Our University works in partnership with an organisation called Validium to offer short-term counselling to help you explore and work through problems and difficulties that are causing distress and interfering with your life at University.

You might be worried, depressed, confused or feeling bad about yourself. There might be a problem in your family, friendships or with your partner, or you might be experiencing difficulties with your work and exams. Counselling can provide a safe space for you to talk through and explore your feelings.

What counselling involves

The counsellor will be objective and respect your views and although they won't usually give advice, they can help you find your own insight and understanding of your problems and identify ways to try and overcome them.

Counselling can often involve talking about difficult or painful feelings and, as you begin to face them, you may feel worse in some ways. However your counsellor will be there to support you.

Confidentiality and accessibility

The University Wellbeing Service is bound by a strict confidentiality policy (.pdf). Our partner organisation, Validium, only employs counsellors who are accredited with appropriate professional bodies, including the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Information relating to the content of counselling sessions, including session notes, will not be seen by anyone outside the counselling service (see 'Confidentiality Policy' above for exceptional circumstances). If you use the service, you may have the right to access any records kept on you under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018.

How to get help

Student Services Hub

If you feel you would benefit from counselling, please contact your Student Services Hub.

Validium Student Wellbeing Support Line

You can also contact the Validium 24-hour Student Wellbeing Support Line. You will be able to have an initial chat, in confidence, about the difficulties you're experiencing and the support available to you.

Call 0800 970 5020 or +44 141 271 7168.

Online mental health support

Chat with Charlie

Chat with Charlie offers online mental health support every evening between 6pm – 10pm. You can get support with exam stress, relationships, low mood, anxiety or anything else which may be troubling you, however big or small it may seem.

Log on just to chat or find out how to get additional support. For more information, contact wellbeing@essex.ac.uk.


You can also access online support by joining vClub - an online area where you can browse useful information on a range of issues and listen to podcasts.

To join vClub, log in using the username: UniofEssex and password: Wellbeingsupport


If you're worried, feeling low or stressed, or finding it hard to sleep, you may want to explore our online mental health programme from SilverCloud.

Longer term counselling

Our University is only able to offer short-term counselling. If you're interested in having longer term counselling or psychotherapy, you may want to discuss this with your doctor or the local IAPT service (although please be aware there are often long waiting lists for NHS psychotherapeutic support).

Alternatively, the following local organisations are well established and accredited by the relevant professional bodies. They all operate a sliding scale of fees and can offer some sessions at a reduced cost for those on a low income:

Specialist counselling services

Student Services Hub
Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.