Changes to student mental health and wellbeing services

The Quad University of Liverpool National Student Survey 2019

The last academic year has seen a number of improvements as well as new investment in mental health and wellbeing services for students.

In November the student services team were joined by six new Wellbeing Advisers as part of a £460k per annum additional investment in staffing. The advisers provide one-to-one support for students who use our services and help manage our existing daily drop-in service, which has been extended to run from 11am and 3pm every weekday in the Alsop Building. Wellbeing Advisers also offer individual appointments, support online provision, offer training and organise issue based groups.

Twilight opening

A pilot of twilight opening hours for counselling and wellbeing services was also launched earlier this year in response to student feedback. This pilot has been well received by students and is now being extended to 7pm, two days a week.

From September, a new, innovative approach to service provision will also be introduced which will enable students to access single session therapy with far shorter waiting times. This approach will allow faster signposting to other services, where appropriate, and is also in response to student feedback.

Student feedback

Speaking on these improvements to mental health and wellbeing services, Dr Paula Harrison Woods said: “It is really important that all our students are given the support they need during their time at university so that they can succeed in their studies and we are absolutely committed to providing this support.

“We want students to have a genuine input into the services we provide and I would like to thank the Guild of Students and our Student Mental Health Forum for their ideas and insight over the last year.”

National funding

In June the University was awarded £770k funding by the Office for Students for two out of ten national projects on mental health. As lead partner for a regional project, the University will be working in partnership with Mersey Care, Brownlow Health and Liverpool John Moores University to develop improved mental health care pathways for students across the region.

What to do if you need support

Emergency support

If you or a friend is in danger, you will need to call the appropriate emergency service by calling 999.

For 24-hour help, please call The Samaritans who offer a 24-hour helpline (116 123). You can also find support via the Students Against Depression website. Liverpool Light is a mental health café that provides a welcoming and safe space for people experiencing mental health related crisis. The service is run by trained mental health support staff and operates from 6pm to 12pm, seven days a week, offering an alternative to the use of A&E for people at times of crisis or in need of targeted social support out of hours.

Non-emergency support

If you need non-academic, non-emergency support, our Student Services team can offer a range of services as outlined below.

Drop-in sessions: We offer single drop-in sessions between 11am-3pm every weekday in the Alsop building. The sessions are staffed by the new Wellbeing Advisers, our Advice and Guidance team, our Counselling Service and our Mental Health Advisers. If you need some advice or support about welfare or wellbeing, please come along to a drop-in session. You don’t need to book. Simply turn up at the Alsop building and go to the Student Welfare Advice and Guidance reception.

Big White Wall: Big White Wall is a 24/7 peer and professional support service designed to help people get support, take control and feel better.  If you’re going through a tough time, we offer all our students free access to the online service. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or not coping, Big White Wall can help you get support, take control and feel better. The service provides 24/7 online support. It is also totally anonymous, so no one will know you’ve chosen to use it unless you tell them.

More information on Big White Wall and how to sign up can be found here.

Student Welfare Advice and Guidance: Student Welfare Advice and Guidance is a confidential service to provide help and support to students. To help students feel safe and supported, when Campus Support are called to assist a student, they send a report to Student Welfare Advice and Guidance. A member of the Advice and Guidance team will then get in touch with you via your University email account about support, usually the next working day. You can follow the team on Twitter @livuniSWAG.

Counselling Service: The Counselling Service is available to help you address personal or emotional problems that get in the way of realising your full academic and personal potential. It offers free and confidential advice to current students.

Mental Health Advisory Service: If you feel concerned that you or a friend may have more complex mental health needs, contact our Mental Health Advisory Service via email at or by calling 0151 7942320 between 9am and 5pm Monday- Friday.

SilverCloud free online self-help modules: Space from Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Space for Positive Body Image are online self-help modules that you can complete for free via SilverCloud. The programme – which is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – will provide you with tools and techniques to help you manage stress, anxiety and depression and bring balance into your life. You can complete the programme at your own pace and time, either at home or on campus. Please note that neither your response to, nor your progress within, any of the modules within this programme are monitored by the Counselling Service or the University.

Bibliotherapy resources: There is strong evidence to suggest that books can be effective as a form of self-help and the Bibliotherapy collection has been chosen by both healthcare professionals and readers who have benefited from them. Emotional and academic difficulties can be a common part of university life and this collection aims to provide information and support for dealing with a wide range of issues such as depression, anxiety, panic, building self-confidence and assertiveness. You can access the bibliotherapy collection in the Grove Wing of the Sydney Jones Library. The titles are listed on the Counselling Service website or can be accessed through searching the main library catalogue using subject words such as ‘anxiety’. Borrowing is confidential and information about your use of these books will not be disclosed to any outside parties.

Relaxation Programme: The Relaxation Programme is available to stream and download and is designed to be used with a self-assessment relaxation diary.

Self Help Hub online: Access information about anxiety, depression, exam and academic worries, relationship problems, homesickness and bereavement via our Self Help Hub.

Groups and workshops: The Counselling Service run regular groups and workshops.

Additional support: A list of other support networks you can access can be found on our Counselling Service webpages here.