Helping someone in distress

If you are worried about a student or colleague, try first to help them to talk things through. Listen to their concerns attentively and take their problems seriously. Respond calmly and reassuringly, but avoid taking control or committing yourself to doing more than you are comfortable with. Express your concerns and encourage them to contact the Counselling and Mental Health Service to speak to a counsellor.

Sometimes people may be reluctant to seek help or may agree to contact us, but later change their minds as the impetus to act and the motivation to seek help fades. So it’s a good idea, if you think it is possible in the circumstances, to ask their permission to contact us on their behalf. We can then follow up when appropriate, without breaching confidentiality. If you would like to talk through how you can help a student or colleague, contact us and ask to speak to a counsellor.

We are open from 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours, or if you are concerned about risk, please call Security on 0161 306 9966. The Counselling and Mental Health Service offers a rolling programme of training workshops for staff on mental health problems and risk. If you would like to be notified of these please contact us. If you believe that a student or colleague is at immediate risk of harming themselves or others, or if the person is expressing thoughts or behaviours that strike you as bizarre or out of character, call 999 and ask for an ambulance. If on university premises, call Security on 0161 306 9966, give your location and tell them that an ambulance is on its way.