Information for staff supporting students

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

    If you are concerned about a student, contact Wellbeing. We won’t be able to share information without the student’s consent, but we can provide guidance about how to deal with the situation and information about how to refer a student to our services.

    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 contact Brookes Union Safety Bus in order to get home (tel: 07714 445 050).

    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:

    • Phone 111 – 24 hour non-emergency health advice. 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.
    • Phone 101 – 24 hour non-emergency police enquiries. 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. 
    • Samaritans – Available 24/7, 365 days a year. 
      tel: 116 123 (freephone) | web: https://www.samaritans.org/ | email: jo@samaritans.org
    • Nightline – A listening, support and information service run by students for students.
      tel: 01865 270 270 | web: http://oxfordnightline.org/

    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.