Every wellbeing and support service you can access as a Bristol student
There are more than you think
It's probably not controversial to say that a lot of students are finding things tough right now, and Bristol is no exception. But, if that includes you or someone you know, there is good news: help is at hand.
Yes, even though it might not seem like it, there are more mental health support services out there than you could even count. But, although the number of Bristol students seeking help is rising, a lot of us feel like we don't really know what is available.
So, we've put together a little PSA. It's a compilation of the key services you can access for mental health support as a Bristol student, all listed in one place with links, addresses and contact details.
If you need help NOW, look to these services:
NHS Mental Health Crisis Team
Teams like this exist all around the country and the Bristol one can be accessed here. It’s 24 hour and billed as the place to go if you or a friend have reached a mental health breaking point. The proper emergency 24/7 phone line is 0300 555 0334.
Residential Life Service (Resi Life)
For anyone in halls, these guys offer support 24/7. In a mental health emergency, calling your relevant Support Centre and speaking to the on-call staff member is one of the steps you can take. See the picture below for the separate contact details of each hub. You can also approach them with any long running concerns, although they aren’t a medical or clinical service. You can also call the halls security team on 0117 3311 223.
Yep, it’s not just for physical problems: the GPs at Student Health can give you medical advice on depression, anxiety or any other mental health condition you’re worried about. In a real emergency, call and arrange a same day visit as long as it’s before 6:30pm. Or, for longer term issues, book in an appointment to talk things through. Either way call on 0117 330 2720 (option 1 for appointments). Alternatively, book online here (as long as you’re registered – you can do that here).
Bristol Sanctuary (NHS)
This is a centre you can visit if you're in serious emotional distress. While there, you will be under the care of trained staff members and they'll even book you a taxi to get home. Check out their website here.
One of the biggest charities working closely with those who suffer from poor mental health. They provide a safe and comfortable space for you to express yourself. Don’t stress about being labeled or judged: everything is confidential and the workers are carefully trained. You can go in to meet with someone at their Bristol branch (37 St Nicholas Street, Bristol, BS1 1TP) or call on 0117 983 1000.
You don't have to reach a mental health crisis before you seek out help. For longer term support, check these out:
Just Ask Service
This Bristol SU advice service guides students through University procedures such as appeals, extenuating circumstances and changing course. It is also able to support students facing disciplinary action. Students are able to make an online enquiry, which the service aims to address within three working days. The online page also directs students to an appropriate page is they need help in an emergency.
Student Counselling Service
The counsellors in Bristol can help you with a LOT. Be it a procrastination problem, low self-confidence, a bereavement, a gender identity issue: they’re set to offer professional help on a short term basis. That doesn’t mean everything though. For ongoing, severe or complex mental health conditions (e.g. eating disorders), they suggest you seek treatment from an NHS service like Student Health. Sessions can be in a group or one-on-one and they don’t even have to be in person: you can receive counselling over the phone. See here for details on how to register.
Student Wellbeing Service
You can access help through your course with this service. Whatever the issue that's bothering you, there are 3-5 professional, well-trained trained staff members in each school (e.g. school of psychology) who offer advice and point you in the right direction. To get support, go to your school office and ask for an appointment with a Student Wellbeing Advisor. Or get in touch by email (email@example.com) or phone (0117 428 4300).
Call up this hotline if you just want someone to listen. University life, home life, sexuality, mental health, relationships, they do it all. It’s fully anonymous and confidential, the phones are staffed by student volunteers and although they’re “non-advisory” (they won’t tell you what to do next) they can signpost other services that might help. Call on 01179 266 266 from 8:00am-8:00pm on any term night.
The Big White Wall
This is a digital support service which provides help for issues from the small, everyday stresses to major life events. It is an anonymous community moderated by trained professionals. This is a great tool for when other help such as the counselling service has too long a waiting list or you're not comfortable sharing things face to face. Get involved at the link here.
It is literally their JOB to be there for you, so you can feel confident in reaching out. Your tutor will remain the same throughout your time at Bristol and should be your first point of contact within your school or department. They can help talk through academic or personal issues, such as worries about falling behind. They aren’t trained in counselling, healthcare or career advice but they can help point you in the right direction of who to contact in these instances. Unsure of who your personal tutor is? Contact your school here to ask.
Just like a tutor but for post-grad students: advice for academic or pastoral queries, not trained in counselling but can direct you on where to go for more specific help. They’re available within standard working hours and you can contact your school (here) to find out who your supervisor is.
Bereavement support sessions
These are group therapy sessions for those affected by the loss of a friend, family member, etc. Organised by the Student Wellbeing Service, professionals from Cruse Bereavement Care (an external group of professionals accessible to anyone who’s experiencing bereavement) come in and chat to the group, offering professional advice in a myriad of ways (email, face to face, magazine, etc.). Click here to see their website.
This service offers a crazy amount of under-the-radar support. They have quiet spaces for you to sit and think, quite literally a godsend on a crowded campus. Or you can share a biscuit with a chaplain who can offer some advice. There are group facilities too: chat in a common room, get involved with growing and cooking in the kitchen garden, or get meditating with the Zen Society. It all makes for a welcoming environment to talk through any problems you’re facing, regardless of religious background. Either drop in or make an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
(victim of an incident)
If you have been the victim of a hate crime or any other unjust behaviour which may have affected your wellbeing, you can send a report here. You can either send a report anonymously or request contact from an Advisor. By doing the latter, you are able to talk to an Acceptable Workplace Behaviour Advisor.
This provides confidential advice and information to disabled students about options for disability-related study support. Often that’s tailored to the student on a case-by-case basis and they also advise on sources of funding for disability-related study support. Get in touch via email@example.com.
What if none of those seem helpful to me?
If you’re struggling and nothing here seems like a good fit, the Uni have a great sign-posting page for issue specific services. The topics include: bullying, harassment and discrimination; the culture shock of moving in to uni; sex, pregnancy and relationships; self-esteem; self injury; sleeping patterns and suicidal feelings. Each comes with a whole pile of info and you can find it all here and another similar one here.