, you should first speak to your Personal Tutor.

If you need guidance on what support is available, you can speak to a member of the Student Services Hub Team, who will provide information on options available to you.

T: 01786 466022


A: Student Services Hub, 2A1, Cottrell Building

If a student presents at the Student Services Hub, the Student Hub team will triage the enquiry and will determine if the student is in crisis. The Student Hub Assistant may need to discuss the situation with a Senior Adviser, who may wish to speak to the student. The team will consider factors such as:

  • How the student is presenting e.g. are they in significant distress?
  • The language that the student is using
  • The facts that the student shares
  • Other support that the student has in place
  • Any diagnosis that a student has

They will make an assessment as to whether the student is in crisis.

If it is determined that a student is in crisis, a Senior Adviser will provide initial guidance, which may include referral to a specialist service e.g. Mental Health or Counselling, or - if the crisis is urgent - may involve referral to a GP or emergency services.

The Student Services Hub is not an emergency service and cannot act in place of a GP or the emergency services.


When faced with a student in crisis it is important to stay calm, listen and adopt a non-judgemental approach. If the student is willing to accept help and it is within office hours, you can encourage them to make an appointment with their GP or to talk to a member of staff from Student Services Hub about support options e.g. registering with the Counselling & Wellbeing Service, Student Learning Services, or the Mental Health Adviser. Arrange for them to be accompanied, if possible, to the Student Services Hub or the GP, as appropriate.

If it is out of office hours, you can suggest that they contact NHS 24 on 111 or call the Samaritans who offer a 24 hour confidential emotional support helpline for anyone in crisis at or 08457909090.

Have a look at our Out of Hours Support page for more information.


A situation can be regarded as an emergency if someone is a risk of death or serious harm.

Examples are: if a student has made a suicide attempt, is behaving violently, or is badly injured. In these circumstances, emergency services should be contacted immediately.

If it is an emergency, do the following:

  • Off campus:  call 999 to reach any of the emergency services.
  • On campus:  to reach the Police, call the Security Team any time 24/7 on x2222 (on an internal phone) or 01786 467999 if using your mobile phone.
  • On campus: to call an ambulance, dial 999 directly to speak to a call handler. Once you have done so, call the Security team on x 2222 or 01786 467999 to advise them that an ambulance will be arriving.


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