Mental health difficulties
If you're experiencing a mental health difficulty then our Mental Health team can provide a range of free and confidential support appropriate to your personal and academic needs.
There's a great range of support available for you, and we can help to ensure you are able to access all the relevant and appropriate sources of assistance. The University takes issues relating to confidentiality, disclosure and data protection seriously.
Mental Health team
Our service is for you if you are experiencing an existing moderate to severe and enduring diagnosed or emerging mental health difficulty. The Mental Health team support is designed to empower you to achieve your potential by addressing some of your mental health difficulties or concerns. We encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible and we will try to respond to you promptly. Accessing the service sooner rather than later may prevent more serious issues and crises from developing. If we cannot help you directly we will know a service that can and will support you in accessing an appropriate service either within the University or through an external or community agency.
Mental health advice and one-off intervention or signposting
It may be that all the support you need is to be signposted in the right direction. You may already be fully supported by a community mental health team, GP, psychologist or psychiatrist and feel that another layer of support from the University is not required. However, you may also like to find out more information about the service for future reference, or to learn more about accessing voluntary sector support, medication and effects, therapies, counselling, etc.
If you would like academic support then you may be in a position to have reasonable adjustments put in place in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. This support can be explored by making an appointment with the Disability team.
Mental health support
For those with an existing diagnosed or emerging mental health difficulty there are several pathways of support available.
One to one support
Ongoing one to one support allows for the building of a hope-inspiring relationship between you and the Mental Health team, providing greater monitoring of your mental state, and earlier intervention and recognition of deteriorating mental ill health. One to one support will provide you with a safe and confidential place to discuss your situation, and to develop the tools and skills to manage your condition. This will allow for an improved understanding from an institutional perspective and a better chance of success for both you and the University. Having access to support that fully understands and can evidence the effects and difficulties experienced also allows for improved access to support from your school in relation to:
- mitigating circumstances
- fitness to study
- temporary leave
- supported return to study.
Reasonable adjustments relating to academic work should be sought from the Disability team (see below) rather than through the Mental Health team.
Mental health support plan (MHSP)
A mental health support plan is available if you would like to learn how to balance your life and your mental health, identify the triggers or relapse signatures of your mental health alongside the issues or problems that may be impacting on your ability to achieve stability. The plan is based around goal setting, building the skills and tools needed to maintain a positive balance of mental health, and can include collaborative working and resources from within the University and external agencies.
Crisis support plan (CSP)
A crisis support plan can be used in isolation if you have a good care team but want to have a plan of action at the University should it be identified that you are becoming unwell. It can also be used in conjunction with the mental health support plan to provide an extra layer of support at times of crisis and to help you recognise when you're becoming unwell.
Advocacy between you and the University or vice versa
We will support you if you're finding it difficult to disclose your condition to your school, and to your friends and family. We can also support you if your mental health is affecting your studies. We can provide education around the issues and difficulties you may be experiencing as a result of your condition and share ways of managing this. We can also support you if you're returning to study after a long time away due to ill health. Return to study programmes similar to the mental health support plan can be put in place to provide extra support in the first few months of a return, helping to minimise the risk of relapse.
Initial assessment with a Mental Health team adviser
All students wishing to discuss their situation and explore possible mental health and wellbeing support should undertake an initial assessment session. This is a 15-minute meeting with one of the advisers to briefly discuss what happens for you and to find out what support would be most appropriate. This session could result in signposting to alternative support options or the offer of a full appointment and potential support package. Sometimes just having the opportunity to reflect on your situation in a supportive setting can help to alleviate some of the stress you might be feeling.
These initial assessment sessions can be booked only on the day and are offered as a drop-in service Monday to Friday between 11am and 12pm, and additionally Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday between 2pm and 3pm.
If offered a full appointment after the initial assessment session it will usually last around 45 minutes, although it can be shorter if necessary. The focus will be around building a fuller picture of your current difficulties, and beginning to explore any ways in which your situation can be improved and supported. This might involve:
- creating a support plan
- being referred onto a specialist service or community support group
- acknowledging your current coping skills and how these might be better enhanced.
Duration of input from the Mental Health team
The length of time you may remain in contact with the Mental Health team is variable, depending on your individual circumstances. This is an area which can be better decided after your difficulties have been recognised, and a discussion has taken place around what level of support will be most helpful to you.
Mental Health support from the Disability Coordinator team
In addition to support from the Mental Health team, you may also be able to obtain help from the Disability team depending on the nature of your mental health issue. General equipment and support services are available to all University of Leeds disabled students and you may also be able to get condition-specific help if you apply for additional funding. This might include:
- weekly one to one learning strategy support
- the opportunity to attend study skills workshops
- personalised specialist mentoring to help you stay on track with academic work, organise your studies and help you settle into life at the University.
How can you get all the help you need?
To ensure you get all the help you need we encourage you to:
- apply for Disabled Students Allowances (DSA)
- speak to your disability contact within your school
- register and make an appointment to speak to a disability coordinator within the Disability team.
- attend a drop-in session, 9:30-11am and 2-4pm, Monday to Friday. Come visit us on the ground floor of the Chemistry West Block (55A on the campus map).
To access some of the services your mental health condition needs to have lasted, or be likely to last, for 12 months or more and have an impact on your studies. You will need to provide medical evidence from your GP or other mental health professional about the nature of your mental health issues.