Supporting a student who is struggling emotionally with no immediate risk

This section includes supporting students to talk through their difficulties, access the right support resources as well as helping to manage their expectation of what you can do within your role. 

There can be many reasons that a student will struggle with their emotional wellbeing – this is normal.  Sometimes a chat can help offer the time that they need and sometimes you will recognise that further support is needed.   

Time for a chat 

It can be a good sign that a student is approaching you for some support.  Make sure you find time and space that is confidential and appropriate for both of you.  Having a chat to help look at what is happening for them and/or helping to find a good support route – can be beneficial.  However, a student regularly stopping by or not accepting the information you provide about support services – can become more difficult to manage and create a challenging situation for you.  Very quickly situations can escalate and become complex.   

From the start it is important to manage expectations and let the student know the boundaries of your role.   Explaining that you are happy to have a chat and work with them to identify what support may be helpful and that this may include making a referral to another service who can offer tailored support.  They may need reassurance that you are not ‘passing them on’, instead you can help to access the right support to ensure they get the help they need to support them. 

Sometimes it can help to be with a student and go access the support pages together to show them how to navigate and access what they need.  Always encourage your student to take the steps themselves rather than make a referral on their behalf. 

The university has a broad range of support on campus which can help if a student is struggling with their emotional wellbeing, is facing practical challenges in their life (e.g. financial or housing). has experienced an assault or incident that it would help to access support for.  Here are the student facing pages that can help. 

It may be helpful for you to have a look at how the Student Counselling and Wellbeing team support students as it may help to answer any questions a student may have in advance of a referral