Help and support for mental and emotional health

Our support services

We all have mental health. Sometimes our mental health is good and at other times it is not so good. At times, you may feel stressed, low, anxious, or feel that life is not worth living, or you may have a diagnosis of a mental health condition.

We understand it can feel daunting to speak with someone about support for your mental health, but whatever concerns you might have, or however you are feeling, please come and chat with us at our wellbeing drop-inwellbeing drop-inwellbeing drop-in. If you would feel more comfortable with a telephone or Zoom appointment, you can still request this via our online appointment form.

During evenings and at weekends you can contact the 24-hour Student Wellbeing Support Line. If you live in University accommodation, you can contact Security for out of hours advice and support.

The external support services below are also available for you at any time you may need support for your wellbeing:

  • 24 Hour Student Wellbeing Support Line: on 0800 970 5020 (outside UK: +44 141 271 7168) – this is staffed by counsellors from our partner counselling provider Validium - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • SilverCloud: an online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) resource offering a range of programmes on mental health, wellbeing, and long-term conditions
  • Togetherall is a safe, online peer-to-peer mental health community that empowers individuals to anonymously seek and provide support 24/7. To sign up, go to togetherall.com and use your student email address to register as a member of a university or college
  • Colchester Campus: Security (24 hours) – 01206 872125 or 872222 in an emergency
  • Southend Campus: University Square reception - 01702 328408 or 07920 821678
  • Samaritans
  • Student Minds

Emergencies

Find out who to contact in a medical or mental health emergency

Workshops, groups and support

Online mental health support 

SilverCloud

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.

Therapy for you

Therapy for you provides free online CBT-psychoeducational courses delivered by NHS therapists. Treatment is delivered through a series of video sessions that you can complete anywhere at anytime.

Togetherall

Togetherall is a safe, online peer-to-peer mental health community that empowers individuals to anonymously seek and provide support 24/7. To sign up, go to togetherall.com and use your student email address to register as a member of a university or college.

Counselling

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.

Current service update

Our counselling service has resumed providing sessions in-person and this can be requested using the online referral form. If you would prefer counselling via telephone or Zoom, you can also indicate this on your referral.

Mentoring

A mentor can meet with you for regular appointments to offer:

  • help to manage your difficulties alongside your studies
  • practical and emotional support through listening and problem solving
  • assistance with independent learning and development of study skills
  • help with liaising with your department to make sure you have the support you need on your course
  • practical help in the library and help with organising your study space and study materials

Applying for mentoring

In order to apply for on-going mentoring, you will need to have received a diagnosis of a long-term mental health difficulty and apply for Disabled Students' Allowance as this can fund mentoring support for the duration of your studies. You will also need to provide evidence your diagnosis (ie. a doctor/GP letter when completing the form).

If you would like to discuss mentoring or require any help with the DSA application process, please contact us at include@essex.ac.uk.

Getting active

Being active is great for your physical health and fitness, and evidence has also shown it provides great benefits for your mental health too. Essex Sport offer a wide range of activities for you to try, and the NHS offer tips and advice on how being active can improve your mental health, as part of the 5 steps to mental wellbeing.

Disabled Students' Allowance for mental health conditions

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) is government funding available to UK home students to help meet the extra costs you may face as a direct result of your disability, specific learning difficulty or long-term medical or mental health condition.

If you have a diagnosed long-term mental health condition you may be eligible for DSA. This can fund extra equipment such as a digital recorder, as well as one-to-one support from a specialist mentor or tutor. You would need to provide evidence of your mental health difficulties (ie. a letter from your doctor/GP confirming your diagnosis and current treatment).

Getting a medical diagnosis

If you require an official medical diagnosis of a mental health difficulty, you will need to make an appointment to see your doctor/GP who can discuss this with you and/or refer you to a specialist service if appropriate.

External support services

Wellbeing

Eating disorder, body dysmorphia and self-harm

Drug, alcohol and gambling addiction services

Other useful organisations

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.