Looking after each other!
If you feel a friend or peer is struggling, or if you are concerned about someone’s behaviour, please seek advice.
If it’s a friend, it’s generally helpful to let them know that you are concerned about them. It might be possible to encourage them to talk to someone about their difficulties. They can initially approach any of the University/ Students' Union support services (whichever they feel most comfortable approaching) – if that particular service can’t help, they’ll refer them to someone who can. You might consider offering to come with them to access support if they prefer. If they don't want to access University services, perhaps you could encourage them to see their GP.
Alternatively, if you or others have concerns about an individual’s current behaviour and you are unsure of the best course of action to take, you can contact us in Wellbeing Support Services and we’d be very happy to advise. This is especially important if the friend/ student is not currently accessing professional support, if the circumstances are complex or if you feel the situation is escalating, and may be affecting others. Colleagues will provide advice so that you can feel more confident in dealing with the situation and also advise what others might be able to do to help.
There might be many different reasons why you're concerned about someone else - whether it's about someone's mental or physical ill health, social isolation, changes in appearance or behaviour, signs of distress or if someone you know goes missing.
Do remember that it's really important to recognise personal limitations when offering support. The right thing to do is often to communicate your concerns, and refer to the professionals, rather than taking sole responsibility for the situation as a friend(s).
If you know that the student is already engaged with a support service within the University, it may be more appropriate to contact the relevant Head of Service.