An introduction to UCL Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) services

8 October 2018

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing offers a range of advice, information and support services to help all students make the most of their time here.

Woman in a hat smiling in the sunshine

Your wellbeing is just as important as your academic success, and we work hard in UCL Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) to help you keep this in mind throughout your studies. We’re here to provide advice, information and support services so that you can perform at your best throughout your studies and maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Our services are fully accessible and you can get in touch with us through a range of channels, according to what works best for you. This might mean coming along to a drop-in session, booking an appointment, or speaking to us over the phone (on 020 7679 0100), by email or via Skype.

What we offer

Drop-in sessions and appointments

We run drop-in sessions once a day, Monday to Friday when UCL is open, allowing you to speak to someone quickly without an appointment. Drop-in sessions are ideal for brief enquiries and initial contact with the SSW team. This encompasses: any personal or emotional challenges you may be experiencing; mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression or disability such as dyslexia or a long-term health condition.

You’ll be seen by one of our expert advisers (specialising in mental health, wellbeing and disability) for an open, solution-focused and confidential discussion to work out your needs and agree upon actions to take forward.

These drop-in sessions give you quick and easy access to our support services. Just come along to the SSW helpdesk on Level 3 of the IOE building (20 Bedford Way) when the drop-in is running.

A drop-in consultation can last up to 20 minutes, but if you have a more complex issue requiring more time with an adviser, you can contact us to book an extended appointment.

SSW also offers mental health mentoring as an additional source of support. Please get in touch with us if you would like more information about this service.

Disability support

If you consider yourself disabled, we strongly advise you to get in touch with our disability support team, so we can help ensure that measures are put in place if needed to address any barriers to your learning.

This might include things like extra time for assessments, specific arrangements for exams, access to specialist equipment and assistive technology, or sessions with dedicated tutors.

Our team of advisers can work with you to develop a Summary of Reasonable Adjustments (SoRA), which details all the arrangements you have and helps implement those arrangements within your department.

Therapeutic support

If you experience psychological difficulties during your time at UCL, you can access face-to-face support through our psychological support team.

Our team of professionally accredited counsellors and therapists can provide confidential support with psycho-dynamic counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychiatric assessments and more.

Depending on the support you need, they can also provide referrals to specialist NHS, private or voluntary-sector mental health services.

Students wishing to access this service need to register online.

Out-of-hours support

For emotional, psychological or mental health support out of office hours, UCL students can access Care First, a telephone and online counselling service that works in partnership with the university.

Care First’s accredited counsellors can provide practical, solution-focused advice and guidance on a wide range of issues, including homesickness, exam stress, family issues or traumatic incidents.

They’re available over the phone (on 0800 197 4510) from 5pm to 9am on weekdays and throughout all weekends, bank holidays and UCL closure periods.

Students can also access online counselling through a one-to-one, real-time messaging service (username = uclstudent / password = bentham).

Student Residence Advisers (SRAs)

If you live in a hall of residence, you may already be aware that you have an additional source of support in the form of our Wardens and Student Residence Advisers (SRAs).

Wardens are members of staff, while SRAs are postgraduate students, and both live in halls alongside students.

You can speak to an SRA about a wide range of issues, from basic maintenance and security in halls to mental health or concerns about a fellow resident.

They’re on hand whenever your hall office is closed and can be contacted through your hall’s duty mobile number.

External and specialist support

We have strong ties to external organisations within the local community, so we can ensure that your needs are met, even if they fall outside of our expertise. If appropriate, we can refer you to external specialists.

We work with Rape Crisis and SurvivorsUK to ensure that any students affected by sexual violation have access to appropriate support.

Dedicated support is also available to students transitioning gender through our partnership with Gendered Intelligence.

Student Centre

The Student Centre, located in the Chadwick Building, is a central hub for administration and enquiries.

Staff there can support you in a number of ways, such as by producing a Statement of Student Status to prove that you’re enrolled (needed to open a bank account, prove council tax exemption and more). They can also sign a variety of forms and can answer basic questions about your student record, exams and more. 

Other teams

The UCL Chaplain and Interfaith Adviser is part of SSW, and offers pastoral support and advice to any students experiencing issues related to religion or faith.

An additional team is focussed on communications and project work, managing our information online, promoting our services and ensuring they are being continually improved in line with students’ needs.

Looking after yourself

Looking after yourself while at university might not be as easy as you think, so we also run a wellbeing blog full of insightful articles written by staff and students, to help you maintain a positive and balanced lifestyle.

As UCL students, we really encourage you all to take care of yourselves and others, and to get in touch with us as soon as possible if you need support.

Our friendly team of advisers deliver excellent service, are entirely focussed on students’ needs and have a wealth of expertise. Even if you’re not sure what kind of support you might need, please get in touch with us and we’ll always do our best to help.

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing