Rapid support for students/PGRs in crisis

Introducing a way of working with students and PGRs who may be distressed, experiencing a mental health crisis or need some support and signposting. 

Rapid Support for Students in Crisis or Distress contains the essential information you need to support students who may be at risk, or in distress, where you feel support is needed and offers guidance on referral pathways to additional support.  This also covers guiding principles on how to have discussions with a student needing immediate support and offering holistic support to ensure all support needs are covered.  This does not mean you take on all the support needs, instead the information here helps guide you to services that can support your student. 

It can be difficult to be faced with someone who is in Crisis or deep distress.  The RAPID framework can help guide your conversation and help you take an emotional step back and assess what is needed in the moment. 

The RAPID Model crib sheet.pptx

Do you have concerns about the immediate wellbeing and/or think your student may be at risk?

If you have any concerns for a student who you feel is at risk, in distress and/or have received a third party disclosure identifying a concern – follow the Duty Pathway.  This will help guide you on what the next steps should be.  Staff are here to help and support you.  If you are not sure, get in touch anyway, it may help to talk through what is happening.

View the Duty Pathway and contact details

Understanding your role in Supporting Students and key Support Services who can help

 An overview of what is expected within your role when supporting students and links to the key Support Services on campus for Students in Crisis or Distress. Boundaries and managing expectations are important to ensure that students receive the right support and you are not taking on areas of work that can create more risk or have an uncessary impact on your wellbeing.   Being able to listen, understand and help navigate your student/PGR to the right support at the right time will have a positive impact.  Remember, you don’t have to take everything on yourself.


The Principles of PEAS 

Sometimes students can come to you with very complex situations which may have emotional as well as practical support needs and it can be difficult to know where to start the conversation.  The Principle of PEAS is a guide to having a ‘holistic’ conversation and helping you to know that you don’t have to deal with everything on your own. 

Principle of Peas.pptx

Support for you

Listening and helping to support a student in Crisis or deep distress can be emotionally challenging, it is important that you look after you and recognise if a situation has an impact on you, or there is a build up of emotional demands – you are not expected to just keep going or deal with everything yourself.  Some resources that may help. 

ABC of Self Care 

Three words to help you recognise how you are feeling, impact of what is happening around you and what steps you can take.

Awareness (signs of stress, limitations, lack of resources, personal vulnerabilities) – take a couple of minutes to take stock of what’s happening in the moment – what do you need? 

Balance (work, play, rest) – make decisions and embrace letting go or postponing certain activities. Equal time for what we enjoy is important.  

Connection (to yourself and others) – check in with a colleague, debrief – go for a walk and connect to what is around you… 

Recognising compassion fatigue

This can be as a result of dealing with many challenging situations in your work environment or a combination of work and home demands.  it is ok to not feel ok sometimes, you don’t have to operate as a superhuman.  It helps to recognise signs that things may be more than just ‘one of those days’ though.  Having a sense check on how you are feeling and why, can help to stop things spiralling and impacting on your enjoyment of life around you.

There will always be very busy times, lots going on at home and work and mostly it can be juggled and sometimes it helps motivate.  Sometimes though, it can be helpful to know the signs that may be a bit of a warning that things are starting to impact you and some time for self care is needed.  Have a look if you are continuously feeling any of the below.   

  • Feelings of emotional exhaustion 

  • Neglecting our own needs (physical, emotional, spiritual) 

  • Feeling unappreciated 

  • Finding it harder to be empathetic 

  • Irritability 

  • Fatigue 

  • Insomnia 

  • Cynicism 

  • Relationship difficulties (colleagues and personal life) 

  • Increased substance use 

If you recognise several of these signs in yourself.  Take a breath and a step back and see what you can do to help you rebalance.  This maybe some time for yourself, chatting with colleagues or some more tailored support.  

50 Ways to take a break

Doing what works for you and mixing it up a bit now and then can help give you some headspace that helps to positive impact your wellbeing.  See if there is anything here that you know works or is worth giving a try.

50 ways to take a break.docx

Some situations can be very challenging.  This could be a one off situation, a build up of issues or something that comes along at a time when your life is already full of challenges.  You don’t have to deal with everything yourself.  The Staff Counselling and Psychological Support team can offer a range of support, from one off sessions, regular time to talk, coaching for you or your team and a whole host of training and workshops.

Staff Counselling and Psychological Support | Health and wellbeing | Wellbeing, Safety and Health | University of Leeds

If you are interested in further training please have a look at;