Wellbeing support


Sometimes it can feel difficult to find time to look after your health and wellbeing, especially between studying and socialising. We’ve collated some information below to help keep it simple.

How do i register with a gp?

If you live in Durham, you should ensure you are registered with a local GP. You can also find information about changing your details or switching your GP when moving outside of the city. This information can be found here.

Claypath and University Medical Group have produced a guide to using their practice services here.

If you are an international student and want to know more about how the NHS works for international students, UKCISA provides a comprehensive guide here.

Some students may be eligible to receive help with health costs by qualifying for an HC2 certificate. The assessment and application is free and can be accessed here.


The Disability Support Office at the Palatine Centre offers guidance and support for all current and prospective students who have or think they may have a disability. Contact them here.

You can also get involved with the Students with Disabilities Association.


If you believe you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact your GP for a same day appointment, or call the NHS at 111 if it is out-of-hours. If the situation is life threatening, please call 999.

To arrange an appointment with the University’s Counselling Service, please visit their website or call them at 0191 334 2200

To receive support through the NHS, make an appointment with your GP. The NHS guide walks you through the various services you could be referred to.

The Samaritans provide a 24/7 non-judgmental and confidential listening service. They can be reached here or by calling 116 123.

You can also contact the student-led Nightline which operates every night during term time from 21:00 to 07:00. You can get in touch with them by calling their number listed on the back of your campus card, or instant messaging them here.

You can find out more about the support available during a mental health crisis at https://www.giveusashout.org/

Social Prescribing is a new service many GP surgeries are offering patients. Your Social Prescriber Link Worker can help connect you with services, activities and groups to improve your wellbeing and happiness.

Your Social Prescriber will work with you to create a shared plan based on what matters to you. The aim is to help you take control of your health and wellbeing. Together you will explore what’s important for your life, and identify local activities and services that you will benefit from. Your Social Prescriber can help you find services, activities and groups within the university, and in the wider community. This may include:

  • Clubs, Societies and Student Support Services
  • Healthy lifestyle and activity
  • Arts, music, outdoors and creativity
  • Befriending, counselling and other support groups
  • Housing, benefits, financial support and advice
  • Employment, training and volunteering
  • Education and learning
  • Getting involved in your community
  • Accessing specialist services and support

Your Social Prescriber will work with you for up to 8 sessions, to support you to stay on track to meet your goals.

If you think social prescribing might help you, please contact your GP surgery and ask to be referred.


It is natural if you find you are concerned about a friend or flatmate’s wellbeing.

  • Try to listen to your friend without judgment and urge them to seek appropriate support
  • Appropriate support will vary per issue, but may include the Counselling Service, their college support staff, their GP, or Disability Support
  • Ensure your own wellbeing is also being looked after and ask for help if you need it
  • If your friend is unwilling to access support, you can contact the Counselling Service or your college support staff to make them aware of your concerns


If you are experiencing an emergency or would like to report an incident, please contact the police at 999.

We have a whole page about what to do in the above situations here. You can also find a comprehensive list of organisations you may report an incident to or receive support from on the Students’ Union Pincident page here. Pincident is an anonymous online mapping tool that allows students and staff to record their experiences and/or intervention of bullying, harassment or assault in Durham.

The Students’ Union also provides Active Bystander Training. If you are interested in participating in this training, please contact the Students’ Union on dsu.training@durham.ac.uk.


  • Take a break and make time for you!
  • Get enough sleep: adults need an average of 8 hours a sleep per night
  • Eat healthily and drink responsibly
  • Get active: students should be getting between 75 to 150 minutes of exercise per week
  • Get involved: why not join one of our societies or associations?
  • Foster positive relationships: keep in touch with your friends and family
  • Give back: volunteer your time with the University or see how you can help DUCK
  • Talk to someone: don’t hesitate to talk to someone when you are struggling or feeling stressed

The NHS recommends a number of proven ways to boost your mental wellbeing that you can view here.

Page last reviewed: 08/04/2019