Students in crisis

News of a student's death or other crisis (for example, life-threatening illness, serious injury/ accident, attack or attempted suicide) can reach the University in a number of different ways, the following reporting process should be followed..


The most important basis for good decision-making in crisis management is good information. Therefore, being fully informed and up to date at all times is essential, a constant flow of information is needed and ideally in real time. It is vital that all information relevant to the case is coordinated and communicated through a single channel to avoid duplication and confusion.

All reporting and communication should be made to University Security on (0113) 343 2222 who will alert the Coordinating Team and School and/ or Halls of Residence.  


The co-ordinating team comprises Chris Warrington, Rev. Anthea Colledge, Jane Harris, Mike Byde, Jeanette Youds, Mark Bownass and Sue Green, whose areas of individual responsibility are indicated below.

Between them they will:

  • support the school/hall, and usually arrange an early meeting to plan a response 
  • liaise with emergency services or NHS in-patient services, especially where hospitalisation has occured
  • act as a bridge between the school/hall affected and the range of resources available in the University and beyond 
  • ensure that appropriate pastoral support is made available to staff and students as necessary, both in the immediate aftermath of a death or other crisis and subsequently ensure that each incident is effectively followed up, and that unnecessary duplication is avoided; 
  • provide information about student support network agencies including the Leeds University Union Advice Centre and Leeds Student Medical Practice 
  • respond to requests for help with the costs of accommodating relatives and other incidental costs. 



The parent school or hall of residence concerned has a key role to play in responding to a student death or other crisis, but it will be advised and supported by a co-ordinating team.

Staff in the school/hall will usually know the student best, and will therefore know how to contact families and friends. After consulting the co-ordinating team, the school and/or hall should:

  • inform students and staff in the school/hall, drawing attention to sources of pastoral support (see below) 
  • liaise with the family and students about the attendance of staff and students at the funeral, and perhaps arrange transport from the school 
  • write appropriate personal letters of condolence to bereaved parents (to complement a formal letter sent by the Vice-Chancellor on behalf of the University institutionally) 
  • be prepared to meet parents and make arrangements for the collection of personal effects from the University 
  • ensure that parents or other relatives are accommodated appropriately if they need to come to Leeds 
  • take the lead in liaising with relevant parties about any memorial service 
  • identify someone who can, if necessary, speak to the media (through the Communications Office). 




Head of Student Support

(0113) 343 4075

Acting on behalf of the University Secretary, Chris will lead the co-ordination of the University’s response to a student death or crisis, liaising with other members of the co-ordinating team as appropriate. 


Chaplaincy Co-ordinator 

(0113) 343 5070 (out of hours  07780 613862)

Anthea will advise staff on responding to a student death and will be available to discuss issues such as University attendance at funerals and community remembrance. Anthea, or one of her team, will co-ordinate the pastoral and spiritual response of different religious faiths; a member of the Chaplaincy is often the first of the co-ordinating team to provide pastoral support to those immediately affected by a death or other crisis (if necessary on site).



Assistant Head of Student Support (Counselling and Wellbeing) 

(0113) 343 4106

Jane will liaise with Heads of School, Student Support Faculty Managers and others to agree student and staff communications including priority and ongoing support for students including offer a range of support to students including 1-1 counselling and seeing affected students in groups. She can also advise individuals about other sources of help available on and off campus, including counselling for staff. Jane can talk through appropriate responses to difficult situations and, with other colleagues, help shape a plan of action.

Director of Student Operations

The Director of Student Operations will co-ordinate responses to student administrative matters, within the University and externally. This may include providing advice on the award and conferment of degrees and other qualifications; any financial support that might be available; and arrangements for fee adjustments.[JY2] 



Mental Health and Wellbeing Teams Manager, University of Leeds  Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service

(0113) 343 7458 or 07860 786156

Jeanette will offer assistance where the situation concerns student mental ill health (suicide attempt, hospital admission, detention under the Mental Health Act), and will provide information and guidance around mental health needs, support and services for students, staff and parents. Jeanette can talk through appropriate responses to crises and provide clear pathways of care for those involved or affected by the incident. Jeanette can respond to a crisis situation or a concern around a risk of a student harming themselves or others – University staff should refer to the Emergency/ Crisis response pathway .



(0113) 343 9338 or

Mark  will liaise with police and other emergency services.


Deputy Director of Residential Services

0113 343 6082 (or 0710852161)

Sue  will provide advice in relation to any student crisis which arises in one of the University halls of residence, and will assist with the accommodation needs of the affected student’s family.

All media enquiries to schools should be referred to the Communications Office, unless another specific arrangement has been agreed.

The University Secretary and all team members can be contacted out of office hours through University Security on (0113) 343 2222.

Unsure if the situation is a Crisis Situation?

You can contact Student Counselling and Wellbeing through their Staff Clinical Guidance and Support Service (Duty).

This service will provide professional consultation and guidance relating to student welfare, wellbeing and mental health, primarily in response to email, telephone and occasional in-person enquiries from University staff, students and family members.

0113 343 4107