UCL News


New support and assistance service for UCL staff and students launches

2 July 2015

To complement existing support services, UCL has appointed Care first, an independent employee assistance provider, to help staff and students resolve practical and emotional issues affecting work, study or personal life.


Care first is a leading provider of professional counselling, information and advice. The service employs professionally qualified counsellors and information specialists, who are experienced in helping people to deal with all kinds of practical and emotional issues, including consumer, debt, legal and family problems.

The support service for staff will continue to provide unlimited Freephone access 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The service to students is new and will complement existing support provided by Student Welfare Services. Students will have access to additional support 'out of hours' (5pm to 9am, at weekends and during UCL closure periods).

The service is free to use, impartial, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Care first also provide an on-line wellbeing programme, to enable staff and students to assess their level of wellbeing, set improvement goals and monitor their progress on a dedicated web page and mobile apps.

What else does the service provide?

  • Short term counselling (up to six sessions per issue); face to face or by telephone
  • On-line counselling, supporting articles and wellbeing advice
  • Support and referral for longer term issues.
  • Information services for any practical and day-to-day issues.
  • Management support to help with difficult situations

How do I use the service?

You don't need to ask to use Care first, just call 0800 174319 and you can speak to a professional counsellor in confidence.

The service, provided by Care first, will be available to staff and students from 1 July 2015.

Further details of how to access the service can be found here.

Care first will be running a series of presentations at UCL and distributing posters and information to UCL Departments over the coming months.

Angela Graneek, Head of Occupational Health Services, Human Resources Division