Information for staff supporting students

  • Who do I talk to if I'm worried about a student?

    If you are concerned about a student, please refer to our new Signposting Students Guide in the first instance and follow this advice. 

    Signposting Students: A guide for University staff »

    Contact the University Case Conference Group for advice on complex student cases which:

    • involve more than one University support service and/or
    • involve risk/potential harm to one or more students and/or
    • involve concerns about a student’s vulnerability to radicalisation

    A member of the Case Conference Group will reply with advice on the next steps. They may suggest that you set up a Cause for Concern Group and fill in a Cause for Concern Action Log.

    What if a situation occurs outside normal working hours?

    If a student is distressed, unwell or is asking for help – or if others are worried about them – try to listen non-judgmentally, reassure them, and gather information. You may be able to help just by listening or suggesting practical help, e.g. how to find a late-night pharmacy or how to use the Brookes Union safer taxi travel scheme in order to get home.

    Follow the 5 basic steps

    You are not expected to offer professional help, but you may need to decide on what action to take. Follow the 5 basic steps:

    1. Is there immediate danger? Call 999
    2. Listen
    3. Reassure
    4. Give information
    5. Arrange follow up if appropriate

     Emergency? Need help now? »

    If the student feels that they need help at that moment but there is no immediate danger, you could suggest the following resources:

    24 hour non-emergency health advice

    Tel: 111

    The caller is asked questions to determine the nature of the problem. The 111 team will coordinate a response from a duty doctor or the police if necessary, or recommend further action.

    24 hour non-emergency police enquiries

    Tel: 101

    The 101 team will gather information and identify appropriate action – this might involve contacting medical services, or arranging for a welfare call. As part of the Street Triage Service, a Community Psychiatric Nurse may accompany police officers if a student is experiencing mental health difficulties.


    Someone to listen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    Tel: 116 123 (Freephone)




    A listening, support and information service run by students for students.

    Tel:  01865 270 270


    Follow up

    Remind the student that they can contact:

    Free mental health e-learning for all University staff

    Would you like to feel more confident when supporting students in distress? This e-learning package consists of six easy-to-follow, 20-minute sessions including:

    • Signs to look out for
    • Key helping skills
    • Knowing who else to involve
    • Supporting students at risk or in crisis

    For students experiencing depression, anxiety, homesickness or low self-esteem, that first conversation can make all the difference.

    To find out more and access the sessions, visit Free Mental Health e-Learning.