Counselling, wellbeing and mental health support

The Student Counselling and Wellbeing service and the NHS offer a range of services to support students during their time at the University. 

Please remember to make an appointment to see your GP if you are concerned about how you are feeling. Register for Leeds NHS counselling and psychotherapy services.

We encourage you to talk to your school if your current difficulties are impacting on your studies, either your Personal Tutor, or Student Support Officer.

There are places available on our workshops, and Big White Wall is available, for free, to all registered students. You can find out more on our Big White Wall page.

There are also organisations and services available in the Leeds area that provide counselling, therapeutic interventions and psychological support.

2019-20 Self Referral Form.

The Student Counselling and Wellbeing service is a multi-professional team of Counsellors, Mental Health Advisors and Wellbeing Practitioners offering a range of services to support students during their time at the University of Leeds.

In 2016/17 we had an 18% return rate for student evaluation/feedback of Student Counselling and Wellbeing, of 1438 students who attended individual appointments:

  • 91% students rated their overall experience of support as ‘excellent or good (67% rated experience as ‘excellent’, 24% as ‘good’)
  • 78% students identify support received from Student Counselling and Wellbeing  as helping them to complete academic work
  • 70% students identify support received from Student Counselling and Wellbeing  as helping them to stay at university
  • 70% students who attended counseling report clinically ‘reliable’ change by the end of their counselling (improvement in feelings, symptoms and functioning, as evidenced by difference in opening and closing CORE scores, which are clinical measures)

We have extensive experience of the issues and difficulties that members of our community face while studying, and encourage you to talk to us if you are unsure what to do or where to turn for help. We offer single session consultation appointments, mental health and wellbeing support, face-to-face and online counselling, groups and workshops, meditation, and a range of self-help resources including Big White Wall and downloadable MP3s. We're open Monday to Friday all year round except weekends and University closure periods such as bank holidays, Easter, Christmas and New Year. 

If you wish to contact us, email or phone us on 0113 343 4107. 

Student Counselling and Wellbeing do not provide crisis or emergency services. Find out what to do in an emergency.

If you need help or advice before you get an appointment we encourage you to explore the following wide range of resources available: 

First appointment

Your appointment will be with either a Counsellor, Mental Health Advisor or Wellbeing Practitioner, it will last between 30 and 45 minutes (we’ll let you know beforehand), and it will provide you with the chance to explore the issues that have brought you to the service and identify ways to move forward. By the end you will have a identified the best next steps to take, which may include trying self-help resources, online programmes such as Big White Wall, or registering for community based support services such as Leeds IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies).

For many people this single appointment can be all that is needed to get them back on track, and this can be supplemented with a follow up session to review how things are going. For some further support may be considered the most appropriate course of action. In this case you may be offered brief counselling, mental health support, short term wellbeing support or a place on our groups and workshops programme. Wherever possible this will be with the same person you met at your first appointment, depending on availability. 

Missed and cancelled appointments

As there is heavy demand for our service, it is expected that you will value your appointments and make every effort to attend them. If you have to miss a session, please give us as much notice as possible. You can do this by ringing reception, sending an email or leaving a message on our answer phone outside of office hours. If you miss your initial consultation your appointment will be offered to someone else immediately. If you miss a subsequent session, and do not contact us within 24 hours, your appointment time will be offered to someone else. You will then have to go back on the waiting list.

Confidentiality, disclosure and data protection

The University takes issues relating to confidentiality, disclosure and data protection seriously. We respect your confidentiality and assure you that any information we share will be handled in a sensitive and discreet manner.


In order for us to monitor the effectiveness of our work we may ask that you complete a questionnaire at the beginning and end of any support that you are offered. These may range between clinical screening and research tools such as CORE-1-, PHQ9 and GAD-7 or the Student Counselling and Wellbeing feedback and evaluation forms. 

Download our updated accessibility strategy

How can counselling support you?

Counselling gives you time and space to explore issues that are of concern to you. These might include:

  • Anxiety, stress and panic
  • relationship and family problems
  • bereavement
  • low mood and depression
  • self-destructive behaviour, eg self-harming, drinking too much
  • fear of failure
  • academic problems.

Counsellors won't be able to provide instant solutions but will listen to you and help you develop an increasing awareness of yourself and your possible choices. 

We usually offer up to four sessions per person. These sessions last 50 minutes and are typically held weekly. In most cases this number of sessions is sufficient and ensures that everyone who applies for counselling is seen in the shortest time possible. You can return to the Student Counselling Centre for further counselling throughout your time at the University of Leeds.

Mental health support

Mental Health Advisors are part of the Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service. If you are concerned that your mental health is impacting on your ability to study and to cope with life at university, please come and speak to us.

We work with students who have a diagnosis of a moderate to severe and enduring mental health problem. We will work with you to help you manage your mental health difficulties in relation to your time here at Leeds and your studies.

If you think you meet these criteria and would like support, you can book an appointment by completing the self-referral form.

Mental Health Advisors offer one-to-one ongoing support. This support can be just one session for signposting or we could support you for the duration of the time you are at Leeds. The duration of support will be determined by yourself and the advisor you work with. 

In fact, all the support we offer is done by us working together and the direction of it will be determined by what you want and need in terms of your diagnosis. For example, we may work with you to develop a support plan to help you identify and manage your symptoms. We can also implement existing Care Plans when needed or support you in developing one.

We will work with you to explore and implement strategies to help you manage your diagnosis to ensure your time at Leeds and your life at university is full and fulfilling.